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2017-2019 Board of Directors

IFCO Board and Officers

Following the International Foster Care Organisation's Annual General Meeting held on 2 November 2017 in Valletta, Malta the 2017-19 IFCO Board members and officers are listed below.  

President:

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 holds an MA in Research and is currently conducting a PhD in Child and Youth Studies at University College Dublin and her research interests include resilience, identity, children’s geographies and alternative care systems. Danielle is a lecturer in Social Care at Waterford Institute of Technology. She has been an active member of 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 at national and international level. Danielle sits on research advisory groups for the Irish Foster Care Association and Tusla, the Child and Family Agency Ireland. She is married with two children.

 

Vice President:

Lacy Dicharry (USA) 

Lacy (Kendrick Burk) Dicharry, MS, MBA is an internationally known expert in youth engagement, and has lead the US in several innovative youth-led programs and helped set standards for youth engagement practice. She holds a Master of Counseling Psychology and a Masters of Business Administration, combined help her in her organizational development and government systems consulting. She was a 2014 VOICE Award winner for her advocacy efforts to promote youth engagement in mental health. Lacy had to work to overcome many challenges, including abuse, mental health diagnoses, suicidal ideation, and trauma responses before finding recovery. Lacy also serves on the Board for the International Foster Care Organization (Secretary) since 2013, and Foster Care Alumni of America (Treasurer). She continues to advocate for positive changes for youth through sharing her story and consultation for state, national and international organizations. Through coaching and mentoring young people, she inspires them to do the same.

 

Administrative Secretary:

Sam Pothier (Canada)

Sam 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, Sam was the project lead for the creation of AgedOut.com – an interactive website to help youth in care transition into adulthood. Sam’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.

 

Treasurer:

Carrie Wilson-Harrop (UK)

Carrie Wilson-Harrop 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 completed her degree in International Relations. As a student Carrie was a mentor for those still in care. During her final term of University, Carrie started to Kinship care her younger brother, keeping him within family based 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-Harrop 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. Carrie led the 2016 European IFCO Conference in Sheffield and went on to support the 2017 Global Conference in Malta. As well as contributing to the IFCO Youth track before joining the board, Carrie has co-ran the Youth Track for the last two years. Carrie believes that every child in alternative care and beyond should be provided with the safe space to explore their experiences, and be supported to realise their potential. She also believes that carers should be recognised and supported through the sometimes very taxing support they provide young people and children.

 

April Curtis (USA)

April Curtis is an alumna of the Illinois child welfare system and a graduate University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. April works to help youth in care solve problems, advocate for themselves, and improve their lives, and is a strong advocate for sibling rights and advocates so that other youth will be spared the pain of sibling separation that she endured while in foster care. She successfully advocated for a law preserving sibling relationships. She presents nationally to child welfare audiences on the importance of sibling bonds, life-long connections, and permanency for youth in care older youth.

Honors April has received include Hispanic Advisory Committee 2001 Youth Advocate of the Year, Chicago Area Project Exemplary Leadership 2001, and Child Welfare League of America’s 2002 National Service Award, and North American Council on Adoptable Children 2003 Youth Advocate of the Year. April currently sits on the IDCFS Latino Advisory Committee and is fluent in Spanish.

 

Britta Schölin (Sweden)

Britta Schölin, born in Congo Brazzaville, got Master degree from the School of Social Studies 1969 and has worked in the social field since then with focus on child protection and alternative family-based care. 1995 she became a psychotherapist. After five years work in the local social government she continued to the primary school for children where she stayed fifteen years. Ten years work in the child psychiatry as a director and social worker followed. She was family care consultant for children in foster homes and their foster parents in assignment of the social welfare authorities during ten years. She continues as social welfare consultant supporting foster parents. Britta is active in two associations with focus on alternative care for children. Contacts with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and other authorities in Sweden are important. Since 2000 Britta has worked within the international sphere as IFCO and Eurochild.

 

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."

 

Jill Worrall (New Zealand)

Jill Worrall"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."

 

Jo Derrick (UK)

I have 15 years of experience working within a fostering agency in Scotland. I started in the placements service where I managed the team that took referrals for children/young people that the Local Authority required a foster placement for. Since then I have progressed within the agency in leadership roles and am the current Managing Director and Registered Manager with regulatory responsibility for the service.

In 2011 I became a registered foster carer with my local authority. During this time I have worked with a number of families providing respite for Looked After children to support their placement with foster carers. I have also provided ‘edge of care’ support where the children have returned to the care of the parent/s or where they have been at risk of being accommodated if early interventions were not implemented.  I am passionate about the work that I do in both areas of my life.

 

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.

 

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.