Joanne Alper

Joanne has 24 years of social work experience in both local authority and the independent sector. She has worked in Generic Child Care, Child Protection, Looked after Children, Fostering and Adoption. She is a qualified Play Therapist and has had 9 books published. Joanne is committed to relationship based models of social work, promoting non-blaming pro-learning organisational cultures and developing effective innovative services for children and families.Joanne is Director of Services at Adoptionplus, a voluntary adoption agency that specialises in in the placement of children with complex needs. She was instrumental in setting up Adoptionplus in 2006 as an adoption support agency and then in 2008 as a VAA. Her goal was to develop a new type of therapeutic adoption placement service, with a specific focus on supporting placements and the long-term therapeutic needs of children with a history of significant trauma.

Jan Fishwick

Jan’s career in social work began in 1975 as Deputy Matron of a 12-bedded children’s home, where she gained an initial understanding of the need for early intervention for families and encountered children waiting for adoptive families. This influenced her passion for support to prevent family breakdown and ensuring Looked After Children were given the best opportunity to thrive in a loving environment of a family.

Jan has a broad experience at senior level, joining PACT in 2008 as CEO. In this role, she contributed to the innovative development of PACT’s Dual Approval scheme and the voluntary sector’s ‘It’s All About Me’ service which found families for children with special placements needs. She contributed to the adoption reform agenda at the DfE and is a member of the London and South East Adoption Leadership Boards.

Jan has also served as a Board member of CVAA since 2009, and was Chair for part of this time, she is currently the Vice-Chair. 

Terry Fitzpatrick

Terry has worked in children’s social care for over 35 years. He began his career in the voluntary sector, working for what was then the Catholic Rescue Society as a residential child care officer, before moving to work for a local authority in 1983. Following this, he again worked for several years in a residential setting as a qualified social worker, helping to manage a “fostering preparation unit”. In this role he was asked to conduct fostering and adoption assessments, and so the passion for family placement work began.

From 1989 until 2013 Terry managed family placement services for a local authority, and specifically managed the adoption service there for over 24 years. In that time he helped steer the service through successive ‘outstanding’ inspection results and established the service as one of the best-performing in the country.

Terry has extensive expertise in early permanence planning and has routinely been enlisted to support other adoption agencies as they strive to develop foster to adopt and concurrency services.

As Director of ARC Adoption NE, Terry’s career has come full circle with a return to the voluntary sector. It is now his hope that he and the team at ARC Adoption NE can use their skills to make a major contribution to children’s lives on a national level.

Amanda Forshaw

Amanda is Chief Executive of Caritas Care, a charity which provides a range of social care services and projects in the North West. Caritas Care also provides professional accountancy and administrative support to CVAA. Amanda joined Caritas Care in 2003, following a varied career in social work practice and management within the public and voluntary sectors over the previous 25 years. This included 18 years’ experience of both practice and management in Local Authorities, and five years within the National Children’s Charity, The Children’s Society.

Amanda has acted as Treasurer of CVAA for many years, and in this time has seen the charity and its finances grow in both size and complexity.

Norman Goodwin

Norman is Chief Executive of Adoption Matters, a voluntary adoption agency operating in the north of England with its headquarters in Chester. He has worked there since 1985, having previously worked and managed in child care settings in Scotland, Wales and England.

Norman is an executive member and twice former chair of CVAA, and has also served as a Trustee of Children England, the leading membership organisation for the children, young people and families in the voluntary sector. He was the VAA representative Trustee of BAAF (British Association for Adoption and Fostering) from 1999 to 2015.

Norman has been involved in a number of national initiatives and working groups on adoption including Tim Loughton’s Ministerial Advisory Group, the Expert Working Group on Adoption and the Adoption Implementation Group which became the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board.

Between 2010 and 2014 Norman worked alongside Chris Smith and Mark Owers as part of the CVAA leadership team to implement the adoption reform programme. He is Vice Chair of the NW Regional Adoption Leadership Board.

Jeanne Kaniuk

Jeanne Kaniuk is the Managing Director of Coram’s Adoption and Permanent Families Service, which she has led since 1980. She is committed to early permanence for children at risk of growing up in care.

Jeanne was also instrumental in developing Coram’s pioneering concurrent planning project, which was established in 1999 and has placed over 100 babies and young children.

Latterly Jeanne has developed a subscription scheme at Coram which offers consultation and training to participating LAs and VAAs who wish to establish local early permanence schemes. In 2016/17 members of the scheme placed 120 babies in Foster for Adoption placements.

Jeanne has led the development of Coram Capital - a partnership with four Local Authorities in London and the region which was a precursor to the government’s RAA policy, and which has improved adoption performance in all the member LAs.

Jeanne was a principle investigator of the longitudinal adoption attachment study undertaken by Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Anna Freud Centre and Coram.

Jeanne received an OBE for her services to children in 2010. In 2014 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in National Social Work Awards.

Carolyn Oliver

Carolyn is the Assistant Head of Business - Adoption and the Agency Decision Maker for Barnardo’s. She has many years of experience of working with all parties to adoption in both public and voluntary sectors in England. She has developed policy and services and chaired adoption panels and is also an experienced trainer.

Prior to Carolyn’s current position, she managed an adoption support service. She was also involved in pioneering work with birth parents who lost children to adoption, which led to involvement in national conferences and policy development.

Carolyn has been a Board member of CVAA since 2010, and in that time has served as a member of the audit and finance sub-committee.

Satwinder Sandhu

Satwinder is CEO of IAC – The Centre for Adoption. He is a qualified social worker with 24 years experience across the voluntary, statutory and independent sectors. He is focussed in ensuring organisations deliver good practice and high customer service with the ultimate result being better long-term and sustainable outcomes for vulnerable children. 

Being CEO of an organisation that delivers intercountry and domestic adoptions services, as well as advice and support services he has a solid grasp of of the current issues affecting the sector.  

Satwinder’s passion for a better future for all children and his desire to constantly review and evolve how we deliver services has led to considerable success in the services he has led, and he brings this approach and experience to his work with the Board. 

Ray Shostak

Ray Shostak is an international adviser in education, government performance and public service reform. He was Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Director General Performance Management and member of the Board of Her Majesty’s Treasury from 2007 – 2011. Previously, Ray served as Director of Public Services at HM Treasury and has had responsibility for a wide variety of public service and spending control issues.

Prior to joining the Treasury, he was the first Director of Children, Schools and Families at Hertfordshire County Council. He has also worked as Head of Pupil Performance in the Department of Education and Skills; and held a number of senior roles in local government. In addition to being the Independent Chair of Trustees of the CVAA Ray is a member of the Board of the National Audit Office, a Trustee of the Early Intervention Foundation and is an Honorary Norham Fellow at Oxford University. Ray was awarded an Honorary CBE for services to education by HM Queen in 2005.

Stephen Small

Stephen became a social worker in 1986. His first job was with Humberside County Council working within a child protection and children and family setting. He returned to his native Scotland in 1988 to work with Midlothian Council supporting foster carers for adolescents.

In 1993 Stephen took up a temporary secondment to St. Andrew’s Children’s Society. He has been the Director of St Andrew’s from 1995 until the present.

Stephen has been a Trustee of CVAA since it became a charity, and has a particular role within the Board to represent the developments, issues and challenges faced by the agencies based in the Celtic Nations.