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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.

Jeffrey Baker

Profile

I am a former frontline Local Authority social worker and manager, children’s guardian, IRO and LADO. Qualified in NYC, I have worked in jails, psychiatric hospitals and family centres; and independently in the UK family court since 2014. I have written more than 300 reports for the family court; and have given oral evidence in every Greater London court and across the country. I have additional training in psychotherapy, counselling, and academic writing (also published). I take a compassionate, principled and analytical approach to assessment, direct work and consultations, with an emphasis on social justice, human rights and ethical, anti-discriminatory/anti-oppressive social work practice.

Noel Beckett

Profile

I have over twenty years of social work experience offering a range of assessment, programmes and other independent social work services focused towards families where there are child protection concerns and/or where Care Proceedings have commenced or are being considered. I offer a child focused professional service to solicitors, local authorities and independent organizations. In addition I provide training and consultancy throughout the UK, in areas such as Professional Coaching, and Supervision, domestic violence, safeguarding, risk assessment and analysis, drug and alcohol abuse, I am able to provide assessments to parents with a learning disability am also able to provide.

Kathy Butcher

Profile

During many years of experience in social work and social work management, I have had thorough involvement in all aspects of court-related family work and have experience of parenting and kinship assessments, appraisal, mentoring, training on a number of topics, complaint investigation and professional consultation. I have been a Children’s Guardian for 20 years and I also have 20 years experience as a University Lecturer on both a Professional Social Work course and a Public Sector Management course with a focus on managing diversity.

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.

Nicci Levy

Profile

My background is in residential social care settings, working with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and then I went on to specialise in child protection; working in local authorities as a Social Worker, Deputy Manager and Independent Reviewing Officer. Practising as an ISW since 2006 I undertake assessments for the Court in public and private law proceedings including PAMS Assessments. I carry out the role of Investigating Officer and Independent Person in the Stage Two complaint process as well as Stage Three Review Panel Member and I chair Foster Carer Annual Reviews of Approval. CV available on request.

Arthur Gajewski

Profile

My name is Arthur Gajewski and I am the founder and managing director of AG Family Support Ltd (AGFS) and an independent social worker (native- Polish speaking). I am a trainer in the area of assessment work with Eastern European families in the context of child protection and care proceedings in the UK. AGFS offers independent assessment/consultancy services to local authorities, solicitors and the public. AGFS is a nation-wide organisation specialising in the provision of social work assessment, bi-lingual family support work and contact supervision services in public and private law arenas. Many of AGFS employees are bi-lingual professionals from Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia and Slovakia. AGFS can undertake assessments/provide support in any area of the United Kingdom and the world.

Carole Littlechild

Profile

Whilst working with families to develop & maintain parenting skills, understand traumas associated with neglect & abuse, disrupted care through to alternative permanent parenting - understanding & representing children’s needs throughout has been my focus, as a social worker & manager in front line & adoption, in Court reports, as family mediator, as Children’s Guardian & Adoption Panel Advisor. Latterly I have specialised in developing my understanding of trauma and attachment needs in children. I have over 30 years of providing consultancy, practice supervision & training. I have extensive experience in all matters relating to adoption in England & Wales.

Elena Sandrini

Profile

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.

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).