I am a qualified social worker with experience in many different areas of the work, a significant proportion of which has been in adoption, fostering and the placement of children with relatives or friends. I have chaired a local authority Fostering Panels and do assessments of both domestic and intercountry prospective adopters supporting them and children placed with them, plus work with the birth parents of children placed for adoption.
From my experience of working to prepare children who have multiple complex needs for adoption, plus assessing and supporting adopters for them, I have seen the diverse range of families who have very successfully adopted one or more children.
I therefore believe applications from all prospective adopters should be considered seriously, fairly and considered on the merits of the applicants and what they have to offer. As I have worked with families who have very successfully offered some of these children with such complex needs a very positive experience of adoption and family life, I want to ensure that no child is denied such an experience because a prospective adoptive family for them is rejected as unsuitable to adopt inappropriately.
I have been a qualified social worker and for the last 20 years I have specialised in fostering and adoption work. I have been a manager in adoption and fostering in 2 local authorities, had an advisory role where I was responsible for panels and most recently I have been a service manager with responsibility for all the adoption and fostering work in a local authority.
As a social worker I have placed children and assessed and supported carers and adopters. I have also been privileged to work with adopted adults and their birth relatives. From them I have learnt a lot which I have incorporated into present practice.
My husband and I have 2 adopted sons who are now young adults.
I passionately want to achieve good outcomes for children. I believe that we need a wide range of approved adoptive parents and foster carers who need to be treated fairly and with courtesy and respect.
I welcomed the opportunity to be involved in this initiative which seeks to give prospective adopters and foster carers the opportunity to express their views and to reassure them that their application had received full, balanced and fair consideration in a transparent process.
I have worked with Looked After Children for 8 years and have specialized in working with children and young people within foster care.
I have undertaken kinship care, fostering and adoption assessments for potential carers and offer consultancy advice to fostering services.
I currently work as a social worker within a fostering service in a local authority, specializing in working with foster carers managing children and young people from complex backgrounds.
I believed that it was very important to ensure the needs of Looked After Children are taken into account when discussing any potential carers. I believed that being part of the IRM, I would be able to use my knowledge of working with young people and carers.
I also believed as a black woman, bringing diversity to the IRM was important and being part of something that allowed equal opportunities and an independent voice.
I bring my personal experience of adoption to my panel work. I was adopted as a baby and grew up the eldest of four, non-related adopted children. My three adopted brothers are all from different cultural backgrounds. We experienced a close and happy family life and therefore a positive experience of adoption. I am married and have four grown up children.
During my working life, I have been employed by a national children’s charity, working to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and homeless young people. This has given me some insight of the reasons why children come into the care system.
I have many years of adoption panel experience and have worked with both with local authority and voluntary agencies. I attend regular training courses to keep in touch with new legislation and codes of practice.
I am passionate about fairness and finding appropriate, permanent homes for children in care all over the world.
I am pleased to work with the IRM to help ensure that children have the very best chance to be matched with appropriate adopters. In addition to ensure that adoption law and codes of good practice are complied with by all agencies.