The 2018 Social Worker of the Year awards took place in London on Friday 30th November. Entries for this year's awards open on Wednesday 3rd April. #SWA19

Bianka Lang, Essex County Council

Overall Social Worker of the Year


Bianka’s outstanding commitment to her teammates and superb fulfilment of the crucial first line manager role led her to the overall award for 2016.


Bianka has shown leadership qualities in various ways: by setting an example, by promoting staff wellbeing, and by fostering the growth of individual specialisms within the team, which can be pooled for everyone’s benefit. Her colleagues’ testimonies reference many qualities – organisation, decision-making, knowledge, approachability and the capacity to inspire – that are the cornerstones of being a good manager.


Her competence is underlined by the way in which Bianka has been able to take on additional duties and responsibility for extra staff members, without losing her trademark serenity.


But despite her sometimes understated nature, Bianka’s appetite for social work shines from her nomination – through her enthusiasm for keeping in touch with the front line, her ongoing focus on her own development, and her evident keenness to pass on knowledge to others.


The judges were full of admiration for what Bianka has brought to her team, pointing out that “good social work flourishes in the environment she has created”. It’s hard to think of a more fitting compliment for 2016’s Overall Social Worker of the Year.


What was said about Bianka:


Here is a social work team manager who rightly generates considerable respect from her colleagues and clients for her care, concern, compassion and great competence. She is a team manager for whom we would all want to work and have beside us. A tremendous role model all for social workers and social work managers.” Professor Ray Jones, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Social Work Awards Ltd


Bianka is the embodiment of what every social worker would want in their manager with her determined focus on creating the right environment for high quality social work to flourish. The benefits are obvious with a very low turnover of staff on her teams despite the stressful nature of the work.” Ruth Smith, Publisher, Community Care 


“Bianka is an excellent role model for the profession. In the incredibly pressured role as first line manager, she is described by her team as ‘bringing a sense of calm’, even in the most difficult situations. As a supportive manager, she guides her team in balancing process-led and person-centred practice. She also promotes individual specialisms, creating a pool of knowledge and information to deliver better outcomes for children and young people in Essex.” James Rook, Managing Director, Sanctuary Social Care 


June has devoted her working life to provide the highest quality of care to this profession.  She is what social care is all about and a great inspiration to all of us who are in the profession aiming to achieve the best. Beverley Williams MBE, Founder, Social Work Awards 



  • Professor Ray Jones, Chair, Social Work Awards Ltd
  • James Rook, Managing Director, Sanctuary Social Care
  • Beverley Williams CBE, Founder, Social Work Awards
  • Ruth Smith, Publisher, Community Care