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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.

Suman Bhogal (Treasurer)

Suman Bhogal is a fully charted accountant and holds membership with CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants).  She moved from Sydney to Cardiff with her family five years ago and since 2015 has been working at Barnardo’s as a Finance Business Manager.

Suman lived in Sydney for six years and worked for a Television Network as a Commercial Finance Manager. Prior to this she lived in London working within the advertising industry as a Management Accountant.  Suman writes that she enjoys numbers immensely and feels most comfortable analysing them!  Outside of work she’s kept busy being a mum to her three young children.

Cherrie Bija

My professional experience is as a Chief Executive, Board Member and Director of voluntary sector organisations in Wales.

My passion is ensuring that children have the opportunities to be who and what they want to be and the work that I lead in my  organisation “Faith in Families” ensures that whilst living with the challenges of poverty and adverse childhood experiences, children are given the basic right of learning, laughter and friendship.

My zeal and commitment to supporting children has derived from being the mother of 3 sons one of which is Autistic and was told would never achieve anything academic in his life. I expect the whole of Wales heard me whooping the day he walked across the stage to collect his First-class Honours Degree.

I strongly believe that we should not make judgements about people’s abilities, disabilities, circumstances, ACE score, colour, sex, age or religion and it is part of the voluntary sectors responsibility to advocate for fairness and equality.

I have been proud to be part of Children in Wales through the Policy Council and now as a co-opted board member and would like to continue supporting their vital work in Wales.

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.

Jenny Williams

Jenny lives and works in North Wales and has had a social care career which spans almost 20 years. Jenny began her career in the care sector working in Children’s and Adult care homes. Qualifying as a Social Worker in 1998, Jenny focused on Children’s services and undertook a variety of roles progressing to management positions predominantly specialising in Adoption and Looked after Children. Jenny was Head of Childrens Services in Conwy and in 2012 was appointed as Director for Social Services, taking on the Education Services in September 2014 as Strategic Director of Social Care and Education Services. In a national
context Jenny has chaired the national ADSSC Safeguarding Policy Group and has given evidence to the Social Care and Health Committee specifically on the safeguarding elements of the Social Services and Wellbeing Bill. Jenny represented North Wales Social Services on the Strategic Coordinating Group for Operation Pallial, the inquiry into historical abuse in North Wales Care Homes and is the current chair of the North Wales Safeguarding Children’s Board.
Jenny was the President of the Association of Directors of Social Services 2018/19 and thoroughly enjoyed this privilege and has recently joined the board of trustees at Children in Wales.

Professor David Egan

David Egan is Emeritus Professor of Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

During his career he has been Professor of Welsh Education Policy at the University of Wales Trinity St David where he was Director of the Wales Centre for Equity in Education, a teacher, a school leader, the head of a University Education Department, and an Estyn Registered Inspector.  He has served as a Government adviser, including being Special Adviser to the First Minister and Cabinet of the Welsh Government between 2005 and 2007, and has served as chair of the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Expert Advisory Group, and on the Welsh Government Early Years and Childcare Partnership Board.

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.

He is currently a member of the Welsh Government Foundation Phase Expert Group and is Editor of the Wales Journal of Education.

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.

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 Patrick Thomas

Patrick 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. Patrick’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.

Patrick’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).

Patrick lives on the North Pembrokeshire coast.

Bethan Webber

Bethan Webber is Director of Wales for Home-Start UK, a family support charity which, through its membership, provides volunteer and community-based support for families and children. Previously, Bethan was the head of Childcare and Play policy in Welsh Government.

Her background spans policy development and scrutiny roles in a number of senior management positions across a range of parliamentary organisations, including the Home Office, Government Office South West, the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Government. Bethan has extensive experience of developing government strategy and policy with an excellent understanding of the political context at a UK, devolved, and local government level.

Bethan has also undertaken a range of freelance research and evaluation projects, often with an early years focus. Recent projects include research into building community resilience for Social Care Wales, evaluations of the Welsh Government’s EU funded childcare workforce programme, Progress for Success, and the 30 hour childcare offer. Bethan has also provided business case training and development to early years and education sector leads.

Bethan is a Social Care Wales Fitness to Practice Panel Member, co-Chair of the Women’s Equality Network Wales and a school governor.

*Co-opted member* Dr Mike Shooter

*Co-opted member* Diane Daniel

*Co-opted member* Dr. Nia John