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

Karen Maude

Practice Educator of the Year



Karen Maude is a social worker who does not shy away from a challenge. In the early 1990s, she was one of the first practitioners to put themselves forward for a team responding to the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo. More recently, she led on the creation of Calderdale Council’s award-winning Gateway to Care service, revitalising the role of community social work and enabling more people to access support than ever before.


Since ‘retiring’ from local authority life, Karen’s approach to mentoring students in her role of independent practice educator has been no different. She is recognised by colleagues and students alike as a “legendary” supervisor who truly walks alongside those she supports, on hand at all hours of the day to answer questions and offer encouragement.


The feedback submitted with Karen’s nomination demonstrated how she instills trainee social workers with confidence and determination, with several commenting on how they would not have survived their placements without her genuine care and support.


Most notably, Karen’s “unshakeable” human rights ethos is at the heart of all she does and she consistently works to ensure new social workers enter the profession equipped to practice true social work values, promoting people’s strengths and upholding their rights


What was said about Karen:


Glen Garrod, ADASS President: “One sometimes has the opportunity to either meet or read about someone for whom social work values are hard wired into them at a very early stage. Across a long and varied career Karen has clearly had these and applied them in her own practice and, in helping students.”


Louise Walker, Raising the Profile of Social Work Award Winner 2017: “An excellent nomination capturing Karen's passion and commitment to the role. Clear evidence of impact both for students - with consistent positive feedback.”


Student social worker: “In a nutshell Karen is amazing. When talking to her it seems like what she doesn't know about social work isn't worth knowing. I honestly feel that I would not have had such a wonderful placement experience without her there to support me. She helped me to understand my potential and the value I have to bring to social work whilst still helping me grow and develop in my practice.”


Bev Maybury, Strategic Director Health and Wellbeing, Bradford Council: “Karen is social work. She truly believes in the strengths and positivity of the profession and that is what resonates in the support she provides to the students. Karen ensures that her students receive the most comprehensive of practice support, which supplements and enhances their social work education at the College or University. She goes above and beyond in every bit of support she provides.”



  • Glen Garrod, ADASS President
  • Louise Walker, Raising the Profile of Social Work Award Winner 2017
  • Maris Stratulis, BASW



  • Emma Goodall, Cornwall Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER
  • Joseph Robb, Darlington Borough Council
  • Karen Maude, Bradford College
  • Lorraine Falconer, Croydon Council