Overall Social Worker of the Year


Louise Pashley

ORGANISATION: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

AWARD(S): Overall Social Worker of the Year

Louise Pashley is a social worker who has dedicated her entire career to improving the lives of young people leaving care, and to her hometown and local authority, Rotherham.


Born and bred in Rotherham, Louise always wanted to work in leaving care. After starting out as a personal advisor, she went on to qualify as a social worker, and became team manager in 2012. In this role, Louise has successfully guided her team through a time of significant turbulence and scrutiny for the council, and together they have transformed leaving care from an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating in 2014, to ‘outstanding’ four years later.


The endorsements included with her nomination told the story of a manager who leads by example and who does not let anyone down. Her team – and the young people they support – respond to her because she is there with them every step of the way.


The judges were impressed by Louise’s strength of character and how she always demands the best for care leavers. She has faced many challenges, but her commitment to leaving care services – which spans twenty years – has never faltered, and they felt this made her a deserving winner of the 2019 Overall Social Worker of the Year Award.


Being a social worker is more than your standard 9-5 job and Louise’s nomination radiates the passion and determination needed to achieve the very best for her team and the children her team supports. Not only is she credited by younger people as being someone who listens, acts and makes a real difference, she is spotlighted by her team and senior managers as being a pivot in turning services around.

Gary Spencer-Humphrey, Trustee, The Social Work Awards

It is clear from Louise's nomination that her social work values and unwavering commitment to young people have been in the forefront of her practice as a team manager. It is evident from young people who Louise has directly worked with that her commitment to them, her non-judgmental approach and her desire to want the very best for them has been invaluable in providing them with the best opportunities to develop.

Jessica Beach, Trustee, The Social Work Awards

Louise’s personal resilience and work passion is an example of excellence. Through persistence and focus, Louise has been able to transform minds and hearts to benefit the young people. All of this exceptional work over a sustained period of time and often in very complex circumstances. Impressive.

Ana Popovici, Trustee, The Social Work Awards

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