Al Coates MBE
BSc Social Work
Director of CEL&T
Co-Founder ACE Network North East
Co-founder the Adoption & Fostering Podcast
Director of Phoenix Community Care
Trustee for Families in Care
Blogger at alcoates.co.uk
Member of the DfE’s Adopter Reference Group
Additional professional qualifications:
Trainer and Facilitator for Friends Resilience (all programmes)
Management (Level 5)
NVR: Non Violent Resistance
Scott Casson Rennie
Co-Founder Adoption and fostering Podcast
Dr Wendy Thorley has been involved in several programmes as an Academic Consultant and programme leader including: Applied Family Studies, Early Years Professional Status, Foundation Degree in Education and Care, BA (Hons) Education and Care; and working with the DfE led Higher Level Teaching Assistant across the North East Region. She has built extensive collaborative partnerships with further education colleges and Local Authority organisations for continuing professional development at all levels of study As an Academic she led her department in developing the use of technological innovations to enhance the learning experience and was awarded the National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy for her teaching and learning excellence. During her career she has completed a range of CPD initiatives to develop her expertise. She gained professional experience initially in Nurse Education then primary education, further education and higher education. She has held positions in Local Authority Human Resource Department (HRD) related programmes to develop the front-line workforce. She is highly regarded across voluntary and statutory organisations and has published a range of papers, completed national and regional consultancy roles as well as a number of invited key note speaker contributions.
Mr Al Coates MBE: is an experienced Social Worker who has extensive knowledge of Fostering working as an independent Social Work in addition to being a Social Work Practice Educator and Trainer. As a member of the Department for Education's Expert Advisory Group on Adoption and Special Guardian he has undertaken to help support families recognising these children and young people can present with a wide range of behaviours. In addition to managing his own Foster Care caseload, working with Foster Carers and residential settings for children he runs a popular blogging site at alcoates.co.uk; for which he was awarded First4Adoptions blogger of the year in 2015 and 2016. He also produces the Adoption and Fostering Podcast. In recognition to his commitment and work he was awarded his MBE in the New Years Honours list, January 2018.
Ruth Whiteside taught for twenty years in primary schools including twelve years in a senior leadership role. She left teaching to concentrate on developing teachers through coaching and mentoring with a focus on building resilience and exploring emotional intelligence (EQ). Ruth’s experience includes eight years at a mainstream primary school with provision for children dealing with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. This furthered her knowledge and understanding of why resilience and emotional intelligence are key to a greater understanding of self and others. Ruth is now a certified trainer for Friends Resilience, an intervention programme suitable for children, young people and adults. She is also certified with Six Seconds as a profiler. Ruth gained her Masters in Educational Leadership from Newcastle University.
Scott Casson-Rennie has recently left Adoption UK where he worked for more than 5 years as Head of Engagement & Delivery. Scott has more than 20 years experience in Customer Relationships and Management. Whilst at Adoption UK Scott developed extensive appreciation of the complexities and life long impact ACEs can have for children and adults. He is widely regarded and recognised for his understanding and expertise in living with children who have a range of behavioural difficulties when trying to fit into popular society and schooling. Scott lead a team of regional engagement and delivery managers delivering services within Local Authorities, and the new partially funded DfE initiative 'Adopter Voice' as well as providing consultancy in a range of media forums