We will be your extended family and support.
The fostering team offers a diverse level of knowledge and experience to guide, support and advise foster carers.
You will be able to access someone from the team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and every day of the year.
Fleur has been with the agency since 2007, commencing employment as a supervising social worker and becoming Agency Manger in 2012. Fleur has a background in residential management, having established a successful residential children’s home herself. Fleur worked in a Local Authority area team, managing safeguarding and care management. Fleur has experience of working with Leaving Care and Youth Offending. In addition , Fleur was part of a team, setting up a therapeutic Local Authority residential home for younger children being prepared for foster care. In 2019/20 Fleur took the position of Head of Service and is now leading the agency in the next stages of development, together with becoming the Responsible Individual.
Mike joined Sunflower Fostering in April 2019 as Agency Manager.
Mike started his social work career as a Child’s Social Worker, supporting children in care, completing assessments and making representations in Court. Following this Mike joined a large Independent Fostering Agency as Registered Manager, where he has worked for the past 4 years.
Mike strives to ensure that all children have their individual needs met and are given the opportunities to reach their full potential.
Jenny joined Sunflower Fostering in April 2019 as Deputy Manager.
Jenny qualified with a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2009 and went on to work in the Child Protection Team at a Local Authority, where she remained for 3 years, managing complex cases and working alongside vulnerable children and families in need of Social Work Support.
Following working in Child Protection, Jenny went on to being a Supervising Social Worker for a large Independent Fostering Agency in the West Midlands. Within her time with the IFA, Jenny became the designated Safeguarding Lead and managed newly qualified staff members.
Jenny has experience deputising for the registered manager at her previous role and Sunflower are happy to have her join our team.
Helen has been with the agency since 2005. Helen brought with her a wealth of experience of working in a voluntary fostering agency, Shropshire local authority (Child Protection and Trading Standards) and an independent fostering agency in Shropshire. Helen is also Panel Administrator and responsibility for all aspects of facilitating the foster panel.
Ben completed his second practice placement as a social work student, with the agency, joining full time, as a Supervising Social Worker in April 2012. Prior to this Ben has eight years experience of working for a Local Authority Residential Service and developed from the role of residential worker to senior of a residential team.
Jo started with Sunflower Fostering in October 2018. Jo completed a Masters Degree in Social Work in 2011. Jo has built up a range of experience over 7 years working as a Social Worker in a Local Authority Children with Disabilities team, Children in Care Team and an Independent Adoption Agency. Prior to social worker Jo completed work experience in a Residential Care Home and at an Occupational Therapy Department both within a hospital environment and in the community.
Sapna started with Sunflower Fostering in November 2018. Sapna completed her Masters Degree in Social Work in 2016. During her degree Sapna completed a placement in a Domestic Violence Charity and in a Local Authority Children in Care Team. Since qualifying Sapna has gained experience in Child Protection and Court Work.
Prior to Social Worker, Sapna has experience working in a Residential Nursing Home.
Aileen joined Sunflower Fostering in January 2014. Whilst completing her degree, Aileen completed a placement with another independent foster agency. Aileen qualified in June 2013 and then went onto gain experience working with Substance Misuse, Mental Health and Family Disputes.
Natasha joined Sunflower Fostering in August 2015. Natasha has a range of admin experience and knowledge and takes the lead role for all aspects of recruitment and marketing including leading and implementing the social media plan throughout the year. Natasha organises and attends a number of Marketing and Carer Retention Events throughout the year in the local area.
Natasha has taught gymnastics to children and young people from the ages of 2 up to 14 years.
Mia started working with Sunflower Fostering in January 2019 following working as a Family and Youth Support Worker. Mia supports our foster families as well as completes one to one work with young people and helps provide training for carers and young people.
Mia works alongside Karly in organising and running the foster children’s youth group, Spaghetti Club.
Karly also started working with Sunflower Fostering, as a Family Support Worker, in January 2019. Karly brings with her a wealth of experience working with young people in both residential and educational settings.
Karly works closely with Mia providing support to our Foster Families and their young people. Karly will also be organising and running the youth groups for our young people.
Alisha started with Sunflower Fostering as an apprentice in July 2017. Alisha remained with Sunflower following her apprentice as an Administrative Clerk.
As part of Alisha’s role she provides admin support for the Social Work team and Foster Carers. Alisha takes a lead on organising Foster Carer Reviews, ensuring all paperwork is completed in a timely manner and liaising with the IRO, Foster Carers and Social Workers to arrange a suitable date for the review.
Alisha oversees all training provided by the agency. She will organise the training, both online and face to face, manages bookings and arrange for any required equipment/refreshments to be available.
I joined the agency as a student social worker. Following this I returned to my job n a local authority residential home before taking on a full time social work position with Sunflower Fostering, in 2012. My role entails working directly with foster carers and their families. I think it’s just as important to make sure foster carers own families and support networks are ok. Without support networks fostering can be more difficult. I often take carers own children out for a kick about on the local football pitch. The fostering team are close and we work together to help foster carers when they need that bit of extra support.
I run the foster club where children can meet up socially and talk about topics that impact on them and their lives. We hold a couple of big social events a year; at Summer and Christmas time, where foster carers, their families and all children are invited to come along and share the experience.
I have been with the agency for over ten years and started as a fostering social worker, so I know how important this role is to foster carers. We keep case loads low so that when foster carers need it, the worker is there and ready to support.
The agency has grown over the last few years but there are no plans or pressures to become too ‘big’. Our foster carers tell us it’s like being part of a family which they feel is really supportive. I think people who decide to foster are wonderful people and they change the lives of children by giving them new and positive experiences.
The best part of my job is meeting people thinking about fostering and watching them on their journey, it’s an enriching process and a pleasure to work alongside people who make such a difference to children’s lives, who without them, could easily find themselves living with ten plus families before they’re a teenager; no one wants that for a child.
I really enjoy my job, I’ve worked in many sectors of care and work with the residential teams also. I am the link therapist to the fostering team and work closely with foster carers, directly with children and support the social workers with joint visits and training. We have a purpose built therapy centre where children can feel safe to explore their feelings and enjoy creating a mess and using play to explore and share their feelings.
I am able to act quickly when a foster carer, or a child needs immediate support and as fairly large therapy team, we can work together to get the right support. Such as working with the forensic psychologist if a young person is stealing or at risk of any kind of anti-social behaviour.
I think the foster carers really value the therapeutic support, resources available and especially that there are no long waiting lists. I know the fostering team have agreed to fund therapy as part of the package when a particular foster carer was in crisis, as it would have taken too long for the local authority to agree funding.