‘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, supportive and secure environment for our staff to flourish. We have a culture that encourages openness and transparency and we work to achieve high professional standards. Staff are encouraged to attend regular training to develop their knowedge base and skills.
All staff including administrative staff have regular professional supervision, with the registered manager to enable them to explore any concerns or worries, thus ensuring a strong workforce who are then able to 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. Les learnt British Sign Language and is now qualified to teach this. Les is married and father to two boys.
Mary has over 28 years working in statutory childrens' services and has worked on the front line in Child Protection and Safeguarding, both as a Social Worker, Manager, Safeguarding Advisor and Trainer. Mary has worked within the Fostering sector for the last 11 years and was previously a Registered Manager for an IFA in Kent. She she is registered with Social Work England and has extensive knowledge, skills and understanding of the complexities of working with children and families.
Bridget has recently joined Lighthouse Fostering and will be supporting the work with Foster Carers, children, young people and supervising social workers. She has an extensive background working in residential care, fostering and looked after children.
Elmarie has recently joined the Lighthouse Fostering Team. Since qualifying as a Social Worker in 2007, El has worked in a Youth Offending setting working with young people and their families, and believes one of her strengths is building rapport with service users and working in partnership and these skills are very important to her. She has worked within an Education setting and during this time she has worked closely with Foster Carers, parents and children. El is a good communicator and has completed the British Sign Language Level 1 Qualification. She is excited about working within the Fostering sector and transferring her knowledge and skills.
Jacqui has been a qualified and registered social worker for 15 years. She initially gained employment as a supervising social worker within an independent fostering agency, and gained experience in a busy children and families Duty and Initial Assessment Team. She has experience in child protection working as an OOH social worker for Kent CC out of hour’s service dealing mainly with Child Protection concerns and participating in ABE interviews. Jacqui has worked for a larger IFA in Kent since 2015. She has a wealth of experience within the Independent Fostering Sector as well as statutory experience.
Jenny qualified as a social worker in 2014, Her first placement was working in a independent private fostering agency, for her second placement she worked in an Older People’s Mental Health Team which was hospital based. On qualifying Jenny worked for an independent fostering agency as a supervising social worker, which gave her the experience of working with a large caseload and completing form f assessments. Now she currently work 4 days a week at Lighthouse Fostering, the rest of the time I am a mum to two young boys and have an older step-daughter.
Shannon joined the Lighthouse Fostering team in 2022. Prior to this Shannon worked for a local authority as a Child in Care Social Worker. Shannon spent 2 and a half years building rapports with the young people, which is something that Shannon prides herself on and believes is one of her strengths. Shannon worked collaboratively with the professional network around the child, taking a holistic approach to the care planning, to achieve the best possible outcome. Shannon’s priority within this was to ensure that the young person’s overall needs were being met, whilst ensuring placement stability so that the young person has a secure base allowing them to thrive and grow as an individual. Shannon also completed two placements prior to her qualifying, one was a voluntary setting for adults with mental health and the other within the front-line Child Protection team. Shannon feels that she has a lot of transferable skills that are usable within the fostering sector and is excited to be supporting young people via their foster carers. Shannon grew up in a fostering household.
Emma has worked for Lighthouse Fostering since October 2015. Emma previously worked within the Vocational Team at Sandwich Technology School, working closely with students who attended Vocational College placements and coordinating Work Experience for 250 students each Cohort. Emma works part-time alongside her role as single mum to 3 boys. Emma is responsible for the smooth running of all administration tasks, foster carer recruitment and coordinates the recruitment of staff and maintaining current staff personnel files. Emma is also the Panel Administrator for Lighthouse Fostering.
Jane joined Lighthouse in 2021. Her role within the agency is varied, she undertakes the role of Administration/Placements and Referrals/Training, alongside using her experience to support the supervising social workers as a Social Worker Support Officer. Jane comes with a wealth of experience within Childrens Social Care, where she was an Assessments and Placements Officer, seeking school placements and writing Education Health Care Plans for the SEN department. Jane has previous experience working for two other Independent Fostering Agencies in Kent as part of their Referrals, Fostering Panel and Administration Team.