Robert worked as a social worker for more than 20 years, first as a practitioner and then as a manager, for a range of children’s services in two local authorities in London.
In 1999 he moved to the voluntary sector and became chief executive of Family Rights Group, helping to develop family group conferences in England, Scotland and Wales and undertaking the first research into the needs of grandparents bringing up their grandchildren. In 2004 he moved to the Fostering Network where he was chief executive for 10 years.
‘Working with foster carers, fostering services across the UK and the four national Goverments to improve the lives of children in foster care was a real privilege,’ said Robert. ‘I am most proud of the work we did to secure Staying Put, a recognised status for long term foster carers, training standards for foster carers and an increased recognition of the role and status of foster carers in improving the lives of children.’
Since leaving the Fostering Network Robert has undertaken a range of different roles, including co-chair of Your Family, Your Voice, an alliance between families, practitioners and academics convened by Family Rights Group; chairing two local authority adoption and fostering panels and working with Research in Practice. He is also a trustee of Family Action.
SCST chief executive Nicola Clemo said she was delighted to welcome Robert to the Trust and that he had already made a huge impression on staff. ‘From the outset Robert has thrown himself in at the deep end, seeking out the views of staff and service users and making sure he knows where the issues and challenges lie. We’re very pleased to have him on board,’ she said.
Robert said he was looking forward to being part of the Trust’s innovative approach to children’s social care. ‘The most vulnerable children in Slough depend on the success of the Slough Children’s Services Trust and I hope that I can use my experience to help the Trust achieve its ambitions,’ he said.