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Patricia Sweeney

Profile

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Susan Brookman

Profile

I worked in local authority children’s services for 15 years and was as Service Unit Manager for a large children and families team where child protection cases constituted the majority of the work. I started working independently in 1994 as a Children’s Guardian. Since 2001 I have also worked as an Independent Social Worker I have undertaken a range of assessments including parenting capacity, sibling relationships, kinship and SGO assessments. I have undertaken Life Story Work and supported children moving on to permanent placements. I have particular interests in domestic violence, drug and alcohol misuse and parents with learning difficulties.

Rose Sheila Dagoo

Profile

After qualifying as a social worker in 1975 I worked in a London Borough with children and families for six years. I next worked for six years as an adoption social worker doing recruitment and assessments of prospective adopters, supporting children with separation & attachment issues and sitting on an adoption panel. I was a Children’s Guardian for 16 years in the London region. I currently work as an adoption counsellor with birth parents whose children have been removed from them and with families caring for children permanently. I have been working as an independent social worker for the family courts since 2006.

Helena Ware

Profile

I qualified in 1976. 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 caseworker for NYAS. I have been an independent social worker for the past 21 years specialising as an expert witness in private law and public law assessments in Children Act proceedings. I undertake independent social work assessments of families in private law matters involving residence and contact as well as leave to remove from the jurisdiction or internal relocation. I have assessed parents and families in public law. I have travelled extensively all over the world for assessments in both public and private law. I have family therapy and PAMs training.

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.

Barbara Lockhart-Gleeson

Profile

I have been a qualified social worker since 1981 and currently work part time in child mental health services in a national specialist team. I have worked regularly as an independent social worker providing reports to the courts since 2007, and have experience in both public and private law proceedings. I have also provided reports in the Netherlands. I have particular expertise in children with neuro-psychiatric disorders and mothers with mental health difficulties. Occasional availability at short notice in London and South East.