A social worker from Knowsley Council has taken Silver in the Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year award.
Vicki Steele, who has worked for Knowsley Council since February 2012 was recognised as a result of her outstanding work with adults who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.
She picked up her award at a glittering ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel in London. The panel of judges comprised leading influencers including Annie Hudson (Chief Executive, The College of Social Work), Professor Eileen Munro (London School of Economics) and newly-appointed Chief Social Workers Isabelle Trowler and Lyn Romeo.
In her first year as a social worker, some of the people Vicki has been working with have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, or have substance misuse problems. She impressed the judges because of the great skill and huge commitment she has shown to helping her client group and their families, working with partners in other agencies and within the council's Public Health team to raise awareness of people living with HIV or AIDS.
Vicki started work at the council after graduating from Liverpool John Moore's University with a Masters Degree in Social Work.
Paul Boyce, Director of People Services at Knowsley Council said: "I'm thrilled that Vicki has won and delighted because this is a highly deserved accolade.
"Vicki has impressed all her colleagues with the hard work and commitment she shows with everything she does.
"She has worked tirelessly to help the residents that she supports, and has also done a lot to improve understanding of the issues among her colleagues in the council and other agencies."
Vicki was announced as the silver award winner in front of an audience of 300 other social workers and representatives of the profession. On the evening the Chief Social Worker for Adults, Lyn Romeo, delivered a key note speech. Meanwhile both Norman Lamb, the Minister of State for Care and Support, and Edward Timpson, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children & Families, recorded special video testimonials.
The Social Worker of the Year Awards are organised by the Social Work Awards Ltd., a registered charity, with the sole aim of improving the understanding and reputation of the profession. They were founded in 2006 by independent social worker, Beverley Williams. This year the awards have been supported by headline sponsors Sanctuary Social Care, The College of Social Work, the British Association of Social Workers, Christies Care and Community Care.
For more information about the Social Worker of the Year Awards please visit www.socialworkawards.com.