Kent pioneer wins top social worker award

    DEDICATION: Yasmin Ishaq receives her Creative & Innovative Social Work Practice award

    A ground-breaking social worker from Kent has received a Gold Award at the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

    Yasmin Ishaq, who works for the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, won the Creative & Innovative Social Work Practice award at the prestigious ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel in London.

    A social worker for over 25 years, Ms Ishaq has recently been focusing on Open Dialogue, a mental health treatment model which maintains a consistent relationship with a service user’s family and social network as much as possible in their own homes.

    The awards judges described her work as ‘genuinely innovative’, concentrating on ‘relationship-based social work’.

    Ms Ishaq said: “I’m very shocked and humbled to win this award. Social workers work really hard with some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people and I always find it a privilege to work with them day in, day out to help them find their own strengths and assets.”

    Dick Madden, Cabinet Member for Adults and Children at Essex County Council, one of the awards’ sponsors, said: “We are delighted to give the Gold Award to Yasmin.

    “She is leading the way in innovation in mental health social care, reducing the reliance on traditional services and medication.

    “This award celebrates her pioneering work in research and implementation of the innovative Open Dialogue model and we wish her every success as this work continues.”

    She was presented with her award in front of an audience of 350 social workers and representatives of the profession.

    Helen Greatorex, Chief Executive of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership (KMPT) said: “We couldn’t be more proud to have such a dedicated and talented colleague in Yasmin.

    “Her recognition as Creative and Innovative Social Work Practice winner is well deserved and all of us at KMPT are delighted for her and for the people she serves.”