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Foster Care Panel

Gary Pickles - Panel Chair

Gary is an Independent Social Worker specialising in fostering and works with a number of fostering services and agencies across the UK. He is also a Trustee for The Fostering Network.

Gary spends his free time with his wife Catherine and their cockapoo Archie. He also enjoys sailing, wine collecting, cooking, and travelling. Gary says, "I try not to take life too seriously and have a good sense of humour and would rather be smiling than not. I hope that the Panels I chair will be a forum that foster carers will find welcoming and inclusive.  The issues raised will always be explored in a fair and balanced way."


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 Jo Tetley, CFC Foster Care Panel Member (South)

Jo Tetley - Panel Member

Jo has been a Panel member since 2003. She worked in education for twenty years, involved with a wide range of activities involving young people, families and schools. She now works part-time as a Student and Family Support Worker in a Secondary School, working directly with students, their families, school staff and other agencies.

Photo of Joanna Jansen, CFC Foster Care Panel Member (South)

Joanna Jansen - Panel Member

Joanna and her husband fostered children from 1981 through to 2014, looking after one long term placement and close to thirty emergency or respite placements. Joanna was Carer Representative on the Board of Trustees for a number of years but when she retired from fostering, she became a trustee on the boards of both Community Foster Care and Community Family Care. She joined the Foster Care Panel in 2016 as an independent member.

Photo of Jacqui Payne, CFC Foster Care Panel Member (South)

Jacqui Payne - Panel Member

Jacqui works at a local organisation supporting individuals with mental health issues and learning difficulties. She has also worked with children in a residential care setting for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.


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.


Enda O'Regan - Panel Member

Enda has considerable experience with over 25 years in social work, both as a practitioner and team manager, mainly in the area of children and families and fostering.


Lauren Lynch - Panel Member



Susan Johnson - Panel Member

Susan has considerable experience as a foster carer and has fostered for over 40 years.
She assists CFC with training and offers support to newly qualified foster carers.


Dermot McCann - Panel Member

Dermot has worked as a social worker and as a manager throughout his career in local government and in the voluntary sector. Dermot has managed fostering and residential services particularly for children with learning disabilities. Dermot has now retired from local government and carries out independent inspections of children homes.


Lynne Jones - Panel Member

Lynne was a teacher for over 30 years, the majority of which as a Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Designated Teacher for Children in Care and also Safeguarding Lead.  She worked closely with young people, parents and carers and with a range of  professionals from health, social care and educational support services.

She now volunteers with Gloucestershire Independent Visitors Service and is a School Governor with responsibility for Inclusion and Pupil Premium.


Matt Dalton - Panel Member

Matt joined Community Foster Care in 2019. He is a care leaver, therefore, has the personal experience on the importance and requirements of stable homes for children in care. His background is in health and social care, and currently works in supported accommodation for adults with high alcohol/substance dependency. In September, Matt will be attending university to study Social Work. 

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.