Craig is a trained drama therapist and has worked in acute mental health units in London and Devon in both OT and music therapy departments. Craig has also studied systemic family therapy and IAPT supervision at Exeter and Plymouth Universities to post graduate certificate level. His background in therapeutic work has informed his practice not only in supervision and management but also in roles over the last 12 years as a family support worker, attendance officer, solution focused coach and adolescent support worker. Craig has been a practice manager in children's services for the last 4 years, supervising workers who undertake direct work with troubled families. He has also supervised the parenting group programme in Torbay and the IAPT project.
Bianca has previously worked for Torbay Council in the Early Intervention team for six years, coordinating and planning parenting programmes. During this time, Bianca worked directly with the strategic lead for parenting to develop the parenting programme project from the start. Bianca's role is mainly to ensure that the day to day running of our social enterprise goes smoothly, project managing, the lead on finance and strategic marketing. Bianca is often the first point of contact for parents/carers and professionals enquiring about a service.
Nicola has worked in a variety of voluntary and statutory agencies since 2001, with varying degree’s of need and has developed a real interest in preventative interventions for children, young people and families. Nicola has trained with the IAPT programme, first as a parenting therapist and later as a supervisor of evidence based clinical practice. As a trained facilitator for The Incredible Years, Triple P and Nurture Programmes, Nicola has extensive experience supporting families with children of all ages. Nicola’s role as a clinical supervisor enables supervisee’s to really develop their clinical skills in working with families and supports learning and development through self-reflective practice. Nicola has a specialist interest in supporting children who have experienced domestic abuse and this was the focus for her studies at MSc level and she is currently working towards a Doctoral Degree in clinical research focusing on this challenging area.
Dave is a qualified and registered with HCPC Social Worker with 34 years experience. He has been a manager for 25 years, 16 of which have been in Family Centre and Children's Centre-based child protection, community development and family support services in the Voluntary Sector, and 9 years in Local Authority management positions. Dave has 17 years' experience in social work and and family support services in 4 Local Authorities, including four years as an Approved Social Worker under the Mental Health Act 1983. Since March 2014 he has been part of the development Team at SWFV.
I have recently joined the team doing business support after taking a 4 year career break to raise a family. In my previous life, I worked for 5 years in business support for Torbay Council's Early Intervention Service and I’m looking forward to reviving my old skills and learning new ones at SWFV.
Attendance and Welfare
Steph has a degree in Education Studies and has worked as the Attendance Officer for Torbay Childrens Services for 7.5 years. She has extensive knowledge of the legislation behind ensuring all children are educated and have experience of attending court. Prior to this, Steph was a family support worker, supporting families in Devon with complex needs, running parenting courses and activity groups for children. Steph has a lot of experience of working with children and families and enjoy working closely with schools to improve outcomes for all. Steph is passionate about improving the attendance of children and young people and strives to ensure that the schools she works with have improved overall attendance and improved processes.
Natalie has a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies and has most recently been working in a local primary school in a Family Support and Safeguarding role. In 2011 Natalie worked as an Attendance Improvement Officer for Torbay Children’s Services working with local schools and families across the Bay to improve attendance and outcomes for children. As part of this Natalie is trained in the Triple P Parenting Programme and has also run groups for families where their children are facing permanent exclusion from school. Following graduating in 2006 Natalie worked for 5 years in a local family centre where she supported children and conducted intensive parenting assessments working in the family court arena. Natalie has also completed training programmes including courses on direct work with children and attachment. Natalie has a lot of experience working both in local authority and educational settings having worked with children with additional needs in a Special School in Torquay. Natalie is passionate about working with children and their families to ensure positive outcomes both academically, socially and emotionally and believes that early intervention where possible, should be a priority.
Community Engagement Lead
Louise has been working across Torbay for a number of years as a Family Support Worker and came to SWFV four years ago enabling her to support a number of Schools within her Family Support role. Louise has also spent a lot of time (particularly during he School holidays) developing and leading on Community projects such as ‘Family Fun & Food’, ‘Family Cooking Workshops’ and ‘Forest and Sea School projects,’ all of which offer families opportunities and support during some of the most challenging times for a family; when Schools close. Louise is passionate about conservation and the sustainability of land and the positive impact and outcomes that Forest School and the outdoor environment has upon children and adult’s mental health and wellbeing. Because of her passion and determination, she has been spending some of her own time developing our new ‘Orchard Forest School,’ provision. This provision is in its early stages and over the forth coming months this alternative provision will be offered to Schools, Home Schooled children, Childminders and families. Louise’s vision is to enable local communities to access this life inspiring place, offering hands-on experiences and opportunities, thus promoting self-esteem, confidence and a sense of belonging. Louise will continue to lead on her other projects and will link these into her new environment at Orchard Forest School. So you may not see Louise as regularly within Schools anymore, but rest assured you can see her in her natural environment enjoying the ‘outdoors’ in all weather conditions!
Family Support Workers
Cassie has recently joined the team after spending the past six years working in Children's Services, most recently working as part of the Family Intervention Team, supporting families with multiple and complex needs. Cassie is trained in Thrive, Triple P and Solution Focussed Brief Therapy and also has her level 3 Forest School qualification. Cassie has previously worked in male and female refuges supporting the children of parents who have been victims of domestic abuse and residential support placements for children with educational and behavioural difficulties.
Andrea has been working with children and young people since 2001, when she became a volunteer with Torbay young offenders. In 2003, she became a foster carer, supporting children and young people who presented with complex behavioural issues. In 2008 she joined Torbay as part of the Early Intervention Team, as a family support worker, and from this progressed on to become an attendance Improvement Officer. Andrea is skilled in building and maintaining positive working relationships with families and children. She likes to consider the needs of the whole family when working, and to build honest and productive relationships, enabling them to discover ways of change and to provide consistent care for their children. She can provide practical hands on support for those that she works with, and believes that they have the ability and the answers to their family needs. "I believe in the individual's ability to bring about change, with the correct support. I encourage parents to look at their own life experiences, and to understand how this may influence their parenting style."
I have recently joined SWFV. I previously worked in a busy Primary School in Paignton, for many years, supporting the children with all their pastoral needs. Delivering SEAL, thrive activities, bereavement group, Drawing and Talking therapy. I am interested in Mindfulness and the way you can pay attention to the present moment. I felt the children would really benefit from having Mindfulness Practice in School and how this could help them with development of positive and nourishing attitudes such as kindness, curiosity, compassion and gratitude. I am trained to teach the Paws .b Mindfulness curriculum to Primary School children. I am passionate that every child is supported to settle to learn and make the most of all the educational opportunities that are available. I have gained the Touch Base Attachment Lead status to further support children in School. I’m now enjoying my new role of family support worker at a Primary School in Torquay and looking forward to developing new skills within this role.
Sue is a qualified counsellor who has counselled both adults and children at GP surgeries and a Children’s Society project, prior to becoming a family support worker. Sue became a family support worker initially with Surestart where she specialised in working with families affected by domestic abuse. Sue continued this work with both Torbay Children’s Services and Action for Children, where her work ranged from early intervention for lesser behavioural issues or advice through to child protection. Sue also has vast amount of voluntary work including five years as a school governor. Sue is qualified in Triple P and Thrive but is most proud of piloting the Nurture Programme in Torbay. Sue took a break from working with families to train and qualify as a reflexologist, giving treatments to veterans through the Help for Heroes charity-a very humbling and insightful time. Sue is happy to be returning to her area of work and alongside her role with South West Family Values will also be completing a post graduate course at Exeter University. Sue brings a wealth of experience and feels that her counselling experience and skills under pins all of her work.
Tracey has recently joined the team and she brings a wealth of experience and skills which we are delighted to have in South West Family Values. She spent ten years working in NHS management in some of the most challenging areas of London before taking a career break to raise her children. More recently Tracey took on the role of Safeguarding co-ordinator at St Cuthbert Mayne School and managed the attendance and pastoral team. This role helped Tracey develop a real understanding of the challenges faced by parents and children today, and the central role that schools are now expected to take.
Alex will be joining SWFV as a trainee Parenting Therapist, undertaking the IAPT Programme at Exeter University. Alex was previously a CAHMS support worker in a mental health hospital, responsible for high level observations and following care plans. Alex worked closely with patients on the psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU), each young person had differing abilities understanding and language, many of whom displayed challenging behaviour. Alex quickly learned to be creative and found the use of distraction methods such as art and music invaluable. Alex is passionate about providing care and support to vulnerable people. She has a completely non-judgemental approach and the ability to express and feel empathy. This has been further enhanced through her Sociology degree and voluntary work, in particular while volunteering with families and young people. Alex has experience working with young mums, young families and young people in general. She has completed safeguarding and risk assessment training, the most recent course was Safeguarding Level 3 with the NSPCC. Alex possess the care and compassion which are essential for Parenting Therapy, along with a friendly, outgoing personality.
Children's Wellbeing Practitioners
Mark is a qualified Wellbeing Practitioner for Children and Young People. Mark has recently undertaken and completed a post graduate certificate through Exeter University in delivering Low Intensity Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as part of the national Children and Young Peoples Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) award. Mark has been working in primary and secondary educational settings over the last year delivering evidence based psychological interventions to treat Anxiety, Depression and behavioural difficulties with children, young people and parents and has achieved positive outcomes in treatment and supporting young people to access specialist services. As part of this Role Mark has successfully supported children and young people by delivering evidence-based treatments for Separation Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Panic, Obsessional Compulsive Disorder, Social Phobia and Depression.
Martin has joined the team after spending nearly 9 years supporting adults with complex mental health needs. As well as having knowledge in mental health, Martin has trained in counselling and in the substance misuse field. He is especially looking forward to using his skills and knowledge to work alongside children and young people.
Trainee Parent Therapists
Hi, I’m Charlotte Robertson, family support worker for SWFV. I have worked supporting families for several years and have a specialist interest in working with children with Autism and sensory impairment. I have been working at Honeylands Specialist Child Assessment Centre in Exeter, this has developed my knowledge and skills of working with children with additional needs and the wider teams. I am excited to get started in this new post and hope that my skills will offer tailored support to meet the needs of families accessing the service.
Andrea has recently joined SWFV as a Trainee Parenting Therapist, beginning the CYP IAPT Post Graduate Diploma Programme at Exeter University in January 2019. Prior to graduating with a Psychology and Sociology degree, she supported parents and children at the local Children’s Centre organising, developing and implementing various activities, including stay and play sessions, baby massage, baby sign language, breastfeeding and weaning support, healthy eating and cooking classes and personal development. After extensive safeguarding training and ongoing support, she was able to develop and manage two support groups with one for lone-parents which facilitated weekly peer to peer support, followed by a group which was set up in collaboration with the NHS to support the parents of premature babies. Andrea has a proactive approach and is looking forward to using her varied experience and emotional intelligence to provide support to families whatever their circumstance or need. She is passionate about delivering a collaborative support structure that can raise awareness of the effect positive choices can have on health and wellbeing and encourages people to move forward.
Trainee Wellbeing Practitioners
My journey to the South West Family Values team has been a convoluted one, but it has allowed me to gain a broad experience base from which to work alongside and support children and young people. Following a 24 year career, as a Medic, in the Royal Navy I made the switch to teaching, achieving a First Class Honours Degree in Education Studies from the University of Brighton. During my careers in both medicine and education, I have had the opportunity to work with individuals suffering from a range of mental health issues from low mood, self-esteem and anxiety problems to Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and severely debilitating mental and physical health issues. Whilst working in teaching, I noted many of the struggles that children are facing every day, both at home and at school, and recognised how this was affecting, not only their learning, but their day to day lives and physical well being. As a result, I am extremely pleased to be given the opportunity to move into the Mental Health field in order to continue to support children and young people in an effort to get them back onto the right track to learning, progressing and leading happy, fulfilling lives.
After a background in family law, Emily retrained as a counsellor. Whilst undergoing this training, she worked in a local preschool and also provided counselling services for parents at a local children’s centre. Emily has had a private counselling practice in Exeter for the last two years. She has also worked as a specialist mental health mentor, supporting students at both Exeter and Plymouth University. She looks forward to starting her new role.
Trainee CBT Practitioners
Between working on adventure playgrounds in Westminster, I trained as a teacher before managing a youth centre in Covent Garden and community-based youth work in Leyton. I trained as a youth counsellor and supervisor, relocating to Torquay to set up the young peoples’ support and information service. I was privileged to lead the team of youth workers in Torquay before joining Torbay’s CAF Mentor Team, helping to establish coordinated multi-agency services for children with additional needs. I have a strong record in school-based counselling and student support allied to delivering support services for parents. More recently a couples & relationship counsellor, I have also worked in local adult and CAMHS units.
Family Support Worker
Emma is a qualified Primary School Teacher and has been working with children and families since qualifying in 2001. Throughout her time as a teacher, Emma worked closely with children of all abilities and backgrounds ensuring the environment in which the children learn and thrive in is a secure and happy place, allowing them to reach their maximum potential. Having also worked in a welfare role for the British Military in Belgium, Emma provided advice and support to new families, in what can be a difficult transition, relocating to a new country and school environment. Her ability to communicate empathetically, offering support and guidance when needed, has ensured that strong bonds are formed with both children and parents resulting in improved outcomes for all. Emma believes that early intervention, where identifying little changes has the potential to produce maximum benefits, is crucial when assisting children and their families.
Family Support Worker and Trainee Parent Therapist
Jo has recently joined Portsmouth Family Values and is currently completing a Diploma in Evidence based practice: Children and Young Peoples Improved Access to Psychological Therapies, Parent Training. Jo’s previous experience includes working for 13 years in a Pupil Referral Unit for children & young people with complex needs who have been excluded from education or are at risk from exclusion. Jo was part of the inclusion team, supporting students regarding reintegration and wellbeing and emotional literacy. Jo undertook a Certificate in working with Parents and became Accredited to deliver Triple P and the Nurture Programme. Jo has also gained experience as a youth worker. After gaining her Parenting Programme Accreditations, she moved into supporting families, joining a voluntary organisation for 3 ½ years supporting families with one to one support and delivering Cygnet and New Forest parenting programmes for parents with children on the Autistic spectrum and those with ADHD. Jo built strong links with schools and the local community. Jo feels Passionate about collaboratively working with families to bring about change and is excited to deliver Incredible Years and work one to one with parents and children with conduct disorders in the Portsmouth and Isle of Wight area.