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.
I completed an MSc in Physics in 2007. Science and statistics has been something I’ve always had a passion for but studying physics at university enabled me to learn statistical models on another level. On completion of my degree, I was unsure of my next steps and ended up back in Torbay doing a temporary administration job in Torbay Council Children’s Services. This job opened my eyes to a new career path; a career where I could adapt what I have learned at university to the field of mental health. I quickly moved up to a new job role as Parent Programme Coordinator. It was my first introduction to mental health awareness, realising how mental health issues can have a huge impact on people’s lives and the people around them. I was fascinated by the evidence-based models – how are they evidence based? What studies had been done? Do they really work? I began applying my statistical maths knowledge to the Routine Outcome Measures (ROMs) to track outcomes gained by parents who completed a parenting programme and help write the analysis for submission to the grant funders. The outcomes our families were gaining were what the evidence-based programmes promoted! Due to a change in government and consequently, a change in policy, Early Intervention services were cut and my team were made redundant. In discussion with contacts in Children’s Services, Public Health, Community Services, Charities and Schools, myself and three colleagues set up our own Early Intervention service, South West Family Values C.I.C. SWFV has been running for 7 years and has continued to grow, year on year. I am involved with the financial running of the business but also the strategic planning of services, working together with partner agencies and service users to ensure the needs of our communities are being met. Through applying data analysis skills along with everything learned during my 6 years in Children’s Services, SWFV has built a robust evidence base which is used to gain vital funding for service delivery. I am now undertaking a Masters Degree in Public Health at Kings College London. I hope to improve data evaluation and social impact reporting to gain increased funding and grow services. SWFV does a lot of participation work with service users to help shape our projects and services. If I can improve how we undertake this, we can improve our services, providing more targeted help for communities to gain better outcomes. We continually monitor and review services via feedback from service users, partners and staff, annual appraisals and outcomes. I am hoping to learn about methods used to help improve and develop services so I know that SWFV is always operating at its most effective and efficient level for sustainability.
Nicola has worked in voluntary and statutory services since 2001, since completing a BA Early Childhood Studies degree. Initially working in Plymouth Children’s Services assessment team, Nicola observed how early intervention and prevention support can significantly improve outcomes and reduce risk for children and families and she later moved to join the early intervention team in Torbay to address some of these issues. Since then, Nicola has trained with the CYP IAPT programme, first as a Parent Therapist and later as a clinical supervisor. The CYP IAPT programme is dedicated to providing accessible psychological therapies for children and their families to reduce the risk of escalation and the need for statutory interventions. Nicola is trained in several evidence based parenting interventions including Positive Parenting Programme, Incredible Years, the Nurture Programme and From Timid to Tiger and she oversees the parenting service. Nicola also has an interest in supporting children who have experienced domestic abuse and undertook a feasibility study for a new eight-week children’s programme for primary aged children. For her thesis for a MSc in Psychological Research and Practice, Nicola adapted an established outcome measure for use with young children to capture the impact of the interventions. Another area of her interest is treating anxiety in primary aged children through parenting interventions and Nicola is currently completing a Doctoral in Clinical Research with a focus on developing adaptable delivery options for the treatment of children experiencing anxiety.
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.
My experience started from the age of 14 years, working in various roles offering customer service at trainee to management level in the hospitality industry in Torbay. I think customer service is vital in the success of a role in HR and Business Administration, as everyone you come across either peers, staff, clients, customers, or other business that we work with, are all our customers. I have worked in both the UK and Australia in these supporting roles, in small businesses that focus on community interest and personal wellbeing. I love being part of a team that make a positive difference to people’s lives!
Trainee Project Manager
I finished my A levels and went onto Plymouth University to study Criminology with Sociology, where I realised University was not the path I wanted to follow and decided to leave in the first year. I have always had an interest in being involved in organisations that benefit the lives of others which is why South West Family Values is the perfect fit. I am currently attending the local college to take my Business Admin qualification whilst also undertaking a vital ICT course, I am honoured to be part of a company that focus’ on the needs of our next generation and helps them grow into happy, healthy young adults.
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.
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 been an integral part of our team since 2015. Prior to joining SWFV and 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. Tracey’s knowledge and experience of Safeguarding families and young people was gained whilst working in a local secondary school. She developed a real understanding of the challenges faced by parents and children today, and the central role that schools are now expected to take. As an attendance officer for SWFV Tracey worked closely with schools and families to ensure better outcomes for children and young people. Following a successful completion of the CYP IAPT Parenting Therapist Course in 2017, Tracey utilised her new skill set in both Primary and Secondary schools across Torbay. She continually seeks new ways to improve her practice and in recent years has qualified as Teen Triple P practitioner, Mindfulness in Schools teacher and a Mindfulness NOW practitioner. Tracey completed our first ’pilot’ Timid to Tiger Parenting Programme which was subsequently commissioned by the Local CCG following excellent feedback and outcomes from local parents who participated. Currently Tracey is studying on the CYP IAPT Evidence Based Parenting Therapist Supervisors Course at Exeter University whilst continuing with her practitioner role in a local secondary school.
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.
Children's Wellbeing Practitioners
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.
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 Parent Therapists
Trainee Wellbeing Practitioners
I am extremely passionate about children and young adults receiving the support they need. I have a Psychology and Sociology degree and was destined to become an Educational Psychologist, until whilst gaining the experience required, I decided that I wanted to work more closely with children. I went on to train to become a Primary School Teacher. I held this role for many years, working with children of all ages. During that time, I played a big part in the pastoral part of school life. I was Personal, Social and Emotional Development Lead, Thrive Lead, and more recently I set up and led a Nurture Provision as part of my work with children. I am currently in the process of becoming an Attachment in Schools Lead and an Integrative Counsellor. Over the years I have realised that the relationship you form with the child or young adult is paramount, and this is the basis of all my therapeutic work. I am really looking forward to training as a Wellbeing Practitioner, as well as working with such an amazing team and service.
I am joining SWFV as a Trainee Wellbeing Practitioner, undertaking the IAPT CWP training at Exeter University. I have previously worked for Torbay Council in a variety of roles within children's services and started my career by volunteering with the Youth Offending Team and the Targeted Youth Support Team. I have always enjoyed supporting young people and families and I’m excited to be undertaking this post grad course to further expand my knowledge base and allow me to support young people and children, with an evidence-based therapy.
Family Support Worker
Emma is a qualified Parent Therapist supporting parents and their families whose children have been diagnosed (or are on the pathway to being diagnosed) with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD). It has been shown that these children’s behaviours improve significantly after group or 1:1 parenting interventions. Children with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), eating disorders and anxiety have also shown to benefit from the changes brought about in parenting interventions. As any parent would agree, the challenges associated with bringing up any child are at times overwhelming. Parenting interventions will help parents to manage their stress levels and help them to develop better coping mechanisms. They will support families to have a variety of strategies to help overcome challenges and support families to break any negative cycles. Before qualifying as a parent therapist, Emma was a qualified Primary School Teacher and has worked 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 was 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.