Sara qualified as a RG Nurse and worked in hospitals across North Wales within acute medical, diabetes & dermatology units. Later Sara held several roles within Local Authorities ,Health Organisations and the Private Voluntary & Independent Sectors working and supporting children and families . Sara has dedicated her focus on working with supporting children with disabilities and their parents, carers and foster carers ,enabling and empowering by facilitating workshops and sensory sessions. Sara has also delivered direct interventions and support with children and worked with young people as a College Tutor (Early Years and SEND).
Later Sara’s roles included Care Co-Ordinator and Development Officer in North Tyneside & Stockton-On-Tees to promote ‘The National Early Support Program’ and devise a Key Worker Program that delivered training for staff and parents to promote the multi agency ‘Working in Partnership’ approach. Sara was also a Trainer and Mentor for the National & Regional Early Support Program supporting practitioners and parents.
Sara has also worked as a dedicated Portage Teacher, supporting pre-school children with complex needs delivering interventions in the home .Sara built up close working relationships with many parents and practitioners while working together supporting children with a range of complex needs . Sara has also held roles as Complex needs and Inclusion officers visiting Pre-School, Day Nurseries and Early Years Settings, to support practitioners and advising on strategies to support staff and as a Manager of a Children Centre supporting Family Support Workers & Early Years Practitioners
Sara has a passion to support Children, Families and Practitioners to reach their potential in learning and confidence in their own abilities on this lifelong journey as a Pre -school gymnastics teacher and coach .
Sara has an understanding of managing hidden physical health concerns , while working and raising a family from her own lived experiences of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and the impact this has had on her working life.
Sara is married with three children ,three grandchildren and three cats!
Qualifications include: RGN, BA (Joint) Hons Early Years Education and Disability studies and NPQICL in Children Centre Leadership, Adult Teaching & Learning Certificates, Playgroup Practice Dip, Autism in Children Level 2 ,First Aid, Safe Guarding, Senior Club Coach & Tutor for Pre-School Gymnastics BAGA & WAGA ,Adult Teaching Cert. City & Guilds ,Speech & Lang. Dip, IPSEA Legal training Levels 1 & 2
A qualified early years & youth support practitioner who has worked in a range of settings including day nurseries, pre-school, primary Montessori settings and as a sought-after private children’s Nanny.
Karen has supported both children and staff as a nursery nurse and in managerial roles supporting apprentice early years practitioners to develop their skills, knowledge and to gain a better understanding of child development.
Karen worked for several years in Youth Work supporting young people to develop their own life skills and knowledge. Karen engaged proactively with a range of professionals to support young girls and women to develop their learning and confidence to support their own children. Karen developed a Young Mum’s group to support and empower young women with understanding child development and self care and as a new mum herself was able to share experiences and skills.
Karen has also worked as a volunteer in charities supporting parents and young people with SEND and has been a proactive member of parent carer forums whilst in a caring role for her own children with SEND ,Autism, Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD, Sensory and Dietary issues.
Karen trained as a volunteer Parent Partnership Advisor supporting parents to manage meetings, give information, advice and support and to navigate SEND paperwork and processes.
Karen later trained as an Independent Supporter to help parents navigate the new SEND system brought in by the implementation of the Children and Families Act 2014. Karen was employed by a local authority as a parental supporter and later as a manager of a SENDIASS team.
Karen has been a proactive advocate for families and children with SEND working with a range of practitioners and multi-agency professionals across the education, health and care sectors. Karen has supported development of SEND processes’ and fought for the improvement of services for young people with SEND and Autism including training to professionals ensuring that voices of young people and their families are central to all discussions and decision making. Karen has been actively involved in improving outcomes for children and young people in education and health in her role within local authorities.
Karen has long been an advocate for training that both informs and empowers the participants. Karen has devised and delivered training to a range of practitioners and families that has been both useful and practical. As a qualified adult trainer Karen has delivered SEND training workshops to parents and multi- agency professional groups.
Additionally, Karen has been involved in drama and theatre and this creativity has supported development of several youth groups and activity clubs. Girl Guiding is also important to Karen and she continues to try to empower girls and young women with a can do spirit.
Karen is married and has three children with a range of SEND and Sensory characteristics. Karen has developed much of her professional outlook and ways of working from personal experiences from parenting unique and neurologically diverse children. Karen has an in-depth understanding of parental concerns for children and young people with SEND and how challenging daily living can be. This knowledge and experiences are the basis of Karen’s determination to support families to feel empowered to be able to support their own children at home, in education or out in the community and that they can navigate SEND processes and procedures with guidance.
Currently Karen is navigating the SEND process to implement an EHC plan with quality support for her youngest son.
Qualifications include : NAMCW CERT.DIP , Youth & Community Cert. Dip. Parent Partnership Parental Supporter Qualification ,Teaching & learning for adults: PTTLS, Autism & Girls cert, Understanding and Supporting ADHD cert. The Independent Supporter, IPSEA Legal Training Levels 1,2&3, EHCP Plan Writer Training, Supporting Children & Young People, The Voice of the child, Health & Social Care in EHC Plans. A Safe Space GirlGuidingUK Levels 1,2 & 3 , Understanding and supporting Eating Disorders.