Executive Director of AFA Scotland and the
Register Manager of Scottish Adoption Register

Professional background
I qualified as a social worker in 1988 via a circuitous route – first becoming a Chartered Surveyor and then working in youth projects and in residential child care. As a social worker I worked for Barnardos, establishing a residential project for children who had previously been in long stay hospital, before moving to Dundee City Council’s fostering and adoption service and subsequently managing their permanence team. Prior to my current post, I worked for more than 10 years as a child care manager for Angus Council. I now divide my time between two roles – Manager of Scotland’s Adoption Register and Director of AFA Scotland (Adoption & Fostering Alliance).

Personal/professional interest in adoption
Early on in my social worker career I was involved in helping to find foster carers and adoptive parents for some of the children I was working with in residential child care. It was seeing the transformational impact that this could have on the children’s lives and the opportunities that could open up for them, that motivated me to work directly in adoption services. It also left me with an enduring belief that given the right support, adoption offers many children a much brighter future than the alternatives available in the care system. 

Lots of outdoor and active interests such as skiing and sailing which I do less often than I might like, partly because of an absorbing project over the last 6 years doing up a little cottage on a West coast island and enjoying the challenges of life without mains water and electricity!