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Helena Ware

Profile

I qualified almost 40 years ago. I worked in a local authority and as senior psychiatric social worker, in Child and Family and Psychiatry. I am a Children’s Guardian and a caseworker for NYAS. I undertake independent social work assessments of parents and family in public law. I have travelled to Morocco, Ethiopia, Brazil, USA, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Portugal, Caribbean, South Africa, Nigeria, Israel, Slovakia and Greece. In private law, I have assessed for contact residence and Leave to remove from the jurisdiction. I am PAMs trained. I have assessed in respect of Forced Marriage Protection Order

Sinead O'Malley

Profile

I qualified with my masters in social work in 2013, and have experience in statutory child protection and children in care social work, in CAMHS, with the homeless and Irish Traveller communities, with prisoners/offenders (in particular incarcerated mothers) and their children. The skills I garnered via the PhD is excellent writing and analysis applicable to court reports, alongside a clear comprehension of good quality research and current theories of evidence-based social work practice. Due to my board skillset, I enjoy continued research activities, teaching, mentoring, publishing, as well as direct social work with children and families experiencing adversity

Ann Buckley

Profile

Ann Buckley is a very experienced Children’s Guardian (since 1984) and Independent Child Care Social Worker and Consultant. She is also an advocate for foster carers, and interviews for the Children Panel at the Law Society. Her expertise lies in mainstream assessments regarding families. She has a wide range of experience of assessing Kinship Carers, and enjoys the challenge of dealing with families from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Investigations cover such areas as mental health, learning difficulties, sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence and other related areas. She keeps up to date with current research and changes in legislation, and is able to adapt to necessary changes that take place.

Judith Ann Fournel

Profile

Before qualifying as a social worker in 1980, I worked as a marriage guidance counsellor. I worked for 25 years for local authorities, in both mental health and children & families teams, and for 10 years I managed an adoption and fostering team and was a member of the agency’s adoption and permanence panel. I then managed a residential parenting assessment unit for three years before returning to practice as a senior practitioner. Since 2001, I have worked as a children’s guardian and independent social worker, providing expert witness parenting assessment reports in the family courts.

Heloise Dove

Profile

After qualifying in 1971 I worked continuously in the children and families field of social work for independent, voluntary and statutory organisations, in residential and fieldwork settings, until 1988, including seventeen years in local authorities, six as a manager. For thirteen of these I was also an Approved Social Worker under the 1983 Mental Health Act. Since 1998 I have worked as a Children’s Guardian and Independent Social Worker. As an ISW I have prepared over 150 expert reports including assessments of risk, of needs, of parents and family members, generally within complex court proceedings. I give evidence in Court on a frequent basis.

Heather Pritchard

Profile

I have extensive experience as a social worker and as a child and adolescent mental health practitioner working in multi professional settings. I have managed child and adolescent services in London and the North West and have headed up a children and families service in the North East of Scotland. I have a special interest in working with children who have witnessed violence, in supporting foster carers and adopters, in practice learning and multi-professional working and have authored reports on this. I am registered with GSCC and SSSC and I am a member of the Scottish Institute of Human Relations

Julia Isikwe Hughes

Profile

I am black of Afro-European heritage. I have worked as a Children and Families’ social worker for Ealing and Staffordshire Social Services departments and since 1995 as a Children’s Guardian. I undertake independent social work parenting assessments for Courts and offer training and consultancy for Guardians and social workers. My specialisms are: West African Culture, Race, Identity and Immigration, international assessments in Germany and Nigeria and therapeutic life story with older children experiencing trauma through abuse or parental disputes. I am a trained psychotherapist for adults and young people. I am Ofsted registered providing adoption support services; www.JIH-counselling.co.uk.

Alison Austin

Profile

My early career was spent working at a psychiatric hospital and then as a social worker in a busy London Borough where I was a Fostering and Adoption Officer. I have been a Children’s Guardian since 1984 and more recently I have been writing independent reports as an expert witness in family proceedings. I have also carried out many Home Study Assessments for both Inter-Country and Domestic Adoptions and have experience of guiding applicants through the Court process and preparing Rule 29 Reports.

Yvonne Wilson

Profile

I have 27 years social work experience in Children and Families within Child Protection in London and as a Guardian in London and Kent. With my black afro-caribbean background I have acted as a self-employed ISW and Children’s Guardian in public and private law cases for thirteen years. Worked with families where concerns encompass neglect and child protection, substance misuse, domestic violence, mental health and learning difficulties. Undertook ASW training in 1991; have experience of cultural issues, complex assessments where children are rehabilitated to their families and also sibling contact during and post proceedings. Have undertaken Special Guardianship reports, Form F Assessments and Adoption PAR Assessments and worked as a Senior Adoption Social Worker and Supervising Social Worker and IRO.

Karen Singer

Profile

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.