‘The mind-set is refreshing; the value base is all about the children’
(Ofsted report 2016)
At Lighthouse we feel that we offer a safe, relaxed and secure environment for Social work and auxiliary staff to flourish. We have a culture that encourages openness and transparency.
Many of us have come from organisations where politics and people’s ego’s interfere with being able to ‘get on and do a good job’.
All staff including administrative staff have regular professional supervision, where they have the opportunity to really unpick any concerns or anxieties they have. We believe that this in turn creates a strong workforce who are then able to adequately support carers in the challenging work that they do.
DIRECTOR Les Mitchell became involved in fostering around 10 years ago and was a foster carer with his wife for 10 years. Les has a strong belief that children need to be heard and to have a safe place to live their lives to their full potential in a loving family environment. To prove Les actually practices what he preaches, when he and his wife had a placement of a young man with hearing difficulties, Les learnt British Sign Language and is now qualified to teach this. Les is married and father to two very lively boys.
Mary Vincent has been qualified for 23 years and holds the Diploma in Social Work, as well as post-qualifying and the practice teachers awards, and the Diploma level 5 in Leadership and Management. Mary has considerable frontline social work experience, as well as fostering experience and prior to coming into post was the registered manager for another independent fostering agency in Kent.
Gill Fewins is a qualified and registered Social Worker, with over 22 years social work experience having worked for over 15 years in the fostering sector. She has also worked for CAFCASS and prior to that worked for the probation service. She worked for the Local Authority for many years both in the EDT and long term teams. She has also worked in residential social work.
Caroline Down has been a qualified and registered social worker since 1996 and has specialised in working within the field of children and families in residential, therapeutic, fieldwork and fostering. She has over 10 years experience as a senior manager in an Independent Fostering Agency and has extensive knowledge and skills of working with young people from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds. Caroline’s family fostered for over 20 years and she has also undertaken respite foster care. To support her family.
Dawn joined Lighthouse in August 2015 with a wealth of experience spanning 30 years. She has been an Executive Assistant for the Charities Aid Foundation, PA in a Local Authority Adoption Team, PA in the 16+ Leaving Care Service and Administration Manager/Panel Administrator at an Independent Fostering Agency, prior to joining Lighthouse Fostering. Dawn is also responsible for the smooth running of administrative arrangements that are essential for the effective functioning of panel
Previously Emma worked within the Vocational Team at Sandwich Technology School for over 6 years, working closely with students who attended Vocational College placements and also co-ordinating Work Experience for 250 students each Cohort. Emma works part-time at Lighthouse Fostering alongside her role as mum to 3 boys. Emma is responsible for assisting in the smooth running of Administration tasks, organising Foster Carers Training and maintaining Staff Personnel files.