My Brilliant Colleague: ‘I hope to one day be as successful and brilliant as you are to me’

In the first entry in our series celebrating social work colleagues, a practitioner praises her supervisor and former practice educator for being a source of guidance, support and inspiration

Smiling colleagues conversing.
Photo by Daniel Laflor/ AdobeStock

In Community Care’s new series, My Brilliant Colleague, we’ve asked social workers to celebrate the excellent practice and achievements of their fellow practitioners.

In the series’ first entry, social worker Katherine Putnam, from the health liaison team at Wokingham Borough Council, has nominated her supervisor and former practice educator, Kathy Jones, for being a brilliant source of support and inspiration throughout her career to date.

Dear Kathy,

You deserve to be highlighted to others in the social work community for how amazing you are – not only as a social worker but as a colleague, supervisor and practice educator.

I have been lucky enough to have had you be all three for me so far in my career.

As a colleague, your brilliance shows in your extensive knowledge of case law and theories. Your interest in furthering your knowledge and understanding of good practice has enabled the team to learn and grow further in order to support those who need help.

You are also a source of inspiration in how you make sure that your caseload is sustainable and your work-life balance is at a high standard.

As a supervisor, you are brilliant because of your empathy and kindness. You’ve also been someone I can turn to if I need support or guidance, who will listen to my ideas and use them to plan a successful way forward. Having someone like that in your corner I think is key to a long-lasting career.

To give some context, I had a really tricky case while suffering with Bell’s palsy – which causes temporary loss of movement to one side of your face – and was unable to speak verbally.

The case was in a crisis and the person I was supporting needed to be moved out of their home urgently due to a carer breakdown and safeguarding issues.

To help me, you stepped up and spoke to the safeguarding and legal teams, the ambulance service and the hospital to make sure the person was safe and in an environment that could cater for their needs. I wouldn’t have been able to manage this case without you.

As a practice educator, you’re brilliant because of your willingness to help anyone starting their social work career, making sure they are equipped with the right tools, information and guidance to become the best practitioners they can be.

You push practitioners to link theories and case law to cases to gain a deeper understanding, and it really does work.

As I continue to develop my own career and train to be a practice educator myself, I truly hope to one day be as successful and brilliant as you are to me.


Find out how to nominate someone for My Brilliant Colleague by reading our nominations form.

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