Working directly with kinship carers across the country in their homes, communities and through our advice service, our team helps kinship families work through problems, understand their choices and make positive decisions for the whole family.
Meet our advice team
Our advice team delivers advice and guidance via phone, email and social media. They’re on hand daily to offer advice and support. They also research and develop information for our digital channels, including the website.
Kathy Wade, advice service manager
“I love working for Kinship, providing high-quality advice and support to our clients and getting to speak to our kinship carers who do such amazing things supporting their families.” read Kathy’s full bio
I’m the advice service manager and I’m based on the London office where I work with our small team of advisers, grants volunteers and admin volunteer.
I love working for Kinship, providing high-quality advice and support to our clients and getting to speak to our kinship carers who do such amazing things supporting their families. I love the passion and enthusiasm within the team and our commitment to campaigning for better rights for kinship carers.
I have worked in advice in the voluntary sector for more than 27 years and have a background in debt and money advice. I have managed advice services in London, heading an advice service in Tower Hamlets. I also work as a freelance trainer, providing training on a range of advice skills and issues.
I have a Humanities degree with English Literature and Philosophy with the Open University, I graduated as a mature student (studying while working full time) and loved the new skills and knowledge I developed while doing my degree.
In my spare time I love caring for my cats and pet tortoise and I also run a small retro sweets stall attending fayres and festivals at weekends.
Nicola Kerr, senior advice worker
“I’m extremely passionate about making sure our kinship carers are able to access free information and advice so they don’t suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights.” read Nicola’s full bio
I have 17 years’ experience of working in the advice sector. I started working for Kinship as an advice worker in 2015 and have been a senior advice worker since 2018.
I previously worked as a specialist welfare rights adviser for the Citizens Advice Bureau; representing service users in appealing many types of welfare benefit cases. Previous to that I was a generalist adviser providing general advice including, housing, debt, consumer, family, community care and benefits. I have also worked as a detached youth worker, befriending young people on the streets providing informal education to on a one to one basis and in group environments.
I’m extremely passionate about making sure our kinship carers are able to access free information and advice so they don’t suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights. I’m also passionate about making change through social policy so that kinship carers don’t have to suffer in the future.
I love to travel and be outdoors, preferably by the sea and I’m crazy about VW split screen campervans!
Meet our programmes team
Our programmes teams currently work across England. They manage all project workers and work alongside other professionals in the community, including the local authority.
Kelly McDonagh, programmes manager for the South of England
“Having been an informal kinship carer throughout my late twenties I bring my own lived experience to the challenges faced by the individuals and families Kinship supports.” read Kelly’s full bio
Hello my name is Kelly, I’m the Programmes Manager for the South of England. My primary role is supporting a team of dedicated and experienced project workers to deliver some of our core service delivery programmes; Kinship Connected and Kinship Ready.
Having spent 17 years within the criminal justice sector I was keen to take up this role at Kinship as it provided an opportunity where my professional and personal experiences could be merged together. Having been an informal kinship carer throughout my late twenties I bring my own lived experience to the challenges faced by the individuals and families Kinship supports.
I have worked in both statutory and non-statutory organisations within the criminal justice field and bring safeguarding knowledge to Kinship where I’m also the safeguarding lead. Within my previous experience I have managed resettlement units for British citizens detained abroad and deported back to the UK.
I have also specialised within providing gender specific services, public protection teams, substance misuse teams and worked on secondment to the Ministry of Justice completing projects on the management of recalled prisoners.
I hold a BA in Community Justice and Diploma in Probation Studies and a Certificate in Training in the Lifelong Learning sector which has supported my previous roles designing, delivering and evaluating a range of programmes.
Meet our project workers
Our project workers are integral to delivering support groups and advice and guidance to kinship carers in the community. With a collective wealth of knowledge they work tirelessly to improve the lives of the families they support.
Darren McGlen, senior project worker for the North East
“I love my job because it’s great to be able to provide support and advice to kinship carers who have very unfairly not received any or at most very little since taking on their caring role.” read Darren’s full bio
My name is Darren McGlen and I work providing support to kinship carers as well as creating new support groups and supporting existing ones. No matter how much support people need, it’s amazing to be able to bring any kind of additional enjoyment to their lives. To be able to do it with Kinship, which is such a supportive working environment with amazing values, makes it even better.
I originally qualified in Business Management, (postgraduate), and worked in a variety of posts within the NHS for around 11 years. I eventually found my real passion for community development, in which I have worked for a variety of charities for around 16 years.
Having been a foster carer for around 7 years I found this post that really fitted in with my interests; which was to support carers to carry out their roles without also having to worry about isolation or so many other financial, legal or social complications.
I spend most of my spare time traveling around the UK exploring new places with my family and fishing around the coastline.
Rachael Sherrington, senior project worker for Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees
“I love my role as I know that every day I do something that makes a difference to someone. The kinship carers that I meet and work with know they can contact me whenever they need to.” read Rachael’s full bio
Hello, my name is Rachael Sherrington and I’m a project worker at Kinship. I live in Huddersfield in Kirklees, and I’m the project worker for Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees. I offer support to kinship carers and run support groups in the community. I’m an advisor, an advocate and an ear.
I love my role as I know that every day I do something that makes a difference to someone. The kinship carers that I meet and work with know they can contact me whenever they need to.
I like working for Kinship as they are really passionate about what they do. They don’t just talk the talk – they walk the walk too. They are also a supportive employer – the care and compassion towards kinship carers you read about is what they give their employees too.
My background is in child protection and working in schools. I enjoy meeting new people every day and making links in the communities I work in. I have two young children who keep me busy, and we love to go on walks and explore the area we live. I enjoy adult colouring books and I find them so relaxing. I also love to make bread and treats, but they don’t last long at this house!
Kelly Taylor, project worker for Bradford and Calderdale
“I love my role as a project worker, because I too am a kinship carer and through my experiences over the years, I hope to be able to put into good practice and support others in their roles.” read Kelly’s full bio
Hello my name is Kelly Taylor, I am a project worker for Kinship. I live in Bradford and I am a project worker in Bradford and Calderdale. I offer support to kinship carers, and help them to feel connected within the community.
I love my role as a project worker, because I too am a kinship carer, I have an SGO for my nephew, through my experiences over the years of learning & gaining support for our family, I hope to be able to put into good practice and support others in their roles.
When im not ferrying the children back and forth from stage school, I enjoy growing fruit and veg at our allotment, and road trips with the family.
Julie Normington, senior project worker for Milton Keynes
“It is a privilege to work within an organisation that genuinely reflects the aspirations, needs and concerns of kinship carers.” read Julie’s full bio
My name is Julie; I’m the Kinship Connected project worker in Milton Keynes.
I have been working for Kinship for nearly a year now and what a challenging yet fulfilling year it has been. Each working day is different. Having past experience of working with both statutory and voluntary organisations has really helped me in establishing the Kinship Connected service in MK. It is a privilege to work within an organisation that genuinely reflects the aspirations, needs and concerns of kinship carers. I’m genuinely moved by the support that the kinship carers offer each other and how the peer-to-peer support network is building in Milton Keynes. There is still more to be done though and much needs to change.
As well as a busy family life I have for many years volunteered in schools, libraries and local community groups. My favourite building would be any library, my favourite pastime is sitting with a cuppa and a book. Somehow I find time to belong to three book groups (and yes we do read books!)
Maxine Campbell, project worker for North London
“As someone who hates injustice, I have a passion to see through change for all kinship carers.” read Julie’s full bio
I am Maxine, I have worked for Kinship for three years, firstly working on our lottery-funded pilot Relative Experience and now I am a Kinship Connected project worker in North London.
I am a special guardian who has been involved in championing change for kinship carers through focus groups and contributing to research and media work. As someone who hates injustice, I have a passion to see through change for all kinship carers.
Karen Davis, project worker for Kinship Ready
“I was a foster carer for over 16 years caring for children and young people and went through the process of obtaining a residence order for one of my long-term foster children.” read Karen’s full bio
My Name is Karen Davis I’m a project worker with Kinship and run Kinship Ready training and 1:1 support, as well as support groups.
I’m quite new to the organization and am looking forward to supporting and sharing my experience with kinship carers.
I was a foster carer for over 16 years with Birmingham local authority caring for children and young people aged 5 – 16 years and went through the process of obtaining a residence order for one of my long-term foster children. I then went on to work for a scheme called Teenage & Remand Fostering as a specialist foster carer for over 6 years fostering teenagers who were or about to be on tag and remand. I also cared for a number of young people experiencing adoption breakdowns.
After my fostering career I went on to work in private fostering agencies in various roles such as family resource worker, Training and recruitment coordinator, and Therapeutic support worker. I have previously lived and worked in Milton Keynes as an advocacy and independent visitor coordinator for looked after children with Spurgeons charity organisation.
I’m currently working with St Basils as a ‘supported living host’ caring for young people aged 16-19 years in my home who are homeless and Asylum seekers/Refugees, I have been doing this for the last 5 years.
And just to keep me busy I have eight grandchildren (2 of whom are my daughters’ long term fostered children) One of whom lives with me, and he has recently completed his Masters in psychology. He is also my live in IT support person too!
Jane Harmer, project worker for Kinship Active, Middlesborough
“I have a deep admiration for kinship carers and am delighted to be working for Kinship, an organisation whose purpose and heart is to support kinship families to stay together.” read Jane’s full bio
I’m a project worker for Kinship Active working in Middlesbrough. Kinship Active is an exciting pilot programme which supports kinship families to take part in a range of low-cost activities, spending time together as a family and with other families, having fun and getting fit together.
From my previous experience working in the drug and alcohol field, I saw firsthand how the patience and strength of kinship carers brought much-needed stability and love to their families in times of family strain. I have a deep admiration for kinship carers and am delighted to be working for Kinship, an organisation whose purpose and heart is to support kinship families to stay together.
As a mum of four and grannie of four, I’m always busy but love to find time to nordic walk and knit – endlessly!
Chris Weekes, project worker for kinship response
“Having seen the ‘highs and lows’ of kinship care I felt compelled to work for an organisation supports kinship carers and their families.” read Chris’s full bio
My name is Chris Weekes project worker for kinship response. I’m home-based and live in Gorleston, East Anglia.
I can only say what a privilege it is to work for Kinship. I semi-retired in December 2019 after being employed in a kinship team for many years. Having seen the ‘highs and lows’ of kinship care I felt compelled to work for an organisation that supports kinship carers and their families. I had always advocated for Kinship in my previous role and was delighted to hear of the new response service. Thank you to Kinship for the long-standing commitment and dedication to kinship care, oh, and my wonderful job!
Monica Fox, project worker for kinship response
“Not only does my work allow me to speak with and support kinship carers all over England, but our services are focused on providing carers with the tools to feel empowered within their lives.” read Monica’s full bio
My name is Monica Fox, and I am a Kinship Response project worker for Kinship. Originally from Canada, I immigrated, with my cat Bijou, to England in 2011. Then in 2012, I married a lovely Scotsman and became step-mum to his then three-year-old daughter. I joined the Kinship Response team in July of 2020. My role involves registering new Kinship kinship carers and providing them with three follow up calls. Within these calls, I provide emotional support, advice, in and out of house referrals, signposting, resources, and advocacy.
Another aspect of my role is facilitating virtual support groups. I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed working for a charity more than I have enjoyed working for Kinship.
Not only does my work allow me to speak with and support kinship carers all over England, but our services are focused on providing carers with the tools to feel empowered within their lives. Kinship, as an employer is incredibly supportive, and I have always been blown away by the level of community and compassion management and staff have shown. I love most things sci-fi, especially the Star Trek franchise!