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Foster Care Panel (North)

Photo of John Powell, Chair of CFC Foster Care Panel (North)

John Powell, Chair

John is the Panel Chair and has a background in social work, mainly with children and families. He has also had experience in social work management and has chaired fostering panels and also chairs Blackpool’s Adoption Panel. John is married with three children and four grandchildren and he also serves as a magistrate within Lancashire.

Photo of Mark Hindle, CFC Foster Care Panel Member (North)

Mark Hindle, Vice Chair

Mark is a former Police Inspector with Lancashire Constabulary and is an adoptive parent of two children who are now grown up. He has been a member of Blackpool's Adoption Panel since 2005.


Photo of Marion Cooke, Vice Chair of CFC Foster Care Panel (North)

Marion Cooke, Panel Member

Marion worked for Community Foster Care from 2011 until her retirement in 2016 and was the Deputy Team Manager in the north, based in Cumbria. She previously worked for over 20 years in Local Authorities: in Child Protection, as an IRO and as a team manager for Leaving Care. Marion has three adult sons of her own and fostered for a short while when her own children were very small.

Photo of Alf Fowler, CFC Foster Care Panel Member (North)

Alf Fowler, Panel Member

As an adopted child himself, Alf has knowledge and experience of the complexities involved in child/parent relationships which encounter difficulties. He is retired and has lived in Northern Ireland, the UK and South Africa. He also sits on an Adoption Panel.



Karen Burke, Panel Member

Karen is registered as a Gestalt Psychotherapist and a Child Psychotherapist with the UKCP and is also a member of the BACP (MBACP). She has previously worked for agencies for looked after children, an attachment centre, a hospice and private organisations. She works two days per week for a charity which supports anyone who is touched by adoption. She has three grown-up sons and four grandchildren.


Photo of Mark Dawson, CFC Foster Care Panel Member (North)

Mark Dawson, Panel Member

Mark was a Foster Carer for almost five years and together with his civil partner of 13 years, adopted a sibling group of three children in 2014. Mark has an NVQ Level 3 in Child Development and has presented several courses and discussions surrounding Fostering, as well as being a Trainer on the "Skills to Foster" course.

Photo of Jo Garstang, CFC Foster Care Panel Member (North)

Jo Garstang, Panel Member

Jo was with the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) for nine years, working with offenders who had experienced growing up in foster care and who had had their children taken in to care. She lives with her husband and adopted daughter in Thornton-Cleveleys and is now an Ofsted registered childminder. 

Photo of Nweeda Khan, CFC Foster Care Panel Member (North)

Nweeda Khan, Panel Member

Nweeda is an independent social worker, and has worked in the public sector for 25 years, in local government services of Education, Health and Children’s Social Care. She has extensive experience of Child Protection, Safeguarding, Fostering and Adoption work. She works with and supports women’s projects to address key issues and has a keen interest in the women’s agenda on a local and national level.

Photo of Marion Shaw, CFC Foster Care Panel Member (North)

Marion Shaw, Panel Member

Marion has extensive experience of working in social work both as a practitioner and as a manager. Thoughout her career, she has worked in local authority statutory children's services. She has particular experience in the area of Child Protection and also working with Looked After Children. Marion retired in June 2015 and has two grown-up children and two grandchildren.

Photo of Emmas Weaver, CFC Foster Care Panel Advisor (North)

Emma Weaver, Panel Advisor

Emma is the Registered Manager for Community Foster Care in Lancaster. She worked for Blackpool Council Children’s Services for 12 years – the last five on the adoption team. 


Photo of Emmas Weaver, CFC Foster Care Panel Advisor (North)

Sheila Henshaw, Panel Administrator

Sheila provides administrative support to help the Panel run smoothly. She ensures that all applicants attending the Panel have a brochure beforehand with photographs and a summary of each Panel member and also sends out questionnaires on a regular basis in order that we continually monitor the service. 

Photo of Mariana Straton, CFC Agency Decision Maker for the Foster Care Panel (South)

Mariana Straton, Agency Decision Maker

After each meeting, the Chair of the Panel will make recommendations to Community Foster Care's Decision Maker who will make the decision regarding approval of foster carers. Mariana then has a number of days, as set out in the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011, to inform the applicants of the decision.