Ross began his career in 2001 working for the Local Authority as part of the specialist Looked After Children team. He also worked in the local authority’s mental health and long term child protection teams before setting up Channels and Choices with his colleagues in 2005. He is a Qualified Social Worker registered with the HCPC and he also has a degree in Psychology. Ross holds the registered manager’s award for children and young people and undertook the role of registered manager within Channels and Choices at the company’s inception in 2005. He also tutors professionals about managing conflict and appropriate physical interventions.
Steve is a Director at Channels and Choices. He is a Qualified Social Worker with a Diploma in therapeutic child care. Steve has over 20 years experience working with children and their families. He has worked for the Local Authority as part of the Youth Service, Young Offenders team, Education Welfare and 7 years in a LA residential children’s home. Following his qualification as a Social Worker Steve worked for the Council’s Long- term & Child Protection Team before he helped form Channels and Choices.
Martin has over 10 years experience working for Kent County Council working as both a residential and field social worker. Martin started his career in residential settings working with children and vulnerable adults. He worked at the Local Authority’s in-house specialist children’s home which catered for children with complex attachment difficulties for a number of years prior to Qualifying as a Social Worker. Martin then worked for the specialist ‘Looked after Children Team’ based in Thanet before he founded Channels and Choices in 2005.
Heads of Departments
Therapy Team Manager
Robert was involved in the creative arts for over 15 years, the latter end of this was working with children and young people in hard-to-reach communities as a project leader. Working within these communities and seeing first hand the positive impact creativity can have, it also highlighted the gap in services for young people who would respond better to a more creative therapeutic approach and, after much research, he decided to train as a dramatherapist. Since then he has worked within CAMHS, firstly as part of a specialist team in Surrey then moving into a more generic role and finally stepping across into Channels and Choices.
Therapy Team ManagerBiography
Deputy Manager - Therapy Team
Joyti has 14 years’ experience of working with Looked after Children. She initially started her career working within an independent therapeutic children’s home as a residential support worker before progressing into more of a managerial position. Joyti completed her level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management before then training to become a child therapist.
Joyti joined Channels and Choices in 2019, as a therapist and has now progressed into the role of Deputy Manager within the Therapy Department.
She is a qualified Creative Arts Play Therapist and is trained in Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Practice. She is currently training in Systemic Practice with the Institute of Family Therapy.
Deputy Manager - Therapy TeamBiography
Director of HR & Safeguarding
Paulette has over 20 years’ experience working with children & their families within a Social Services setting and in various Education Provisions. She worked for the Local Authority for 16 years as a Social Work Assistant and Administration Manager in various teams such as the Asylum Team, Children in Care Team and Child Protection Team. Before joining Channels and Choices Paulette worked in both Primary & Secondary Schools as the Lead Safeguarding Manager & Children in Care Coordinator. Paulette has been a Lead Associate Trainer with Kent Safeguarding Children’s Multi-Agency Partnership for the last 8 years delivering Child Protection & Safeguarding, CSE, Online Safety and Radicalisation Training to professionals across Kent. She is also a Home Office approved trainer and she leads on many of the courses provided to our foster carers and staff from all departments across the community. Paulette is a member of our Fostering Panel and also part of the School Management Committee taking the lead on Safeguarding in both roles.
Director of HR & SafeguardingBiography
Alistair has worked within education since qualifying in 1996 with a Bed (Hons) in Teaching Studies. After gaining a wide range of skills working in large district special schools, he began supporting the inclusion agenda, providing specialised strategies to mainstream schools to meet the needs of pupils at risk of exclusion or needing additional specialist intervention. Alistair managed the Outreach service for Gravesham, as Assistant Headteacher at Ifield school, working alongside ,multi-agency professionals, delivering training and workshops for different audiences before leading a specialist off-site Post 16 provision in Folkestone-securing a unit within South Kent College a first of its kind partnership. Alistair returned to Foxwood as Assistant Headteacher and helped to oversea the Federation of Foxwood and Highview School. During his tenure as Deputy Headteacher, he helped to form the groundworks for the newly designed Beacon school, one of the largest Profound Severe and Complex Needs schools in the country. Alistair was a lead trainer for ASD awareness, Structured interventions, Challenging behaviour and also Manual handling, supporting community liaison and parent/carer workshops. Alistair had a brief spell in the commercial sector working in a start-up, introducing a new insurance product and providing solutions for social housing and fintech sectors. Alistair gained Investors In People Status within a short space and champions collaborative working to achieve the very best for all who work with him. Alistair has been on the governing body and his most recent tenure was as Vice Chair of The Beacon. Alistair is also a Shared Lives Carer and has been a respite foster carer too. Alistair is a keen outdoor enthusiast and tries to raise money for mens health charities challenging his fears and has recently walked the 3 Peaks, raising over £6000 with a group of likeminded men. Alistair is a family man who loves to travel, when time allows.
Manager - Fostering Team
I have been a qualified social worker since 1994 and have extensive experience working with children and their families in different statutory settings (ie: Fostering, Adoption, Professional Standards, Quality Assurance, Child Protection, Looked After Children, Placement, Commissioning, and Safeguarding Partnership). Before joining Channels and Choices therapeutic community, I worked as a Head of Children Social Services in different local authorities. I am also a qualified workplace coach, and a practice educator.
My post graduate degree focused on the “attachment theory” and how it can be applied in both fostering and residential settings.
I have a diploma in Systemic Supervision which I use to ensure that the voices, views, and experiences of children are placed up front in supervising conversations.
Manager - Fostering TeamBiography
Deputy Manager - Fostering Team
Lydia has worked for the Fostering Team at Channels and Choices since January 2020. After completing an MA in Social Work she started her career in the field of child protection and looked after children, and later worked in adult social care. Aspiring to build on her existing skills and exercise her passion for art, she decided to complete an MA in Arts-Health, where she learned to use Art safely as a form of practical everyday support for people with diverse needs. She devised and managed her own research project into the impact of the Arts on adults with autism. Seeking to use this experience in different areas she started work as a Supervising Social Worker for a therapeutic Fostering Agency and later became Fostering Manager before joining the Channels and Choices Fostering Team.
Deputy Manager - Fostering TeamBiography
Placements & Recruitment Manager
Malcolm first worked with Channels and Choices as a residential support worker while completing his Social Work Degree. Having obtained a BA hons in Social Work, he joined the Fostering team as A Supervising Social Worker in 2013. Malcolm became Stepping Stones co-ordinator in 2017 and has been involved in developing Channels and Choices Stepping Stones model. Malcolm became Placements and Fostering Recruitment Manager in 2020. Malcolm leads on the Skills to Foster pre approval training course and has benefitted from attending both ARP training and Reflections on Fostering with Professor David Shemmings.
Placements & Recruitment ManagerBiography
Director of Care / Responsible Individual
Kate joined Channels and Choices in 2008 as a residential care worker and quickly progressed towards management. She was a key member in the pilot project of ‘Bearing the Unbearable’, led by Christine Bradley, as well as completing her level 3 Diploma in Health and Social care and level 5 in Leadership and Management. Kate has since progressed to Residential Services Senior Manager for our group living residential houses.
Director of Care / Responsible IndividualBiography