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Fareena Shaheed

Profile

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 fareena@fareenashaheed.com or http://fareenashaheed.com/

Faith Weekes

Profile

I have worked within the child care and child protection field for over 25 years, as a nursery officer, social worker and Children’s Guardian, the last 10 years as a Children’s Guardian and independent social worker. As an independent social worker I have completed a large number of assessments and reports for court in both private and public law proceedings. I have also completed a large number of parenting/fostering/special guardianship and kinship assessments for local authorities. I regard myself as child focused, fair and balanced in terms of my assessments and views.

Maxine Harris

Profile

After qualifying as a social worker in 1998 I worked in a local authority children and families team mainly in child protection. I commenced independent work in 2003 working initially as a Childrens’ Guardian representing children in public law proceedings. I presently do independent work with local authorities and private fostering agencies. I have prepared numerous reports for court and have acted as an expert witness in family proceedings. I have knowledge of the Islamic culture, dual and mixed heritage families, lesbian and gay partnerships, family assessments, sibling relationships and family contacts. I have chaired child protection and family group conferences and fostering panels.

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.

Marie-Louise Perkins

Profile

Qualified for 14 years, with 12 years frontline child protection and Court proceedings work including Team Manager roles in a Local Authority. Most recently I have been the PLO manager whilst providing staff training around court proceedings and involved in several High Court cases. I have completed Fostering assessments (Form F and reg 24) sibling assessments, parenting assessments (including for parents with addition, domestic abuse and mental health concerns), viability assessments for connected persons as well as working as a Cafcass Associate particularly in private law proceedings (Section 7 reports).

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.

Judi Lyons

Profile

I have worked as an independent social worker specializing in providing assessments of children and their families, principally involved in Children Act (1989) proceedings since 2004. I have provided reports for local authorities, parents and grandparents in public law proceedings and given evidence in court. I have also conducted parenting assessments in the UK and Europe. Until 2010 I was also a Children’s Guardian, having spent 25 years in this role. I have combined this area of work with being a practice teacher and part-time lecturer in social work. I am a qualified FMA supervisor and work as a family mediator and supervisor in divorce proceedings. I currently train solicitors for the Children Panel.

Robert Forrester

Profile

Born in Jamaica but educated in UK , I am at ease working with clients from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I have worked in Residential Childrens Homes and after qualifying as SW I joined Hackney Children Services. This inner city experience helped develop strong assessment skills working with communities including Orthodox Jews, Turkish, S. Asians, West African, Eritreans, Caribbean,Irish, White British and Travelling families. I have addressed sexuality and gender issues. Worked for 9 Local Authorities & also Cafcass managing Children's Guardians in the Principal Registry. I was a manager at Windsor & Maidenhead and at Redbridge Children's Trust as a Quality Assurance Officer. A good listener my primary task is to protect vulnerable children.

Gill Timmis

Profile

I am an independent social worker with over 25 years experience of children and families social work. My expertise is in the following areas: independent parenting and risk assessments; assessments of prospective adopters and kinship assessments; representation of children as CAFCASS Children’s Guardian and in private law disputes concerning contact, residence and removal from the jurisdiction, appointed by the National Youth Advocacy Service. I have trained social workers and CAFCASS practitioners in child care legislation and practice, adoption and children’s rights and participation. I have published research and professional articles. I have worked in Bulgaria and Ethiopia running workshops in child care practice and legislation. I have knowledge of practice and have social work and legal contacts in Bulgaria and Ethiopia to enable me to provide advice in relation to international cases.

Lynda Beat

Profile

After qualifying as a social worker in 1983 I have worked as a local authority social worker including in specialist mental health and child protection teams for 9 years. I have worked as a counsellor for the London Rape Crisis Centre, for the Pregnancy Advisory Service and for the NSPCC helpline. I was team manager in a local social services office for 4 years and have worked as a social worker for CAMHS. I have a particular interest in parents who have learning disability, depression and drug and alcohol difficulties. Since 1995 I have worked as a children’s guardian and since 2006 have acted as an independent social work expert providing assessments of carers and looking at contact disputes in private law proceedings.