David Holmes CBE
Chief Executive. David has been CEO of Family Action since 2013 and was previously CEO of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering from 2006-2013. David has worked in health and social care since 1995, has been a Senior Civil Servant in two Government departments (Health and Education) and a Chief Officer Children’s Services in local government. David started his career as a solicitor in the City of London and currently Chairs two other charities – Children England and Naomi House. David was awarded a CBE for Services to Children and Families in the New Year Honours 2014 and won Chief Executive of the Year at the HR Distinction Awards 2016. David is supported by the Family Action Executive Group, comprising of Funke Fatunla (Director of Finance), Ricardo Gomes Da Silva (General Counsel and Director of Systems), Helen Cantrell (Director of Services and Innovation) and Anja Bailey (Director of Development and External Affairs).
PAC-UK Assistant Director. Vanessa is a registered social worker with over 30 years’ experience of working in children and families social care departments. She has worked as senior manager in several London Local Authorities and for a County Council. She has considerable experience of partnership working with the private and voluntary sector. Her particular area of interest is working with children in care and children previously in care, living with adopters, special guardians and foster carers. She has technical expertise in adoption, permanency and fostering work, having successfully led these services for many years as part of wider corporate parenting services. She has witnessed when creative and considered support is offered to adoptive parents, special guardians and foster carers, they can provide transformative and life changing opportunities for children and young people, strengthen families, and nurture a true sense of belonging. Vanessa has also dedicated time in her career to strengthening the participation and voice of children and young people in care and care experienced young adults. Vanessa is a fully trained adult psychotherapist. She has a strong track record of highlighting the emotional and psychological needs of children in care and infant mental health, and has developed therapeutic services for children in care in local authority settings.
Operations Manager. Since joining PAC-UK in 2011 Leon has worked in a variety of management roles. Based at our Family Action Head Office in London, Leon is part of our Senior Management Team, supporting our Assistant Director and Heads of Services. Leon works across all PAC-UK services and projects, and is responsible for developing and maintaining PAC-UK systems (including data, monitoring, reporting and evaluation). He also manages our PAC-UK website and social media platforms. Prior to joining PAC-UK Leon worked for a sports development charity supporting young adults across Islington, Haringey and Hackney who were not in education, employment or training. Leon has a BA (Hons) Business Administration degree, and has previously worked in consultancy roles for other charitable organisations and businesses.
Service Performance Coordinator. Karen joined PAC-UK in 2019 and is responsible for compiling contract performance and impact reports for the Local Authorities and Regional Adoption Agencies that commission PAC-UK’s services across the Leeds, Liverpool and London offices. She also helps develop contracts and helps manage the service user database and Survey Monkey feedback platform. She has worked in health and social care since 2003, mainly in commissioning, procurement and contracts management roles, including in two London Local Authorities and for a London mental health Trust. Karen has a psychology degree and also volunteers in mental health research and patient and service user involvement projects.
Operations Assistant. Yvette joined PAC-UK in 2014, initially as an Apprentice Team Administrator. After passing her BTEC National Diploma Level 2 & Level 3 in Business Administration Yvette was offered a permanent Team Administrator position, and in 2017 was promoted to Operations Assistant. Yvette manages our Leeds office building and admin team, supporting PAC-UK services in the North. She is currently studying her ILM Level 3 in Leadership and Management.
Head of Adult Services (London). Pavlina manages services and supervises a team of counsellors who work with birth relatives, adopted adults, adopters, prospective adopters, special guardians and other permanent carers. Pavlina is registered with the BPS as a graduate member, UKCP as a training member, and has completed an MA in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies at the Tavistock Institute. Pavlina began specialising in the field of adoption over 17 years ago when she joined PAC-UK’s Child & Family Service. Pavlina has completed the Adoption Counselling Expertise (ACE) training at PAC-UK and is in the final stages of becoming a UKCP registered Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist. She has previously worked in the fields of drug and alcohol services, family assessment and support, and services for young care leavers.
Adult Services Psychotherapist. Alvina had a long career in North London primary schools where she worked as a Literacy Consultant and Senior Manager, specialising in the coordination of Special Educational Needs. Alvina introduced a number of therapeutic approaches to her work in order to enhance some aspects of her teaching. She developed and managed a small nurture group offering an early intervention of structured support to identified pupils in Key Stage 1. The success of this project was the catalyst that inspired Alvina to study for an M.A. and to qualify as a UKCP accredited Psychotherapist. Alvina’s supervised placement, as a Trainee Counsellor, was initially with MIND and later continued at PAC-UK. She stayed on at the organisation as a Volunteer, a Sessional Worker providing adult counselling, and an Advice Line Support Worker until the end of 2013. During her time at PAC-UK Alvina has provided counselling to a wide range of clients including adopted adults, couples, birth parents, special guardians, prospective adopters, adoptive parents and clients seeking reunions. Alvina considers a strong therapeutic relationship to be of particular importance in her counselling work. She believes that this kind of engagement supports clients who have experienced trauma, separation and loss, helping them to acknowledge and confront their concerns.
Outreach Counsellor. Patsy works as a counsellor for PAC-UK. She completed the Adoption Counselling Expertise (ACE) course in 1998 and regularly undertakes trainings to increase her skill base. Patsy previously worked as a senior social worker for five years in Wandsworth’s post adoption service gaining experience with special guardians, adoptive parents, birth parents and adoptees; children and adults. Prior to that she was part of the Wandsworth multidisciplinary tier four CAMHS service for twenty years. Her former social work role was as an approved mental health practitioner. Patsy’s roles within PAC-UK have included delivering training in life story work, self-care skills and caring for children with developmental trauma. She is also a parent advisor for the Enhancing Adoptive Parenting Programme and offers short term intensive assessments. Patsy has trained in DDP – Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and AIT- Advanced Integrative Therapy.
Birth Parent Support Worker and Outreach Counsellor. Rita Cleary is PAC-UK’s Birth Parent Support Worker. Within that role Rita provides specialist support for birth parents, during a drop-in service twice a month at PAC-UK. Rita also offers support to birth families where there is direct contact with the child. She has written a practice paper for PAC-UK which reflects on her work with birth mothers at PAC-UK. Rita has an advanced diploma in humanistic integrative counselling. She completed PAC-UK’s specialist Adoption Counselling Expertise (ACE) course and is qualified in cognitive behavioural therapy. She has been associated with PAC-UK for over 15 years.
Outreach Counsellor. Arnoldus is an Integrative Psychotherapist, who trained at Metanoia Institute and is UKCP registered. He has a career in nursing and adult education, as well as being a registered social worker. He has been involved with PAC-UK (formerly Post-Adoption Centre) as a counsellor since 1994 and was advice line and outreach co-ordinator, group work facilitator and clinical supervisor. Arnolds’s interests lie in child development, attachment and relationships and he uses the relevant theories to guide clients through their material to hopefully find resolve, in a psychodynamic way. Arnoldus is also a member of adoption and fostering panels.
Outreach Counsellor. Rose has worked at PAC-UK for over 30 years as an adoption counsellor, working mainly with adoptive and birth parents, adopted adults and professionals. Rose worked on our advice line for 23 years up until December 2013 and currently works as a counsellor in PAC-UK’s outreach surgeries. Rose qualified and worked as a social worker for many years before specialising as an adoption social worker at Coram Adoption Service. She has worked as a children’s guardian for 16 years and does Parenting and Contact Assessments for the Family Courts. Rose is a member of NAGALRO (The Professional Association for Children’s Guardians, Family Court Advisers Independent Social Work Practitioners and Consultants) and is registered with the HCPC.
Intermediary Work Coordinator and Outreach Counsellor. Gill has worked as a counsellor at PAC-UK since 2000. Gill qualified as a social worker in 1981 and has worked in adoption since 1990, covering all aspects of the adoption process. From 1999 she worked in post adoption for a leading children’s charity and she managed the adoption support services for a local authority.…Read More
Intermediary Work Coordinator and Outreach Counsellor. Gill has worked as a counsellor at PAC-UK since 2000. Gill qualified as a social worker in 1981 and has worked in adoption since 1990, covering all aspects of the adoption process. From 1999 she worked in post adoption for a leading children’s charity and she managed the adoption support services for a local authority. Gill has considerable experience of working with people considering adoption, adoptive parents and their children, birth relatives and adopted adults who are accessing their birth/adoption histories and in acting as an intermediary. She has undertaken various specialist training courses in attachment and the impact of trauma including PAC-UK’s Adoption Counselling Expertise (ACE), Theraplay©, Story Stem and Enhancing Adoptive Parenting (EAP).
Adult Services Counsellor and Advice Line Counsellor. Laura Stephenson’s role at PAC-UK is as an Advice Line and adult counsellor. Qualifying as a social worker in 1981, Laura worked in local authority adoption teams from 1988 to 2014, specialising in post-adoption work since 2000 following a year’s secondment at PAC-UK. Her roles have included direct work with all those involved in adoption and other forms of permanency, training, supervising adoption support social workers and supervising social workers assessing and supporting kinship carers.
Adult Services Counsellor. Rose’s role at PAC-UK is as a counsellor in the adult counselling service, providing counselling to adults affected by adoption or other permanent placement. These include adopted adults, care experienced adults, birth parents and other birth relatives, adoptive parents and special guardians. Rose has a particular interest in the impact of early trauma, separation and loss, identity issues and support around search and reunion. Rose is a qualified social worker with over 30 years’ experience of providing adoption support services and post care services for adults. She has an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling and has completed PAC-UK’s Adoption Counselling Expertise (ACE) diploma and undertaken PAC-UK’s Enhancing Adoptive Parenting training. Rose is a registered member of BACP and Social Work England. She has worked as a research interviewer/team member on several major adoption research studies into the experience of adopted adults and their birth and adoptive families.
Adult Services Counsellor and Advice Line Counsellor. Fiona joined PAC-UK in 2013 and works at Head Office and online. She qualified as a social worker in 1984 and is also a BACP accredited counsellor. She has worked throughout her career with children who are fostered, adopted or permanently placed with family members. Fiona worked for 10 years as an adoption social worker and manager, working with all stages of the adoption process. She then joined a London borough in 2007 where she managed the Adoption Support Service and Special Guardianship Team. She has a particular interest in attachment styles in adults and children.
Adult Services Counsellor and Advice Line Counsellor. Cascia’s role at PAC-UK is as adult counsellor and advice line worker. She is a qualified social worker with many years’ experience working in the field of adoption and fostering, both as a practitioner and manager in a busy inner London local authority. She is HCPC registered. Prior to joining PAC-UK Cascia worked for 11 years in the voluntary sector as a senior social work practitioner providing a post care and post-adoption service including adult counselling, access to/sharing care and adoption records, and intermediary and search services. Cascia is a qualified and experienced attachment based psychoanalytic psychotherapist and a registered member of The Bowlby Centre and UKCP.
Adult Services Counsellor. Laura has been involved in services for Children and Families since graduating in 2002, particularly with Looked after Children and Care-Leavers. She began working in adoption when she joined the organisation in 2012 and specialised in working with contemporary birth parents and with people affected by adoption who are in prison. She also provides adoption support for adults from our outreach base in Halifax. Laura is a qualified Integrative Counsellor/Psychotherapist and currently offers counselling to adult adoptees at the PAC-UK Leeds office.
Head of Adult Services (Leeds). Mike is Head of Adult Services (Leeds) at PAC-UK, supervising social workers and counsellors who work with birth relatives and adopted adults. Mike worked with contemporary birth parents for a number of years in Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Halifax seeing them at community bases and at home. He has run groups for these service users as well as presenting training for professionals around adoption issues. Mike has a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and is an accredited member of the BACP.
Adult Services Counsellor. Wendy is a qualified social worker and is HCPC registered. Wendy has worked extensively with children and families in local authority settings for over 30 years. Based in our PAC-UK Leeds office, Wendy joined us in 2013 and is an experienced Adoption Support Worker, specialising in working with adopted adults and birth relatives.
Adult Services Counsellor and Advice Line Counsellor. Clare is an adoption support worker and qualified counsellor. She has worked in adoption for 17 years as a caseworker with adopted people, birth relatives and adopters. She currently runs the Leeds Office Advice Line, and PAC-UK’s Tracing service.
Adult Services Practice Manager. Angela qualified as a Social Worker in 1996 and is HCPC registered. Since qualification she has worked within many areas of social work i.e. with Vulnerable Adults and Safeguarding Children; Mental Health and Education. Angela is an experienced Adoption Support Services Adviser and specialises in the field of post-adoption, working with all parties in the adoption triangle: adoptees, adoptive parents, birth relatives and siblings. Angela has many years’ experience as an Independent Adoption Panel member and has practiced within Private, Voluntary and Local Authority agencies.
Adult Services Counsellor. Carol qualified as a social worker is 1989 and working extensively with children and families in a local authority setting, before specialising in adoption work. She has worked as a freelance social worker and lecturer for several years and in May 2016 began work as an adult services counsellor.
Practice Manager – Adult Services. Judith has worked at PAC-UK since 2017 as Practice Manager with lead responsibility for services for Special Guardians and Intermediary Services in the London region. Judith is a social worker and counsellor who has specialised in post adoption support since 2005. Judith has also worked with children affected by parental substance misuse. In previous roles, Judith has worked in the education sector as a teacher and in social care in various positions, including managing adoption support services for local authorities.
Adult Services Counsellor. Adrian’s role at PAC-UK is as a Counsellor in our Adult Services Team. Adrian is an adoptive parent who supports adoptive parents and special guardians through the Enhancing Adoptive Parenting (EAP) Programme. Adrian is also a Non Violent Resistance (NVR) Informed Practitioner and is training to be an Integrative Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist at Terapia. In addition to this, Adrian currently works in primary and secondary schools as a Counsellor and Therapy Group Facilitator.
Lead Social Worker. Claire has been a qualified social worker since 2012 and is HCPC qualified, is trained in Theraplay (Level 1), group Theraplay (Level 1) and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (Level 1). Claire has been involved in providing post adoption support within the North East region for over 6 years to those affected by adoption. This has involved supporting contemporary and historic birth parents, supporting birth siblings and grandparents, as well as supporting adopted adults to access adoption records and searching for and establishing contact with members of their birth family. Claire was previously the lead worker for the TalkAdoption service in the region, providing therapeutically influenced group support to adopted children, young people and their families, and supporting those involved to have had active participation in the development and delivery of the service over the years. This involved supporting the steering group (of adopted young people) to ensure the relevance of the service to those who accessed it, and to get involved in wider project work to raise awareness of adoption and the impact to those who are adopted. Additionally Claire has delivered adoptive parents training group sessions, as well as the SafeBase therapeutic parenting course, and has provided direct support to adoptive parents. Prior to her social work qualification, Claire completed her CACHE Diploma in Child Care and Education, and had worked in childcare settings as well as volunteering in her local community centre.
Adult Services Practice Manager. Prior to joining PAC-UK in Leeds Marie spent 10 years as an Adoption Support Worker for After Adoption, primarily supporting birth parents. She also provided intermediary support and counselling to both birth parents and adopted adults. Marie is a qualified counsellor and an accredited member of BACP. She also has qualifications in Theraplay and MIM, and has delivered the SafeBase programme and other group-based work for adopters. In her earlier career, Marie worked with adolescents in secondary schools and as an outreach youth worker, as well as a parent support worker, and gained qualifications in both these fields. Her experience of counselling vulnerable adults and victims enables Marie to bring a deep understanding to her role, along with the appreciation of young vulnerable teenagers’ needs and how they are unable to break the cycle leading them to become the birth parents of today. At PAC-UK, Marie will act as a Practice Manager covering the One Adoption contract and also for Lincolnshire Local Authority. She is passionate about supporting interventions in order to change lives for the better.
Adoption Support Worker. Chris has been an HCPC registered social worker since 1978. She had experience in many local authority settings before working for the Adoption Team in Middlesbrough. She completed a PACT counselling qualification through PAC in 2002 and since then has worked for After Adoption Yorkshire, After Adoption, UK Donor Link and now PAC-UK. Chris has provided support for adopted people, birth relatives and first families in North Yorkshire, and will continue to offer these services in conjunction with One Adoption. She has also worked with adopted children in outward bound camps.Chris is particularly skilled at providing search and intermediary services as she considers it to be the perfect combination of skills for a social worker who is also a history graduate.
Adult Services Practice Manager. Prior to joining PAC-UK, Jan worked at After Adoption. The service provided support for adopted young people, adopted adults, first family birth members and birth family members. The work consisted of organising therapeutic activities for young adopted people, support with Access to Records for adopted adults, providing an Intermediary Services for both adopted adults and birth family members, and support for first family members around issues relating to the adoption of a child or children, for example support around Letterbox exchange. Jan spent 13 years working for The Catholic Children’s Society, (now part of Caritas), delivering parenting courses, both in group settings and one to one. Jan also ran family support groups for vulnerable families to help reduce isolation and establish friendships and support networks. After leaving college Jan spent 15 years working for Action for Children, providing intensive family support and parenting assessments for local authorities.
Adoption Support Worker. Ricia qualified as a Social Worker in 1987 and is based in the North East in PAC-UK Adult Services. Ricia has experience in various local authority teams including Community Mental Health teams in Sussex and Northumberland, Residential Services and in Adult Social Care. Ricia worked as an Adoption Support Social Worker with After Adoption for ten years, providing support for people affected by adoption, which included supporting birth relatives, children and families, access to records and intermediary work. Ricia is trained in Theraplay® Level 1 and has experience in working with adoptive families using Theraplay® influenced practice to promote parent/child attachments.
Adoption Support Worker. Margaret has worked in a variety of settings in social care for 40 years. She began her career working with children and young people in residential care. She qualified as a Social Worker in 1993 and then spent some time working in child protection. Margaret began working in adoption in 2004 and she has experience in all aspects of adoption work.
Birth Parent Counsellor. Lisa is a qualified person centred counsellor based in the North West. Lisa holds a teaching degree and has seventeen years counselling and teaching experience. She has worked for various charities and agencies including NSPCC, Barnardos, Place2Be, Wigan Social Services and Winston’s Wish, and has extensive experience of working with adults and children with complex trauma and bereavement. Lisa has previously worked within the Go4ward Barnardos Young People in Care Team, providing one to one counselling (for young people, foster carers and the wider family), facilitating group therapy, family therapy and training for foster carers. For the last two years Lisa has worked for Winston’s Wish as a manager and senior practitioner across the North West, providing bereavement support, one to one counselling, group therapy, family therapy and training for professionals.
Practice Manager, Birth Parent Service NW. Emma qualified as a social worker in 2008 from The University of Manchester and is registered with the HCPC. Emma has since worked predominantly within Local Authorities including Derbyshire and Manchester as a Social worker and Senior Practitioner within Child Protection teams. Most recently Emma has worked with an adoption and permanence team progressing children’s adoption plans and preparing children for adoption which included life story work with children and birth parents. Emma has also worked as a Social Worker within a residential assessment centre undertaking court directed PAMs Assessments for parents with learning difficulties. Furthermore Emma holds an MSc Psychology which included undertaking research into professionals attitudes when working with service users who have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and Emma also holds certificate in Systemic Practice accredited by the Institute for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. Emma has gained a wealth of experience working with and supporting parents who have challenges with mental health, addiction and domestic abuse and has experience of working directly foster carers and adoptive parents around therapeutic parenting and developmental trauma.
Adoption Support Worker. Prior to joining PAC-UK, Paula worked at After Adoption for over 3 years supporting young people and adults affected by adoption offering first family support, access to records, intermediary services as well as coordinating the letterbox service. Paula spent 15 years with Action for Children conducting parenting assessments on behalf of local authorities for submission to court proceedings. Paula has also spent some time as a Duty Social Worker for Wirral MBC Fostering Team finding placements for children coming into local authority care. Paula qualified as a Social Worker in 1999.
Adoption Support Social Worker. Selina qualified as a Social Worker in 2012 and has since worked primarily within services that support children and families. Selina has also worked within safeguarding services, and has worked supporting children who were cared for by the Local Authority Children’s Services. As an Adoption Support Social Worker Selina gained further experience of working with children that required therapeutic care approaches and post adoption support. Selina is trained in using Level 1 TheraplayⓇ principles which supports the child and caregiver relationship, and aims to improve attachment through play and interaction. Selina’s work within Children’s Social Care has included working with children and young people who were placed in foster care, residential care and who were adopted. Selina has also provided support to children’s parents and carers. Selina’s experience involves working with different forms of permanency for children within the fostering and adoption services. Alongside her role with PAC-UK, Selina is also an independent fostering panel member for a Local Authority which involves making recommendations on the suitability of carers to meet children’s needs. Selina’s role within the organisation includes providing support to people affected by adoption, which includes adopted people and birth relatives. She also provides support around helping people to access their records and intermediary work which involves helping people establish contact with members of their birth family.
Adoption Support Worker. Peggy joined PAC-UK in 2020 and works with contemporary birth families. She is an adoptive parent with more than a decade’s experience of building positive relationships with birth family members. Her MA research dissertation examined the grief experience of birth mothers. Peggy is a qualified counsellor with BACP membership.
Adult Services Counsellor. Annie has worked at PAC-UK since 2017 working with adoptive parents and special guardians in a variety of services. Annie is a qualified Social Worker and Trainee Family Therapist. She has worked in the local authority, voluntarily sector and CAMHS carrying out direct therapeutic work with children and families affected by trauma and abuse.
Birth Parent Service Counsellor. Polly is a BACP registered counsellor with a keen interest in holistic wellbeing. She has also trained in Psychology, Coaching and Mindfulness and works integratively depending on the needs of the individual she is working with. Polly has worked therapeutically with families since 2006, and is passionate about ensuring individuals are able to seek out and engage in emotional support to enable them to work through experiences within their life that have caused challenges and adversity. Polly also has a background in delivering training on topics including attachment, resilience and domestic abuse. Polly joined PAC-UK in 2021 and is keen to support adults who no longer have their children in their care to feel heard and valued.
Adult Counsellor. Marnie joined PAC-UK in 2021, and supports our Essex, Suffolk and Thurrock service users. She qualified in 2018 as a Person Centred Counsellor and is in the process of completing a BA (Hons) Degree in Integrative Counselling. Marnie has over 20 years’ experience of working in residential, fostering and adoption services and also worked as a counsellor for children in care prior to joining us.
Child & Family Service
Head of Child & Family Service (London). Franca has worked in the field of adoption since 1991 and has worked at PAC-UK since 1996. She has Bachelor and Master degrees from Belgium in Pedagogical Sciences, and an MSc in Counselling Psychology from the UK; she is registered with the BPS. Franca was instrumental in developing PAC-UK’s assessments and intensive therapeutic interventions for adoptive families and other families with permanently placed children. Franca has organised and facilitated many training days on adoption, trauma and attachment related topics. Franca also has some knowledge, experience and ongoing interest in adults with psychological difficulties and how they can be helped.
Practice Manager – Child & Family Service. Sue is an integrative Child Psychotherapist registered with UKCP, a registered social worker, an accredited NVR practitioner with NVR-UK, an accredited EFT practitioner (Emotional Freedom Technique) with EFT International, an accredited Energy EFT practitioner, an AIT practitioner (Advanced Integrative Therapy – accreditation in process). She is trained and experienced in Theraplay®, and is currently working towards her accreditation as a practitioner of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing). She has undertaken Level 1 and Level 2 DDP training (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.) Sue is a former Guardian ad Litem. She has worked in the field of fostering and adoption for over 35 years and continues to train parents and professionals. She is Practice Manager of the Child and Family Service at PAC-UK and has worked there since 2001. Sue has an MA in Integrative Child Psychotherapy, a Pg. Dip in Drama Therapy, a BA in Applied Social Studies and a CQSW. Sue has a special interest in helping families deal with the impact of trauma on their daily lives.
Child & Family Therapist. Roz has been part of the Child & Family team at PAC-UK since 2011, working with adopted children and their parents. She is a UKCP registered Integrative Child Psychotherapist, a Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Certified Practitioner and a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner. In addition to her MA, Roz is accredited in Story Stems Assessment Profile (SSAP), and has a PG Dip in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies from the Tavistock Centre. With a background working in the arts, Roz has worked extensively with children and teenagers in multi-cultural inner-city community projects, schools and multi-disciplinary teams for over 30 year, specialising in working with adopted children and their families. When not at PAC-UK, Roz is the Programme Director of the Integrative Child Psychotherapy MA training at the Institute for Arts in Therapy & Education (IATE) and a Visiting Lecturer at the Tavistock Centre.
Ruth Appleby Alis
Child & Family Therapist. Ruth is a UKCP registered Integrative Child Psychotherapist (MA) with a passion for using art and music in her work. She has worked therapeutically with children and their families for the last 10 years. Prior to joining the Child and Family team she worked as an Education Adviser for PAC-UK where she delivered trainings and consultations for schools, helping them to understand and support the needs of adoptive families. She is also a qualified yoga teacher specialising in yoga for special needs, PTSD and family yoga.
Sessional Education Worker. Helen is an experienced teacher. Having completed a BA in drama and a post graduate teaching qualification she taught in secondary schools for seven years. Helen has worked across the field of education with pupils in secondary and primary as part of transition schemes and nurture groups, working with children with a wide range of abilities and needs. Since joining PAC-UK in 2015 Helen has worked passionately as part of the education team to raise awareness of adoption based difficulties in education, and worked with schools and families to provide support and evidence based strategies to meet the needs of young people of permanence struggling in education.
Child & Family Therapist. Veronique Faure studied and qualified in France as a Social Worker (HCPC Registered), and in the UK as an Integrative Arts Psychotherapist (UKCP Registered). She also obtained a Diploma in Child Psychotherapeutic Skills, and a Diploma in Clinical Supervision and Consultancy. She works privately with adults, children and adolescents, and as part of the Child and Family team at PAC-UK. She has 25+ years of multi-cultural inner-city professional experience, in the field of child protection, children in care and adoption. Amongst other things, she has managed a Residential and Outreach Family Assessment Centre; she has worked as a Court Expert in Family Proceedings, as a Child Protection Conference Chair and as an Independent Reviewing Officer; she also trained Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists for 7 years.
Regional Manager North. Jo is an experienced Child & Family Therapist and Social Worker who joined PAC-UK in 2016. Jo has also previously been a Head of Service (PAC-UK Child & Family Service North) and Adoption Manager. Jo holds a PGCert in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and has also trained as an EMDR Practitioner. Jo has completed further training in Developmental Dyadic Psychotherapy (DDP) with Dan Hughes, Dissociation with the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, Theraplayand MIM (Marschak Interaction Method) assessments as well as Systemic Family Therapy and NVR (Non Violent Resistance). Jo has been the National Lead for the DfE in developing a regional and national Child to Parent Violence Service. Jo has trained as a Parent Adviser delivering the Enhancing Adoptive Parenting Programme (EAP) as well as training professionals in EAP. Jo is a qualified Practice Teacher and NQSW Mentor/Supervisor. Jo enjoys working collaboratively with parents and extending support to include external and significant people important to the family. This has led to extensive work in schools where Jo has worked for several years with teaching and non-teaching staff to educate in attachment and developmental trauma theory as well as looking at creative ways to enhance the school experience for adopted children.
Adopteens Project Worker and Child & Family Therapist. Tanya is a qualified Social Worker who has been working at PAC-UK since 2014. Tanya has several roles within PAC-UK, which include supporting adoptees, first families and adoptive parents. Tanya co-leads Adopteens (formerly AT-iD Project), an innovative pilot project designed and led by teenage adoptees, aimed at building friendships and giving teens a space to be themselves. Tanya is passionate about enabling adoptees to have a voice on the issues that matter to them, to improve understanding and the way we work to support people affected by adoption. Tanya supports adoptive families through PAC-UK’s Child to Parent Violence (CPV) Programme co-facilitating PAC-UK’s CPV Parent Groups, and delivering PAC-UK’s CPV Programme to individual families. Tanya also works in PAC-UK’s Adult Services team offering emotional and letterbox support to first family members, co-facilitates the Leeds First Family support group and works on PAC-UK’s Leeds Advice Line. Tanya has completed training in Non Violent Resistance (NVR) Level 1 and feels it is a very practical and affective way of working with parents to improve relationships and reduce violence. Tanya has also completed training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Level 1 and enjoys the non- judgmental use of PACE when working with people affected by trauma.
Child & Family Therapist. Kathleen is a qualified social work practitioner, registered with the HCPC. She is also a qualified counsellor and is working towards accreditation as a child and adolescent psychotherapist. She currently works as an independent social worker, therapist and freelance trainer throughout the UK. As a local authority social worker, Kathleen worked initially with adults and children in a physical disability team. She then specialised in children’s rights and advocacy, and worked directly with children and young people who were in care or who had a care history, ensuring that they had a voice in matters that affected them. Kathleen has a keen interest in Attachment Theory, and the impact of early trauma in children’s lives. She is committed to developing her practice, particularly in these areas.
Adopteens Project Worker. Gaiena joined PAC-UK as an Adopteens Project Worker in 2016. Gaiena has a 15 year background in youth work, working with looked after young people and also adopted young people and their families within a local authority post-adoption support team. Gaiena also has several years of experience supporting first families around adoption and contact and adopted adults who wish to access records and undertakes trace and intermediary work. Gaiena is a person centred counsellor with an understanding of issues around adoption from all parties involved. Gaiena enjoys working with adults and young people and feels the most precious part of this work is seeing people grow and move forward in their lives with the right environment and support.
Child & Family Therapist. Lucy Hargan is a registered Art Psychotherapist with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and British Association of Art Psychotherapists (BAAT) member. She has extensive experience working in mental health with individuals with complex trauma and dissociative disorders, and with children and young people within child and adolescent mental health services. At present, she is undertaking training in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy in Leeds.
Child & Family Therapist. Charlene is a PTUK qualified Play Therapist and has a professional registration with BACP. Charlene has worked with children and young people for 20 years. Some of this time was spent helping primary aged children break down barriers to learning within an educational context. This consisted of delivering sessions to groups of young people to help tackle difficulties such as self-esteem, confidence, bullying and friendship. She has spent a number of years working with Looked After Children who display extremely challenging behaviour and experience social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Charlene currently works as a play therapist, supporting children/young people improve their mental health and wellbeing and also supports families and schools who need advice about difficulties experienced by their pupils. Charlene delivers NVR to groups and to individual parents and is an intermediate Theraplay© Practitioner.
Sessional Child & Family Therapist. Darit is a PTUK Certified Play Therapist who trained at Leeds Beckett University. She also trained in Animal Assisted Therapy at David Yalin College in Jerusalem. Previous to this, Darit worked as a special needs teacher in both mainstream and special needs schools at primary and secondary levels in Israel and England. Darit has 20 years of experience working as a therapist in a variety of settings (schools, children centres, domestic violence refuges and charities) with children who have social, emotional and behavioral difficulties. Currently, Darit works in a cancer care charity with children whose parents are either ill or passed away from cancer and also works privately with children and adolescents (and as part of the Child & Family Service at PAC-UK).
Child & Family Therapist. Kerry is a ACP registered Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and has worked with children, young people and families in a range of contexts since 2003. Kerry has worked in a NHS CAMHS Inpatient Tier 4 service and the community CAMHS service. Much of this work has been with looked after children and their families. The work has involved intensive state of mind assessments that can help gain a deeper understanding about a child’s internal world. This can develop a deeper understanding of how the child relates to another and why they may behave in a particular way.
Child & Family Therapist. Gillian is a HCPC and BAAT registered Art Psychotherapist. She qualified in 2011 and has since worked with adults, children and adolescents in a variety of contexts. Gillian has experience of working with looked after children and adolescents prior to working for PAC-UK, and worked with looked after children and adolescents in a therapeutic setting before qualifying as a therapist.
Child & Family Practice Manager. Ania is a qualified Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist (ACP registered) and has many years of experience of working with young people and their families in a wide range of contexts, including NHS CAMHS, social enterprise and more recently in independent practice. Before embarking on training in Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Ania had a long career as a specialist genetic counsellor in Clinical Genetics, working with individuals and families either affected or at risk of having children with inherited conditions.
Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist. Luke is a qualified Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist registered with the ACP and BACP, with fourteen years’ experience of working with young people and families in a range of settings and contexts. After working as a teacher Luke completed an MSc in Counselling Psychology, working therapeutically with both adults and children, predominantly in educational settings. He later completed clinical psychoanalytic training at the Northern School of Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy (NSCAP) in Leeds and worked in a multi-disciplinary NHS CAMHS team. Alongside his work with PAC-UK Luke is a tutor on the Masters in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies course at NSCAP, and also works as a therapist in a secondary school.
Sessional Child & Family Therapist. Charlotte Burton is a Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist who trained at the Northern School for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (NSCAP) affiliated to the Tavistock and Portman Clinic. Charlotte’s qualifications include a degree in Psychology and Counselling from the University of Surrey, a Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling from Regent’s College and a Psychodynamic Diploma in Supervision from the Westminster Pastoral Foundation. Prior to completing the clinical training at NSCAP, Charlotte worked as a Psychodynamic counsellor (Senior Accredited with the BACP) and supervisor for 19 years in various youth counselling advice and support services in deprived inner city areas in London, Leeds and Rotherham. Charlotte has a particular interest in working with children and young people who are looked after or adopted. Charlotte has worked at PAC-UK and Islington CAMHS since 2018. She is a full member of the ACP.
Child & Family Therapist. Joanna is an Integrative Arts Psychotherapist, MA UKCP registered who trained at the Institute of Arts in Therapy and Education. She has a Diploma in Clinical Supervision and is certified in Child Therapeutic Skills. Joanna has trained in DDP (Level One), Theraplay© (Level One), NVR (Level One) and EMDR (Level One & Level Two). Joanna has worked for the past 17 years in a range of settings in both statutory and voluntary services. Joanna joined our PAC-UK Child & Family Service in 2018. In addition to working in our Child & Family Service, Joanna is a tutor in the Well-Being faculty at the Institute of Arts in Therapy & Education, a Professional Adviser for Young Minds and the Co-chair of the Training Standards Committee for the UKCP Child College. For 10 years prior to this Joanna was the Young Oasis Lead developing and managing a multi-disciplinary Child & Family Service as part of the Brighton Oasis Project. Young Oasis supports infants, children, young people and parent/carers affected by familial drug or alcohol misuse. In 2018 Joanna was the clinical lead for a ‘Wellcome’ funded project called the Art of Attachment, which went into depth to consider attachment relationships using the arts.
Child & Family Therapist. Jeanine is an Art Psychotherapist, and an NVR-UK accredited Group Practitioner and Supervisor. Her background is in education and residential care. Jeanine completed her Undergraduate training as a Creative Expressive Group Facilitator in 2009 and went on to working in residential care with looked after children and young people. During her 9 years of residential work, she became interested in expanding the limited interventions available to staff for supporting the children process their relationships and their experiences. In 2014 Jeanine began working in education across mainstream and specialist settings as a School Counsellor, NVR Parent Group Facilitator, Staff Trainer and Safeguarding Lead. Jeanine’s various roles have given her experience of working with young people with a wide range of needs and presenting difficulties including; young people with SEN, social emotional mental health needs affecting their behaviour, adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, loss of significant people and separation from caregivers. She has also worked with young people who have been exploited by their peers as well as young people who present with harmful sexual behaviour. Jeanine has a BA in Creative Expressive Therapies from the University of Derby and an MA in Art Psychotherapy from the University of Hertfordshire and has HCPC registration. Jeanine has been involved with NVR since 2014 and joined the PAC-UK Child & Family Service in May 2020. Jeanine is particularly interested in experiential group processes and supporting families who struggle with social and emotional mental health difficulties through the use of creative play.
Child & Family Therapist. Jane is an Integrative Child Psychotherapist who trained at the Institute of Arts and Therapy in Education. She is registered with UKCP. Alongside her work at PAC-UK, Jane runs a multi-family group in a primary school and supports children, adolescents and their families in private practice. Jane also has significant experience working therapeutically in schools, where she has helped develop award winning therapeutic services and schoolwide programmes to support the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff. Jane was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2020 to research models for clinical supervision for teachers with Safeguarding responsibilities in New Zealand and Australia. She began her career as a teacher, before specialising in working with children with social and emotional difficulties and in particular, with those children who have experienced challenging childhood experiences. This included supporting children at risk of exclusion at the charity Jamie’s Farm.