MEET THE TEAM
At SFAC, expertise in international child protection and care across multiple disciplines (social work, therapeutic care and legal systems) is the core of what we do. We’ve worked hard to gather a diverse group of highly qualified and experienced professionals in each discipline (staff and trustees) from across the globe. This will be evident in their bios below.
What might not be evident is the variety of lived experiences represented in our team – from those who’ve grown up in care, or been part of foster, kinship and adoptive families, to those living with a disability and other marginalised identities.
We also have a fabulous team of support staff and oversight amongst our trustees in administration, HR, communications and finance. They ensure SFAC is run ethically and responsibly – making the most of every donation.
FOUNDER & SOCIAL WORK TRAINER
From coal miner to social worker to global child rights advocate and a published author, SFAC’s Founder and President Mick Pease has over 35 years of social work practice experience. Alongside his training and advocacy responsibilities at SFAC, Mick prioritises spending quality time with his family and wife of over 50 years (wow!!). He is also an avid football fan and a season ticket holder at Leeds United.
Baroness Blake of Leeds, CBE
Judith Blake, the first female Leader of Leeds City Council, served for 7 years before stepping down to become Baroness Blake of Leeds – a member of the House of Lords in the UK Parliament. She was recognized for transforming public services and improving outcomes in Leeds. Her contributions to children’s social care services were noteworthy. As the leader of Children’s Services, she fostered partnerships to establish a child-friendly city vision for Leeds.
CEO & SOCIAL WORK TRAINER
A social worker with over 20 years’ experience, Dan Hope has worked in child care and protection at national & international levels. He is also a qualified practice educator of student social workers. The rumours concerning Dan’s status as a Northampton Town Football Club supporter are true; he has been promoted to: Full-Time Superfan! A role he will have to juggle alongside his commitments as SFAC’s CEO and Lead Trainer. He’s also internationally known for wearing odd socks!
Dr. Caitlin Lance Hope
Having lived and worked across four continents, Dr. Caitlin Lance Hope uses her expertise as a Chartered Psychologist and Protective Behaviours Trainer to translate complex psychological concepts into everyday language and actions. A dream weekend for Caitlin would definitely include something creative – sewing, drawing, cooking, or pottering in the garden; hopefully spread out over the two days and not all at once and only on one continent!
District Judge Ranjit Uppal
District Judge Uppal provides pro bono legal training for SFAC, contributing a wealth of experience in childcare law. He excelled as a childcare lawyer and was awarded Solicitor Advocate of the Year at the Law Society Excellence Awards, 2016. Judge Uppal has 13 years judicial experience. In his spare time, he enjoys training, running marathons, and following Liverpool football club.
ADMIN & HR OFFICER
Isabel is a passionate advocate for social justice and transformation, driven by her volunteer work empowering women leaders. Her law degree serves as a strong foundation in her journey. In 2015, she was honored with the prestigious Social Justice Award from the Institute of Reconciliation and Social Justice in South Africa. Isabel also enjoys reading and cherishes the beauty of captivating sunsets.
A gifted communicator, Sam can tell stories in four languages – Chinese, English, Swahili, and her native Shona! She holds a Master’s in Journalism and Communications and a Diploma in Global Business Journalism and has lived and worked in China, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, Sam thrives when she’s able to use her skills to empower young women and children in marginalised communities. Outside work, she enjoys watching reality shows.
Srilakshmi, a mechanical engineer turned graphical designer, channels her creativity into graphic designing SFAC products. As well as her extensive experience in website layouts, content development, and creating visuals like posters, and leaflets Srilakshmi has written and illustrated several children’s books in Tamil. She is a social, fun-loving person who enjoys creating dance reels with her family, as family is everything to her.
SOCIAL WORK CONTRACTOR
A teacher turned para-social worker from Uganda, Joseph is passionate about making a positive impact on people’s lives. With over 11 years of experience, he has established and managed a foster care system, including a programme for child-headed households. Along with his love for football (supporting Liverpool), Joseph enjoys traveling, teaching, and eating his favourite foods – fish, bacon, cornbread, and potatoes. Joseph is currently completing his social work degree.
SOCIAL WORK CONTRACTOR
Leah is a dedicated social worker specialising in child protection and supporting families and children. She has experience working in parenting programs and assisting children and adults with additional needs. Leah’s passion is to be a part of families’ lives helping them to recognise their strengths. Based in Australia, she actually prefers London weather! Her current goal is to become fluent in Spanish within a year.
SOCIAL WORK CONTRACTOR
Celina is a qualified social worker registered with Social Work England, specializing in child protection, family courts, and childcare. She recently became a certified reviewer for significant incident learning in childcare cases and has written safeguarding policies and delivered training to international charities. Fluent in Spanish and French, Celina also enjoys spending time with family and friends and loves being outdoors.
SOCIAL WORK CONTRACTOR
SOCIAL WORK CONTRACTOR
Liz is a certified social worker registered with Social Work England with over a decade of experience working with children and families in Latin America and with asylum seekers in the USA. She has post-qualifying awards to train and support social work students. Liz is an avid traveler with work and living experience across 5 continents, speaks Spanish, and enjoys summer weather only!
Nigel is an award-winning solicitor and Senior Partner at Ridley and Hall Legal Ltd. Specializing in adoption and kinship care, he is a member of the Law Society Children’s Panel. Yorkshire Solicitor of the Year in 2017 and MBE recipient in 2021 for his dedication to children and families. He and his wife have three children, two of whom are adopted.
Sarah, a Senior Manager at Deloitte with a passion for Change and Transformation is the first female apprentice in the UK Financial Services industry. From Scotland, she grew up with foster siblings, and now calls the vibrant North of England home, alongside her husband, two children, and two dogs. Sarah enjoys reading, writing and exercising.
Idris is an experienced chartered accountant with a proven track record in asset management, advisory fund accounting, finance process improvement, and business partnering across private and international development sectors. He is driven by his desire to contribute towards improving children’s lives, ensuring their safety, love, and brighter future. His all-time favourite movies are The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Jane is an experienced independent social care consultant and former senior manager within the public sector. With over 40 years of expertise in child care policy, she has chaired safeguarding boards and conducted statutory reviews. Jane’s extensive background in social services and leadership roles spans various organizations, including Cafcass and the Social Services Inspectorate. A loving mother and grandmother, she enjoys gardening and singing.
With over 20 years of experience in HR, Neena works as an HR Adviser – Coach – Consultant –Trainer. She is a published author in India of self-exploration book “Mirrored Monologues,” and the creator and presenter of the YouTube series “PeoplePoint”. Neena is a wife and a mother to a teenager who enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, Indian handlooms, and art.
Enzo has worked in several international settings on children’s rights and on the protection of vulnerable people, including children and young people with disabilities. An expert in organisational development, income generation, and project management, Enzo brings this skill set to SFAC to guide fundraising efforts for the charity. During his free time, Enzo enjoys travel, culture, and art.
John is a highly skilled social worker and former children’s home manager, children’s advocate, and local authority senior leader in the UK. He operates a company providing comprehensive safeguarding and leadership assistance to more than 2,000 children’s homes, schools, and other organizations. John leads a fulfilling life with four children and an action-packed routine of school runs, drama and sailing.