North East Foster Care

Mixed race foster family by window

“This is a fantastic company to work for. Lots of support, superb training. Always someone on the end of the phone if needed.”

In the heart of the North East

Swiis Foster Care North East was originally set up in 2000 in both County Durham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In 2017 the services in both Darlington and Newcastle-upon-Tyne merged into one regional service based in Durham. Our Durham office boasts a central location just off the A1 and we continue to provide local venues in Newcastle, Durham, Darlington and Middlesbrough to aid local foster carer support groups and training.

We are proud of the record of stability of our placements and the achievements of our children and young people for this region. Our priority remains that of providing our foster carers with the support, training and guidance they need to foster with confidence.

We work with all local authorities across the Tyne Tees are, spanning from Cumbria, Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham, Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and North Yorkshire to place children with our fostering families to provide a safe, secure and stable home.

Who works in the North East?

Management Team

Newcastle Foster Care Manager Alison Lawson

Alison Lawson
Registered Manager

Alison has a wealth of experience gained through various social work settings. Alison began her social work career with the Children’s Society in the North East before working for Local Authorities in various roles including at management level in Youth Justice. As the Manager of the North East service, Alison is responsible for the social work team, as well as the overall safeguarding and well-being of all the children and young people placed with foster carers in the North East of England.

Newcastle Foster Care Deputy Manager Jane Groom

Jane Groom
Deputy Manager

Jane has worked within childrens service in a variety of roles. Jane began her work in residential care settings for children with disabilities before moving into education where she worked as a qualified teacher with responsibilities for safeguarding. Jane qualified as a Registered Social Worker in 2014 and has post qualifying experience of working in domestic abuse services within womens’ refuges and has also worked in a Local Authority Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub and in a Local Authority Independent Reviewing Team where she worked as a Designated Officer managing allegations in relation to individuals working with children.

As the Deputy Manager Jane is responsible for supervising the social work team, as well as supporting the Registered Manager with the overall safeguarding and well-being of all the children and young people placed with foster carers in the North East.

Supervising Social Workers

These are the people that offer help and support to our foster carers, meeting periodically to discuss problems, successes and everything in between.

Northumberland Foster Care Supervising Social Worker Andy Himlin

Andy Himlin

Durham Fostering Placement Worker Laura Holburn

Laura Holburn

Durham Supervising Social Worker Megan Bannister

Megan Bannister

Newcastle Foster Care Supervising Social Worker Jemma Green

Jemma Green

Durham Foster Care Supervising Social Worker Matilda Padget

Matilda Padget

Placement Workers

These are the people that offer emotional and practical support to young people, ensuring the safeguarding and smooth running of placement.

Newcastle Foster Care Placement Worker Rachel Willis

Rachel Willis

Health & Education Advisors

The Education workers role is to promote achievement and attainment, continuity of learning and stability in educational placement for children in permanent foster placements. The Health Advisors at Swiis are responsible for monitoring the health needs of children and young people placed with our foster carers. They also liaise with health professionals to ensure all information is available and provides training to carers regarding child health and development.

North East Education Advisor Laura Grieve

Laura Grieve


Administrators at Swiis not only look after the day-to-day requirements of the office, organize foster carer reviews and panel administration, but also act as the first point of contact to our carers and are an integral part of the team in ensuring all our carers are fully supported and very much a part of the Swiis family from the word go.

Darlington Foster Care Administrator Donna Fenwick

Donna Fenwick

Newcastle Foster Care Administrator Ruth Shute

Ruth Shute

Commercial Team

The Swiis Foster Care Durham team is supported by the Central Commercial team who are responsible for Marketing, Training and BM support, Recruitment of Foster Carers and matching and placement of our children and young people.

Commercial Management Team

Chief Operating Officer Paul Jamieson

Paul Jamieson

Chief Commercial Officer Jill Notchell

Jill Notchell

Operations Manager Ashley Holcombe

Ashley Holcombe

Behaviour Management

Swiis believe that supporting our foster carers well is essential to ensure the stability of the children and young people you care for and our social workers do an incredible job in providing that support to all carers.

Research and experience have however shown that children who experience trauma and separation in early childhood can have a turbulent and challenging adolescence and this may be a possible reason a placement can, at times, become unstable.

Swiis believe that our foster carers on occasion require additional support in understanding and learning techniques which would further assist in the management of difficult or challenging behaviours and have introduced an additional programme of support which our carers will be able to access directly. The programme has been specifically designed to offer support and guidance to carers who experience behaviours from the child or young person in placement which they are finding difficult to manage.

The team consist of specialist training personnel who are responsible for delivering the Challenging Behaviour training as part of the mandatory foster carer training programme (or for new carers, this is undertaken as Day 4 of the preparation training), both cover MAPA based Challenging Behaviour as part of the course content.

Foster carers can access The Behaviour Management Team directly to request support for individual carers who are experiencing problems with behavioural issues in placement. Calls from carers requesting support are managed via a dedicated admin team who will schedule a call back between the carers and a member of the BM team as a matter of urgency.

Swiis trainer Jordon Murdoch

Jordon Murdoch

Swiis trainer Jackie White

Jackie White

Placement Team

The Placements Team will identify a suitable referral of a child or young person in need of a fostering placement that matches the Foster Carer's profile, the area they are based, approval range, family composition and fostering experience.

Foster Care Senior Placement Officer Nirali Patel

Nirali Patel

Placement Administrator Florence Whelon

Florence Whelon

Placement Administrator Rhian Welch

Stacey Slipper

Placements Officer Stacey Slipper

Rhian Welch

Placements Officer Joel Gould

Joel Gould

Placements Officer Bryony Ferris

Bryony Ferris

Placements Officer Rebecca.Hewitt

Rebecca Hewitt

Recruitment Team

Recruitment Team Leader Sarah Kitson

Sarah Kitson

Emily Dawson Senior Foster Care Recruitment Coordinator

Emily Dawson

Recruitment Coordinator Rhiannon Payne

Rhiannon Payne

Recruitment Admin Beth Jones-Grimshaw

Beth Jones-Grimshaw

Recruitment Coordinator Kate Godwin

Kate Godwin

Support Group 

Our foster carers and staff attend a support group every month. The support group is a two-way process, with staff providing a welcome to new carers and then sharing information and updates. The carers have an opportunity to talk to each other and share ideas and strategies to manage challenging situations.

Moving Forward

Young people who have left Swiis Foster Care are encouraged to stay in touch with us and some go on to help with ‘Moving Forward’ workshops, sharing their experiences with young people about the reality of moving on and living independently.

Training locations

We can adapt to locations and accessibility where necessary for our clients/customers.

Our Durham foster care office is based in the Mandale Business Park, just off the A690 and junction 62 of the A1. Our Durham foster care office and has great transport links to surrounding areas. The building is a modern light building with friendly staff and free parking.

The Newcastle training facility is at Goals, High Gosforth Park. These facilities have ample free parking and is situated within easy reach of the A1, Newcastle International Airport and the Tyne & Wear Metro.

The Darlington training facility is at Morton Park Business Training Centre. This training facility boasts good rail and road access and free parking.

The Middlesbrough training facility is at the Acklam Green Centre. This training facility boasts road access and free parking.

Areas Covered Include:

Northumberland | Berwick | Alnwick | Morpeth | Ashington | Blyth | Cramlington | Hexham | Prudhoe | Gateshead | North Tyneside | North Shields | Whitely Bay | Newcastle upon Tyne | Tyne & Wear | Gosforth | Throckley | South Tyneside | South Shields | Jarrow | Sunderland | Washington | County Durham | Teesside | Middlesbrough | Stockton | Redcar & Cleveland | Barnard Castle | Billingham | Ingelby Barwick | Hartlepool | Durham | Spennymoor | Darlington | Richmond | Thirsk | Scarbrough | Harrogate | Whitby

North East Foster Care

Office Information


Second Floor West
Severn House
Mandale Business Park


Registered Managers
Social Workers
Placement Support Workers
Health & Education Advisors
Administration Team

Start Your Fostering Journey

With thousands of children coming into foster care in the UK everyday, we urgently need foster carers more than ever.

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Refer a Friend

Do you know anyone who would be a fantastic foster carer who has the skills and compassion to support a child or young person in need of a loving home?

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