The winners of the 2017 Social Worker of the Year Awards were revealed at a glittering awards ceremony in London on the 24th November. Entries for next year's awards will open in March 2018.

Vidhya Biju, Birmingham City Council

Adult Social Worker of the Year

 

 

Vidhya is described by her colleagues as a social worker who approaches every case with passion and commitment and is always willing to go the extra mile for her service users.

 

Vidhya’s career began in her native India in 1999, where she worked in the slums and resettlement colonies of New Delhi. She moved to Birmingham’s busy children’s services department in 2004, where she consolidated her social work practice over a 10-year period.

 

Now based in a busy acute hospital, Vidhya is constantly juggling the competing demands of NHS staff and service users’ families, but her nomination demonstrated that she meets these challenges head on and always puts people’s rights and wishes at the heart of her practice.

 

One case example highlighted how an elderly lady had been able to return home from hospital and maintain her independence, thanks to Vidhya actively engaging her neighbour and daughter to create a support network and ensure any risks were managed appropriately. The neighbour said Vidhya was an “incredible lady” who showed “kindness, patience and love”.

 

Vidhya was praised by the judges for having an exceptional depth of social work practice, and always getting it right for her clients “first time, every time”.

 

What was said about Vidhya:

 

Great example of an excellent hospital social worker who always goes the extra mile and puts the users’ wishes and rights at the heart of her practice. She clearly gets it right, first time, every time!” Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults

 

Vidhya is working in a very challenging environment, practising good social work principles in a high pressure, multi-agency setting. She is sticking up for people, promoting their independence and has received very good endorsements from colleagues in other agencies.” Simon Williams, Director, Local Government Association

 

“Vidhya is a very caring individual, who truly takes a holistic approach when undertaking assessments in relation to the long-term care needs of individuals who may not be able to return home following a hospital stay.  She quite rightly places the service user at the centre of everything she does.” Graeme Betts, Interim Director of Adult Social Care and Health

 

“We asked many questions regarding Dad’s future care and these were answered politely and efficiently. We were never made to feel we were asking too much and felt that Dad’s care was as important to Vidhya as it was to us.” Relative of service user

 

Judges: 

  • Mark Harvey, Hertfordshire County Council
  • Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults
  • Simon Williams, Local Government Assocation

 

Finalists:

  • Claire Lillywhite, Hampshire County Council
  • Isabel Andrews, Leicester City Council
  • Michelle Bradford, Gloucestershire County Council
  • Vidhya Biju, Birmingham City Council - GOLD AWARD WINNER
  • Vicki Ingham, Stock-on-Tees Borough Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER