25 September 2012

New Care Council Members Appointed Back

Three new members have been appointed to the Care Council for Wales by Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas AM.

Rachel Demery and Dorian Lewis will bring the perspective of service users to the Care Council Board and Dr Alyson Rees will provide the viewpoint of the higher education sector.

Mrs Thomas said: “I am very pleased to announce these appointments to the Care Council for Wales, as the members have specific experience and years of experience that reflects the wide range of interests in social care."

Rachel holds qualifications in social work and an MSC in social sciences. She is currently equality and diversity advisor at the University of Wales, Newport. With a background in social work with deaf adults and extensive experience as an adviser for disabled students in higher education, Rachel has worked in equalities for almost 10 years. She has also used care services for many years, which she has largely found to be a positive experience. Rachel is keen to ensure social care in Wales reflects the needs of service users and their families.

Dorian is a former care leaver of Cardiff children’s services from a young age. Using his life experience of services, he developed his career goal to make things better and improve outcomes for children and young people. Starting off as a volunteer, Dorian set up a care leavers forum in 2004 as a channel for care leavers to participate in their services. In 2007, he was elected onto Funky Dragon, the youth Assembly for Wales and became its company director the following year. After being included in the 2009 ‘who’s who’ directory of young business leaders of the year, Dorian has been a speaker at many conferences and delivered training to numerous organisations and fostering support focus groups. As well as sitting on fostering panels, he has always been an active advocate for children's rights. While overcoming challenges in his own life, Dorian has found being open and transparent has turned something negative into a positive outcome. His life’s ambition is to give something back to his country and prove it’s possible to succeed against all the odds.

Alyson is a senior lecturer, teaching on the MA in Social Work course at Cardiff University. Alyson has worked in social care since 1981 and qualified as a social worker in 1984. She spent 16 years in practice in both the Probation Service and the NSPCC, before moving to Cardiff University.

Alyson completed a PhD in 2009, investigating foster care, and has been involved in a range of research projects. Her research interests are foster care, domestic violence, child neglect and working with complex families. Alyson has presented papers at a wide range of conferences and published a selection of articles and book chapters. She is responsible for practice liaison at Cardiff University and chairs the Practice Assessment Panels.

Alyson is also a board member for UCAN, a local arts project working with visually-impaired children and young people.