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Trustee Board

Children in Wales is managed by a Trustee Board comprising of up to 12 members.  The Board oversees the finance, governance and compliance of Children in Wales and sets and maintains our vision and values. Its members serve for a maximum of two terms of three years and are elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.

Dr David Williams


Cardiff “born & bred”, David Williams attended Southampton University Medical School then trained in Child Psychiatry in South Wales. He was appointed Consultant in Child Psychiatry for Rhymney Valley in 1998 becoming CAMHS Clinical Director for Gwent in 2001. David is currently Divisional Director for Family & Therapies in Gwent. This incorporates all community and inpatient children services. His clinical work is with the Gwent specialist mental health team for children with learning disabilities & children in the youth justice system.  David has completed research on alcohol withdrawal and then led a funded research project: a 30 year follow up of the Aberfan disaster survivors.  Training Programme director for child psychiatry in Wales (2004-2009), David is now professional adviser to the Welsh Government for Child Mental Health.

Kara Williams (Treasurer)

Kara is a chartered accountant and has been working in practice for more years than it’s polite to mention. She is the audit partner at Ellis Lloyd Jones LLP, a firm of chartered accountants based in Newport. Kara trained with Grant Thornton, in Cardiff, after having gained a BSc in Mathematics at Cardiff University. Kara has been involved with ICAEW South Wales, the local district society, for 8 years, has served on the executive committee for the past 2 1/2 years and is the current president.

Kara has nearly 20 years’ experience in audit and the preparation of financial statements. This includes 15 years’ experience in the audit and preparation of charity and not for profit accounts.

Professor Jonathan Scourfield

Jonathan is a Professor of Social Work at Cardiff University, and has worked as a social work academic since 1996. Much of his research has focused on childhood and child welfare, with particular attention to minority ethnic children and interventions with fathers, as well as suicide and self-harm. His most recent books, both co-authored with other academics, are Muslim Childhood (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Understanding Suicide (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). He also has considerable experience of teaching on and being responsible for social work courses. Jonathan previously worked as a comprehensive school teacher, a group worker in a therapeutic community and probation officer.

Ann Shabbaz

Ann Shabbaz, has a broad based knowledge of working in the Statutory, Voluntary and Private sector. Ann has held senior positions in Children’s Services for over twenty five years, ensuring the delivery of a mixed portfolio of services to Young People, especially those within the care system. These services have included; Safeguarding, Fostering & Adoption, Disability Services, Care Leavers, and the Homeless.

Ann has a track record of working with marginalised groups, and has a strong sense of social justice. Strategically she has always sought to raise awareness of difficult issues, and has sought to create partnerships that can address some of the difficulties identified with the needs and opinions of those affected at the centre of the solution.

Ann has the ability to work across different age ranges, and the skills and knowledge to bring them together, leading meetings, research activities, and development. She has experience of managing budgets, across organisational and cultural boundaries, including Health and Education. She has had experience of working across a number of Authorities, and has held All Wales positions.

She currently holds the position of Director of Children’s Services for a private company who offer residential care for Children & Young People, and is the driving force behind the company’s efforts to become a Centre of Excellence in Wales in the delivery of these services. The home has had its first inspection and importantly, is seen as excellent by both children and their parents. Although a new organisation in the we are keen to explore and develop new partnerships within the private sector, that will raise standards for Residential Care, and co cooperate and share key functions of Training, ensuring Equality and Diversity, Ann is also an experienced member of the Independent Complaints system for Children and their Families for the Welsh Government.

Hannah Williams

Hannah has more than 13 years experience in the third sector, delivering services to vulnerable children and families.  As a qualified youth and community practitioner, she has worked throughout Wales and internationally in a range of roles, including practitioner roles through to senior management positions. Her experience includes working with small organisations through to national charities.  Hannah currently works for Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice and also holds roles as Vice-Chair for BBC Children in Need, Wales and as a Trustee for Inroads, the street drugs harm reduction organisation for Cardiff and the Vale. She also delivers training and accredited courses in youth and community work on behalf of YMCA Community College.  Hannah is driven by a fundamental belief in person centred and strengths based practice and is currently researching the role of person centred practice in engaging families as part of her MA in Managing Community Professions.

Professor David Egan

David Egan is Professor of Welsh Education Policy at the University of Wales Trinity St David where he acts as Director of the Wales Centre for Equity in Education and as Executive Lead for the Teach First programme.

During his career he has been a teacher, a school leader, the head of a University Education Department, an Estyn Registered Inspector and a Government adviser, including being Special Adviser to the First Minister and Cabinet of the Welsh Government between 2005 and 2007.

His current portfolio of work is particularly focused on breaking the link between poverty and low educational achievement and he has published reports in this area with Save the Children, the Bevan Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Amongst the public appointments he currently holds, he serves as chair of the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Expert Advisory Group, the Welsh Government Early Years and Childcare Partnership Board and the Welsh Government Foundation Phase Expert Group.

Jane Newby

Jane’s  professional career has incorporated a number of roles and responsibilities working with children, families and educational groups. Having commenced her career working with disadvantaged groups (NEETS), she then re-trained as a teacher and has subsequently worked within a number of schools in Wales. As an advocate of ‘special and additional needs’ she has worked with children with underlying cognitive and language difficulties.

Additional experience working within the further and higher education field has allowed Jane to develop and support students and practitioners who work directly with children and young people, developing curricula and extending wider professional networks. Within her current role as Associate Head of School she takes strategic lead for the subject areas of both Early Years and Therapeutic Studies. She  ensure that academic, quality and regulatory functions are upheld and has responsibility for budgetary and financial planning of a large department.

Jane has extensive project management experience, facilitating and leading teams through initial concept discussion to planning, implementation and facilitation.

Dr Sarah Jones

Sarah is a Consultant with Public Health Wales with a particular interest in Child and Adolescent Public Health. At present she is leading the Child Death Review, Thematic Review of Drownings, for Wales. Sarah has an on-going interest in child injury prevention and has worked with Children in Wales. Her PhD was a study of child pedestrian injuries. She has had a major advocacy role for the introduction of graduated driver licensing to improve the real problem of safety to young drivers and their passengers. Sarah has also been involved in child home and sports safety projects. In a previous role, Sarah was also involved in work to reduce teen pregnancies.

Sarah was born and brought up in Cardiff. She spends her non-work time laughing with her 19 month old daughter and educating her in the ‘joy’ that is Welsh rugby.

Sarah Crawley

Sarah was appointed to the post of Director, Barnardo’s Cymru in August 2016 having worked as Head of Poverty & Prevention, City & County of Swansea since 2013.

Sarah was educated at Loughborough University and Coventry University. She has an extensive background in social care, early intervention services for families and young people, community regeneration, housing and offender rehabilitation, holding posts across multiple local authorities in England and Wales.

Sarah’s local government career began as a housing and regeneration trainee at Lewisham Council, before moving onto Coventry City Council where she held a number of management posts developing neighbourhood services for communities, offender rehabilitation and adult social care services. Sarah moved to Wales to take up a unique role for Swansea Council running all their prevention and early intervention services for children, young people, families and communities.

Since becoming Director for Barnardo’s Cymru Sarah has established a more collaborative approach, focussing on themes in Barnardo’s 10 Year strategy, as well as expanding services for children affected by parental imprisonment, and work with veterans and their families.

Emeritus Professor Nigel Thomas

Nigel Thomas is Professor Emeritus of Childhood and Youth at the University of Central Lancashire and founder of The Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation. He was previously a social work practitioner, manager and advisor, and later a social work educator. Nigel’s research interests are principally in child welfare, children’s rights, children and young people’s participation, and theories of childhood and intergenerational relations. He was recently a leading member of a large international team studying young people’s participation in public spaces in eight European cities (Partispace), funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, and also of a team looking at student participation and wellbeing in schools, funded by the Australian Research Council. He is currently part of a study of ethical practice and the meaning of child safety in different institutional contexts (schools, residential care and disability support), also funded by the ARC.

Nigel’s publications include Children, Family and the State: Decision-Making and Child Participation (Macmillan 2000, Policy Press 2002); Social Work with Young People in Care: Looking after children in theory and practice (Palgrave 2005); Children, Politics and Communication: Participation at the Margins (Policy Press 2009); A Handbook of Children and Young People’s Participation: perspectives from theory and practice (with Barry Percy-Smith, Routledge 2010); and Participation, Citizenship and Intergenerational Relations in Children and Young People’s Lives (with Joanne Westwood, Cath Larkins, Dan Moxon and Yasmin Perry, Palgrave Macmillan 2014).

Nigel lives on the North Pembrokeshire coast.

*Co-opted member* Dr Mike Shooter

*Co-opted member* Diane Daniels

*Co-opted member* Dr. Nia John