2013-2015 Board of Directors
Following the International Foster Care Organisation's Annual General Meeting held on 14 September 2013 in Osaka, Japan, the 2013-15 IFCO Board members / Officers are listed below.
Volodymyr Kuzmynskyi (Ukraine)
Volodymyr Kuzminskyi is a senior consultant for Partnership for Every Child CEE/CIS Consultancy Group. He has worked for Oxford Policy Management (OPM) as a Team Leader on the EU Project implementing social protection reform in Tajikistan. For a number of years, Volodymyr has been a Country Director of EveryChild Ukraine. He has played a pivotal role at the forefront of reforms in children’s policy and social services in Ukraine over the past 12 years.
Volodymyr holds a PhD in Planning, Management and Regulation of Economy, as well as a MA in the Management of Organisations. He has extensive experience in providing technical assistance and consultancy to the highest levels of Government, most recently in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on social protection and child welfare reform issues. Volodymyr is the author of more than 25 publications addressing contemporary issues in social and economic fields.
Jean Kennedy (Ireland)
Jean Anne is the co-ordinator of Power4Youth, the European youth in care network. 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, joining the Board of Directors in 2009 and being elected Vice-President in 2011. As a young person whose parents are 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 Masters degree in Social Research (Sociology). Currently, she works as a consultant in Europe in the area of alternative care, with youth network development and projects, NGO capacity building and strategic partnerships and other areas including child well-being, health and happiness, and organisational development.
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.
Colin Chatten (UK)
"I am a foster carer first and foremost, this is my calling. I am a national Carer Representative for an international children’s services company, being instrumental in company policy. I have designed and delivered training, workshops and presentations to staff and carers throughout the UK. I am a foster carer consultant with Oxford University; I am currently assisting with research projects into motivations to foster and peer influence and support within foster care communities. I received a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from University of Liverpool.
It is the duty of all able adults to ensure that all children are given the chance to thrive and fulfil their potential. The work of IFCO reflects my own beliefs that all children deserve to live within a loving family. Foster families need support and professional recognition for the job that they do. This is where my passion lies."
Britta Schölin (Sweden)
Britta Schölin has been social worker since 1969 and psychotherapist since 1995. For the first five years she worked in the local social government with focus on children. Then she turned to primary school for children between 7-16 years and stayed there for 15 years. After ten years work in child psychiatry she turned over to be a family care consultant for children in foster homes and their foster parents in assignment of the social welfare authorities. Today she works as social welfare consultant supporting foster parents. Britta is active in two associations, Forum for Family Care and the Federation for strengthening support for foster families. She works hard to get in contact with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and other authorities trying to change the situation for children in Sweden to the better. She is chairman for an IFCO network group. Britta is born in Congo Brazzaville.
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.
Donna Scott (Australia)
"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."
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."
John Hulskamp (Australia)
"My background in matters financial in the non-profit sector, extend to being a volunteer treasurer of several local historical societies, and as a paid financial worker for a self-help support group, and the Mental Health Legal Health Centre. My foster care involvement has been most active in Melbourne, where my late wife and I fostered many children in need. We have had a successful long-term placement who has now begun University studies. I have worked on committees relating to foster care, and I have just completed a three year term with a local Post Placement Support Service, as their volunteer treasurer. My expertise in numbers, problem solving and a wisdom with money matters comes from my long engineering education background. I did serve the IFCO Board during a leaner financial period (from 2003 – 2009), with successful outcomes."
Myrna McNitt (USA)
"I am a life member of IFCO and serving as a Board Member, as chair of the Training, Conferences and Projects Committee. I am a qualified social worker with 35 years of experience in child protection and juvenile justice. I worked in Kenya and the UK developing child protection and foster care programs. I am now a lecturer of social work at Dominican University, Chicago preparing social work students for global practice. I volunteered for IFCO in Kosovo and Azerbaijan working to deinstitutionalize children. I promoted IFCO’s mission in Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, and Pacific Rim. I am co-editor of IFCO’s publication “Voices for the Forgotten: Thirty Years of The International Foster Care Organization”. My goal is to help IFCO achieve its mission by supporting board development, positive consultancy and project work for developing nations. I was a foster parent and kinship provider for my nephews."
Rolf Widmer (Switzerland)
Rolf Widmer is currently the Director of the Swiss Foundation of the International Social Service. For almost 40 years now, he has been engaged in developing alternative solutions for children without reliable family support. Trained a as political economist and social worker, Rolf Widmer was and is still the head of numerous initiatives to support children in need of special attention. In 1976 he founded the Tipiti association (www.tipiti.ch) in order to offer alternative solutions to traditional accommodation in institutions. He is also President of the International Federation of Educative Communities (FICE) for Switzerland. Rolf Widmer is himself the foster father of three orphans from Lebanon.
Stephen Ucembe (Kenya)
Stephen Ucembe is from Kenya. He grew up as an orphan in institutional care and he is passionate about serving children and young people without parental care. He holds a BA in Social Work, and a Masters in Child Development. Currently Stephen is a Social Worker/ Counselor with HIAS refugee Trust of Kenya. In 2009, he started an organization called Kenya Network of Care leavers, currently known as Kenya Society of Care leavers; the organization’s mission is to improve the wellbeing/ welfare of young people who grew up in institutional care l in Kenya, helping them cope with life after institutional care. Stephen has been involved in advocacy work on children without parental care. In addition, Stephen is a member of the Better Care Network (BCN) advisory team.