The 2018 Social Worker of the Year awards took place in London on Friday 30th November. Entries for this year's awards open in April 2019. #SWA18

Jenny Slee

Team Leader of the Year, Children's Services



Jenny Slee retired from her post in August 2018, but after an incredible 30 years’ service with North Somerset Council, it is clear she has left behind a valuable legacy.


Throughout her career, Jenny worked in a number of roles in the council’s resource service, which includes fostering, adoption, looked-after children and care leavers teams.


In 2008, she became the manager of the adoption service, where she successfully developed a strong and varied support system, despite the financial pressures in children’s services. She has also overseen a number of positive Ofsted inspections, with her team rated ‘good’ in 2017 and commended for the initiatives they offer to adoptive families.


Not one to slow down, Jenny used her final few months in the job to shape the regionalisation of the adoption service, enthusiastically getting everyone on board.


Jenny’s colleagues regard her as a caring, respectful manager whose main motivation has always been the children. She has consistently invested her time and skills in each case, making herself available to families, and being a listening ear in times of crisis. As a result, she has been a highly-valued member of staff and will undoubtedly be missed by many.


What was said about Jenny:


Carol Long, Chief Executive, Young Epilepsy: “Jenny will clearly be a big miss when she leaves north Somerset but will leave a legacy of high standards and some staff who will have learned good quality practice through her coaching and mentoring.”


Sherry Malik, Director of Children’s Services, NSPCC: “Jenny is a collaborator and positive role model with a genuine interest in staff. She is generous, enthusiastic, well respected and loved by staff and families and leaves a wonderful legacy.”


Service user feedback:“If Jenny Slee hadn't believed in us as adopters, we wouldn't be here having a wonderful time with our adopted daughter. We had experienced much stress of an adoption breakdown. Without Jenny's support we would have given up on the process. Four years into the process I am a mother and the feeling is immense. Thank you, our dream of being a mum and dad is the most amazing feeling thank you Jenny.”


Sheila Smith, Director People and Communities North Somerset Council: “Across 39 years of social work I can honestly say that Jenny is one of the most inspirational social workers I have had the privilege to work alongside. She is an incredibly generous person who shares her knowledge, wisdom, experience and skills for the greater good.”



  • Andy Gill, BASW
  • Carol Long, Young Epilepsy
  • Sherry Malik, NSPCC
  • Marion Russell, Cornwall Council



  • Belinda Collingwood, Essex County Council
  • Jenny Slee, North Somerset Council / Adoption West
  • Justine Hughes, Oldham Council
  • Linzi Nicholson, Doncaster Children’s Services Trust
  • Shaira Makorie, Achieving for Children - SILVER AWARD WINNER
  • Victoria McLeod, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council