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Patricia Sweeney


I have been a Senior Social Worker working in Ireland’s largest local Authority where I assisted individuals and families to live independently whilst encouraging safe and secure communities. During this time, I completed a Masters in Mental Health, with a particular focus on forensic mental health and housing (published) and have also undertaken research for the Dublin Region Homeless Executive. I’ve worked with multiple internal and external stakeholders in developing and completing housing assessments for sex offenders. I am currently practicing as a mediator in community mediation. With over 20 years’ experience in social work, I am a member of CORU and the IASW (Irish Association of Social Workers). My current work includes Special Guardianship and Fostering Assessments, Financial Assessments, Supervision and Mentoring and Social Reports for Court.

Karen Singer


Since qualifying I had been a Social Worker and Senior Practitioner in several London Boroughs and in Avon prior to my current work as an Independent Social Worker and self employed Children’s Guardian. I had also been a tutor at Bristol University specialising in Family and Child Care issues relevant to Courts and with clarity of evidence and in reports. I have 30 years full time professional experience in a wide range of complex family situations including those requiring sensitivity and cultural awareness, and a particular concern for sibling contact to be established, maintained and advocated.

Elena Sandrini


I have 38 years experience of working with children and families gained in England, mainland Europe and some third world countries. I specialise in undertaking complex risk and kinship assessments in the UK and abroad, especially in third world states. I have considerable experience in assisting parties to identify common grounds and to enable conciliation when to do so is realistic and appropriate. I have a proven ability to work with those whose ability to care for them is impaired by learning disability of by the effect of substance misuse. I am a strong and effective motivator. I am a trained mediator, I am fluent in Italian and I am approved by the Italian Consulate to undertake assessments in Italy and my work is recognised by the Italian Courts. I have undertaken training as a coach with animas and I available to coach and mediate in English and Italian.

Kev Stroud


I am an Independent Social Worker and Social Work Consultant with nearly 30 years experience of practice and management in social care services, primarily in local authority child protection work. I have worked in various teams - assessment, care planning and court work included - and dealt with a wide range of risk issues for children. I began working independently in 2016. I have well developed assessment, care planning, supervisory and report writing skills. My interests are in improving the effectiveness and quality of services and ensuring good assessment, planning and long-term outcomes for children and families.

Fareena Shaheed


I qualified as a Social Worker in 1996 and commenced work in a local authority, undertaking the full range of statutory intervention. After working with an Independent Fostering Provider I joined Cafcass as a Family Court Adviser, then progressing to Service Manager. I later returned to local authority practice in a QA and Practice Development role. As an Independent Practitioner I provide a broad range of high quality assessments. In addition, I have IRO experience, and contributed the OU SW degree course as an Associate Lecturer. I regularly design and deliver training for practitioners. Find out more or contact me at or