Adult Social Worker of the Year


Joanne Lowe

ORGANISATION: Birmingham City Council

AWARD(S): Adult Social Worker of the Year


Joanne has spent 15 years as a social worker in Birmingham, working across a variety of specialisms including dementia care, mental health and for the past 12 months, learning disabilities.


When Joanne joined the learning disabilities team there was a long waiting list of service users awaiting assessment. Many of the cases were incredibly complex but, utilising her background in mental health, she focused as a priority on finding suitable placements for one of the most vulnerable groups, the long-stay patients in psychiatric units.


Prior to her involvement, some psychiatric units had not discharged a patient for three years. Joanne turned this around and facilitated the discharge of five long-stay patients into the community within 12 months.


Joanne is an extremely innovative practitioner – despite strains on budgets she strives to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients in the most cost effective way, often negotiating with care providers to ensure the needs of her service users are met within budget. This practice has led to a revised model of working for social workers in Birmingham.


After 15 years, Joanne’s passion and enthusiasm is unwavering and she continues to go the extra mile to improve the lives of her service users.


Joanne’s determination, innovation and constant drive to improve practice and outcomes for vulnerable adults in Birmingham are what make her stand out from other social workers.

Alan Lotinga, Service Director Health and Wellbeing, Birmingham City Council

This is a welcome opportunity to say thank you to Joanne for her continuing hard work and commitment. She is a real asset to any team.

Paul Craddock, Team Manager, Birmingham City Council

Joanne is what I would perceive a good social worker to be – innovative and committed not only to the support of people that use services, but to the support of her colleagues and students too.

Brian Mitchell, Practice Teacher of the Year 2013

Nothing was too much trouble for Joanne. She went far beyond the call of duty and I know she will continue to provide outstanding service.

Parents of a service user



Jeanette Jackson, Derbyshire County Council

Heather Fuller, Focus Independent Adult Social Work

Suzie Holmes, CLIC Sargent

Chris Atherton, London Borough of Haringey

Amanda Jones, Birmingham City Council

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