2015-2017 Board of Directors
IFCO Board and Officers
Following the International Foster Care Organisation's Annual General Meeting held on 9 November 2015 in Sydney, Australia the 2015-17 IFCO Board members and officers are listed below.
Stela Grigoras (Moldova)
Stella Grigoras holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and has over 18 years of experience in developing and managing large social welfare in childcare national reform programs and projects. Since 200, she has held the position of CEO of Partnership for Every Child in Moldova. Her responsibilities include leading on supporting local and national government in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating transformation and closure plans for large-scale residential institutions, as well as planning and delivering community-based social services for children and families; implementing inclusive education programmes, innovative early intervention programmes, mechanisms for inter-sectoral cooperation on cases of child abuse, neglect and exploitation; supporting the national government in developing and revising primary and secondary legislation in child and family welfare.
Donna Scott (Australia)
Donna Scott has been a foster parent for 11 years. She has also been a Board Member to Connecting Foster Carers – SA for the past eight years and a Director on the IFCO Board since 2011. Ms Scott is an active foster carer and does all types of care. She believes that her passion is to see better outcomes for children in care and leaving care, and a better system for all parties involved.
"My husband and I have been foster carers since 2003. Since then we have had over 100 children share our home – some for only a few days, others will be with us for a lifetime. Currently, I am Vice Chairperson of Connecting Foster Carers – SA, the peak body for all Alternative Carers in South Australia. Prior to this, I held the position of Treasurer for 4 years. I am also the key Events Manager and enjoy arranging events that enable Carers and Children/Young People to enjoy life-enriching experiences. These have included such varying things as National Conferences through to taking children camping amongst Africa animals. For the past 5 years, I have been involved in bringing together all parties of the care team to consider ways to benefit children in care. I am passionate about seeing best outcomes for young people and respect given to the people who love, nurture, heal and care for these children."
Jean Anne Kennedy (Ireland)
Jean Anne is a Ph.D. candidate in Waterford IT and a Board member of IFCO since 2009. Previously the European co-ordinator of Power4Youth, the European Youth in Care Network, Jean Anne is an active advocate and consultant at European and international level promoting foster care, strategic planning and partnerships, NGO capacity building, children’s rights and youth advocacy and empowerment. Her involvement in IFCO started out as a youth delegate in 1999 and she has presented plenaries, workshops, programmes and presentations at IFCO Conferences and other forums many times since. As a person whose parents were foster carers, her personal interest in the success of foster care and positive outcomes for all stakeholders has shaped her career path. She holds an Honours Degree in Sociology and English and a Master’s degree in Social Research (Sociology). She was Co-organiser of IFCO 2014 European Conference and a Conference Liaison Officer for IFCO 2012 European, IFCO 2013 and IFCO 2017 Global Conferences as well as a Vice-President 2011-2015.
Carrie Wilson (UK)
Carrie Wilson grew up in the care system in England from the age of 11, with Social service support ending at the age of 23, when she finished her degree. As a student Carrie was a mentor for those still in care. Once graduated, she worked for a year at Sheffield Hallam University leading the Care Leaver project, aimed at involving more Care experienced young people into Higher Education. Once the work was embedded, Ms Wilson moved on to her current role as Young Peoples Project Coordinator at the Care Leavers Association, the leading user led national charity in England. She works directly with those at the leaving care age, up to the age of 30, to improve the current system and to support those going through the transition process. This includes advocacy, mentoring programs, helping to create national networks of best practice and consulting on issues affecting those leaving care.
Danielle Douglas (Ireland)
Danielle is an alumni of foster care and was a relative foster carer. She has dedicated a considerable part of her life to improving alternative care for children. Upon completion of a degree in Social Care, she applied for a competitive scholarship from the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and was successful. She now holds an MA in Research and her area of expertise is resilience and foster care. Danielle is a lecturer in Social Care in Waterford Institute of Technology. She has been an active member of the IFCA, IFCO, Power4Youth and Eurochild presenting plenaries and workshops at various national and international events. She has designed and facilitated training to young people, foster carers and social workers both locally and abroad. Danielle sits on the Quality Assurance Committees of two private fostering agencies in Ireland. She is married with two children.
Volodymyr Kuzmynskyi (Ukraine)
Volodymyr Kuzminskyi is a consultant for Oxford Policy Management. He holds a Ph.D. in Economy as well as a Master’s Degree in the Management of Organization. He has extensive experience in advising Government and NGOs in policy and services development in the child protection sphere, most recently in Zimbabwe, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Moldova and Tajikistan He is skilled and experienced in child protection strategic and systems development and specialises also in the development and delivery of capacity building programmes and monitoring and evaluation. For over eight years, Volodymyr was the Country Director of an international child protection NGO taking a lead role in the development of child protection policy at national level. Volodymyr is the author of more than 25 publications addressing contemporary issues in social and economic fields. He has been serving as President of IFCO since 2011 up to date.
Lacy Kendrick Burk (USA)
Lacy is a care leaver and adult adoptee. She currently serves as the Executive Director for Youth MOVE National, a national organization led by young people to unite and support the voices and causes of youth across child serving systems. She also serves as the Founder/CEO of Youth Engagement Solutions which helps youth and adults partner to promote positive change. She has been published in the book The 3-5-7 Model: A Practice Approach to Permanency and the ABA Child Law Journal. Ms. Kendrick Burk joined the youth committee of IFCO in Victoria in 2010 and has since been involved in the development of createXchange, the global youth in care network, presented at the 2012 European Meeting in Bulgaria, and helped to develop the youth track for IFCO 2013 in Osaka, Japan. She looks forward to advocating for positive changes through youth participation, policy development and implementation and evaluation.
Myrna L. McNitt (USA)
Myrna McNitt has been a foster parent and a kinship provider. As a carer, she has experienced the joys and challenges of being a carer. As a social worker, she has worked her entire career in child protection and juvenile justice. Ms McNitt has developed programs in the USA to deinstitutionalize children involved in the juvenile justice system. She was the clinical program supervisor for a Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care project in Reading, UK. This was an evidenced-based program providing foster care to children who had multiple placement breakdowns. Myrna was also the clinical supervisor in Kenya working to provide family reunification, foster care, adoption and leaving care services to children with disabilities and infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. Myrna McNitt is now a college professor of social work, teaching courses to prepare students to work in child welfare/protection. As a life member of IFCO, Myrna has worked for over 30 years to provide training and project work across the globe to promote family-based care for children without parental care.
Sarah Milan (UK)
Sarah Milan is a qualified social worker in the UK. She worked with the Local Authority in Southwark, London for almost 10 years. During this time Sarah worked in Child Protection, Adoption and Permanence and Looked After Children’s teams. In 2012 she took a year sabbatical and completed an MSc in Anthropology of Childhood, Youth and Education. Her dissertation was based on the development of foster care in Bulgaria and she spent 3 months at For Our Children in Bulgaria during that time. In 2013, Mrs Milan took the role of Development Director for Rees Foundation (previously Core Assets Foundation). She was involved in the creation and launch of this charity for care leavers in the UK, and is currently a Director of Rees Foundation working on the implementation of project work and growing the charity. Since 2013, Sarah has also completed the academic modules on a MA in Charity Management with the dissertation to complete in 2016.
Vasundhra Sharma (India)
Vasundhra Sharma is an Advocate by profession in India, with a career spanning more than 15 years. She completed her post-graduation in Law with specialization in Criminal Law. Primarily her area of work is focused on issues dealing with care, protection and rehabilitation of minors, specifically sexual abuse. During Vasundhra's vast career, she has worked with Employees State Insurance Corporation, Prayas, a well known and reputed NGO and Tata Consultancy Services, one of the top IT company operating in 46 countries. She is pursuing Ph.D. (Law) from Northcap University India on “Institution care, a violation of child rights -‐ An Indian Perspective”. Currently working as Member Child Welfare Committee, the final authority to dispose of cases for the care, protec3on, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the children and to provide their basic needs and protection of human rights under Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection) Act 2000.
Britta Schölin (Sweden)
Britta Schölin, born in Congo-Brazzaville, holds a Master’s degree from the School of Social Studies and works in the social field with focus on child protection and alternative family-based care. In 1995 she qualified as a psychotherapist. Her career includes working in the local social government, in primary school education and a decade of working in child psychiatry as a director and a family care consultant for children in foster homes and their foster parents. She continues to work as a social welfare consultant supporting foster parents. Britta is active in two associations with focus on alternative care for children where her advocacy and contact with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and other authorities in Sweden are important. Since 2000, Mrs Schölin has worked within the international sphere, elected to the IFCO Board in 2011 and is Chairperson of Advocacy, Membership and Policy, as well as IFCO representative to Eurochild.
Ian Anand Forber-Pratt (India)
Ian Anand Forber-Pratt is the President of Foster Care India. Born in Calcutta India, he was adopted to America in 1980. He received his MSW from Washington University in Missouri, USA where he discovered his passion for Foster Care. In 2006 he googled ‘Foster Care AND India’ and the search returned almost nothing. He then planned to spend the rest of his life building a nationalized foster care system in India.
Ian has experience as a foster care case manager, program designer and counselor. From 2008 to 2011 he helped to implement a American program called ‘Extreme Recruitment’ designed to help older children in foster care reach permanency. In 2011 he packed three bags of clothes and moved permanently to India. He has published the first academic research on foster care in India and is working with the Indian government to promote family-based solutions for children throughout the world.
Jill Worrall (New Zealand)
"I have been a Foster parent for 20+ years, a Foster Care Social Worker, agency CEO and a senior lecturer in Social Work at Massey University, now retired. I have a Masters degree in Social Work and am an honorary research associate at Massey. My thesis and on-going research and published work has been in the field of foster care, kinship care and child welfare. I am a trainer and consultant in Foster Care for the NZ Foster Care Federation (Fostering Kids) and the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust, training Foster Parents, kinship carers and Social Workers. I have Governance experience on three boards and currently chair one of these. I have attended many IFCO conferences and am currently the Asia Pacific Co-ordinator. I have worked establishing de-institutionalisation programmes in Central Asia. In 2010, I was awarded the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Social Work."
Samantha Pothier (Canada)
Samantha Pothier is a former foster child from Vancouver, Canada. She has been volunteering and working within the youth in care community for 15 years. Ms Pothier worked and volunteered for the Federation of BC Youth in Care networks and is sat on the Board of Directors for the Youth in Care Canada. More recently, Samantha was the project lead for the creation of AgedOut.com – an interactive website to help youth in care transition into adulthood. Samantha’s areas of speciality are leadership development, life skills, education, curriculum development and transition support. The majority of her work is focused on youth in and from government care 14-25 years old. Additionally, Ms Pothier has strong skills and experience in governance, budgeting, fundraising, research and report writing.
John Role (Malta)
Over the last 40 years, John Role has worked as a social worker in residential care for children and in foster care. Living with vulnerable children made him rise up to the challenge to help them change certain social work practices and legislation in his own country. Between 2004 and 2006 on a European level John represented IFCO and his native Malta in setting up the European Out-of-Home Care Standards. Such work resulted in bringing about change in the national policies. Between 1998 and 2009 John was a Board member giving advice to Ministers who are responsible for children in care in his native country. At present, Mr Role works at the Government-run agency. He leads a team of social workers whose role is to train, support, monitor, and supervise foster carers. John also works as a part-time lecturer at the University of Malta. He served previously on the IFCO Board in 2007-2009.