I have worked in social care settings for about 30 years, having started in administrative positions within statutory organisations. I then took on a number of honorary posts within information technology, information management and performance analysis in relation to Department of Health Statistical returns. In 1996 I undertook the Case Management Foundation Course run by Surrey County Council following my promotion to a Review Officer within the Council. I have worked across various different database collection systems in local authorities and love reporting back information and trends I can see developing.
I worked on SiRD funded projects and co-devised a support planning course for individuals to attend in group settings. I was also involved in two separate projects relating to autism and breaking down barriers for people with various disabilities to lead ordinary lives. During this time I analysed and produced a paper which showed the lack of awareness of H & SCP in relation to people with autism and highlighted the need for more inclusion and involvement with the autism community.
I highlighted the issues relating to the stalling of local autism strategies across three local authority areas and, together with my sister, devised and delivered training for people with autism to better understand their own autism and recognise things like sensory diets, anxiety, cognitive functioning and how these differ and which resulted in my own diagnosis.
I have undertaken various training roles along with training independent advocates, Autism Awareness and supervised and supported staff in my senior management position as Training and Volunteer Coordinator within Advocacy North East. I was Carers’ representative on Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board for approximately a year before taking up a role on the Clinical and Adult Social Work Governance Committee.
I regularly attended the Cross Party Reference Group for Autism at the Scottish Government and am passionate about citizenship and asset based community development; however, I would like to see more understanding in relation to accessible inclusion in this area.
I have a particular interest in autism and I am a NAS trainer in Autism Awareness for Third Sector and Statutory Organisations. I have also undertaken Adult Support and Protection Training for Trainers. At present I am part of the CBN’s SQA Training Team and very much enjoying learning the ropes from the rest of the team.
I am currently working with my peers, who have undertaken the SQA 7 Award in Community Brokerage to set up a Community of Practice (Accredited Brokers Community of Practice), to ensure that standards, principles and values around SDS are maintained and set and that they make empowerment and independent support accessible to all.
My geeky interests are analysing and using performance indications in a way that relates to quality assurance and management information and systems in local authority settings. I also believe in valuing lived experience but providing people with all the tools they require to make their approach holistic, continual professional development, Independent Support in H&SC settings and of course SDS and Person Centred Planning / Personalisation.
In my private life I have my two beautiful terrier boys and love researching the family tree. Family are important to me and I am lucky enough to have an amazing twin sister who helps me to overcome my own barriers to live a more fulfilling life.