SIR WILLIAM UTTING CB
“I support Article 39 from my lifelong concern for uprooted children, particularly for those in institutions of all kinds.”
Bill Utting held senior posts in probation, local government and the civil service. He retired from the Department of Health in 1991 as the first Chief Inspector of Social Services for England. Later voluntary work included chair of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Council of Goldsmiths, University of London, and the National Institute for Social Work. He served on the Committee on Standards in Public Life from 1994 to 2001. He also led reviews of residential child care for the government, and of safeguards for children living away from home (People Like Us, 1997).
Board of Trustees
“I am both delighted and humbled to have been appointed to join the Board of Trustees of Article 39. Article 39 champions the needs of the most vulnerable children in any residential setting outside their families. It never lets an issue go and has become an organisation to be reckoned with by those in power. Children are always first – a message for us all.”
Carole qualified as a social worker in 1976 after placements in Epsom Child Guidance and Youth Advisory Service. She has worked in social services in Ipswich, Westminster and Hertfordshire as a social worker and team leader for front line teams and in adoption. Interspersed with that, she has been a trainer for Essex, and a practitioner, trainer, manager, and consultant in family mediation over a 10 year period, with children at the heart of everything.
She moved from being a social work team leader to the Inner & North London Panel of Guardians ad Litem & Reporting Officers, and over the next 10 years focused on children’s needs and rights from that role’s perspective. This was a time when children’s wishes and feelings were truly beginning to be given more prominence. Carole then returned to local authority social work, managing a team of social workers in adoption in Hertfordshire. After 11 years there, she retired from full-time work and spent the next 4-5 years running the adoption support service helping children and young people whose early traumas were overwhelming them, training adopters and their extended families, being an Adoption Panel Advisor and undertaking some assessments.
Carole was privileged to join the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in 2017 as a facilitator for its Truth project, a role which lasted more than two years.
Latterly, Carole has served on Nagalro’s Council for 6+ years and was Chair of the organisation for 18 months. In that role she was a member of the Equal Justice for Migrant Children group, and the Interdisciplinary Alliance for Children (IAC). She remains a member of the IAC and is a Nagalro representative on the CoramBAAF Legal Advisory Committee.
Carole loves looking after her grandson, walking the dog, spending time with friends, and reading.
“I am passionate about involving children and young people in decisions that affect them, and hope that my experience in communication and engagement will help Article 39 to achieve better outcomes for children in institutional settings.”
Cathy has worked in communication within and external to government for over 20 years, including the Department of Health and HM Prison Service. As press officer to the first Minister for Children and Young People, she spearheaded the involvement of children and young people in communication by government.
Cathy transferred to policy making in 2002 where she managed the Participation Fund, working closely with children’s charities on the roll out of involvement of children and young people across England, and the recruitment of England’s first Children’s Commissioner.
She has volunteered with youth charities in New York and London, focusing variously on campaigning and fundraising for projects in the Bronx, the environment and journalism. Cathy now works as a transformational coach, focusing on clarity around life change, and supporting small business owners.
Lynton was taken into care just after his first birthday and stayed there until he turned 18; 15 of those years were spent in various houses within the Shirley Oaks children’s home. Like many people in care at that time, Lynton left school with minimal qualifications. He eventually decided to pursue an Access to Law course at Kingsway College, and he then went on to successfully complete an LLB at University College, London. Lynton became a Partner in a well respected firm specialising in criminal law before transferring to the Bar after working with the Shirley Oaks Survivor’s Association on the Lambeth Redress Scheme for historic sexual abuse of children in its care.
Professor Mike Stein
“The most important message from my 50 plus years experience, including research, policy and practice, is to give a voice to, listen and act upon the words of the many young people facing a spectrum of disadvantages. To me, Article 39 through its activities aims to bring this about and I welcome the opportunity to help in any way I can.”
Mike is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York. He has had a longstanding commitment to promoting the rights of young people through research, policy and practice.
He previously worked in probation and children’s services. He also helped run the first rights group for young people in care in England, becoming an adviser to the Who Cares? project, the National Association of Young People in Care and, later, A National Voice.
From 1980 at Leeds and 1995 at York University, Mike has carried out and directed pioneering research studies on young people moving on from care, in the UK and internationally, the neglect and maltreatment of teenagers and those who go missing from home and care. Mike was a founder member and joint co-ordinator of the International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care (INTRAC).
Mike has also been involved in the preparation of guidance and training materials for leaving care legislation, including the Children Act 1989, the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 and Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers, 2010. He has published extensively on leaving care, the children’s rights movement and child welfare history and policy.
“I was lucky to be brought up in a loving and supportive family environment and I want to give some of my time and experience to a worthwhile organisation. Article39 is supporting some of the most vulnerable members in our society, young people living in institutions. As the trustee treasurer I believe I can support the team in their vital work.”
Peter is a chartered management accountant and is an interim/portfolio Finance Director in SMEs (small & medium size enterprises) and start-ups, working across different sectors, including manufacturing, private secure hospitals and children’s homes. Throw into the mix co-founding and seven years running an implantable medical device company gives an idea of the broad experience he brings! Outside of work you will find Peter house renovating, biking (on and off road) or walking the dogs.
“I signed up to be a Trustee for Article 39 because I want to contribute my skills, knowledge and passion to this new charity whose mission is to improve the safe practices of children living in institutions. They are one of most vulnerable groups in society with little or no voice to address the injustices they face.”
Suraya Skelland currently works for The Children’s Society. She graduated with a youth work degree and for the past 25+ years has held several different roles working with children and young people who face injustices. In her early career she worked for a children rights service in the years following the implementation of the Children Act 1989 and the UK’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Child. This paved the way for continuing to empower and work alongside children and young people to make changes on issues that are important to them. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, cooking and walking.
“My time as a social worker and lawyer, along with my role with Voice has given me insight into the vulnerability of children and young people in the care system, and the importance of ensuring their voice is heard. I was inspired by the work of the late John Kemmis and his commitment to advocacy to become involved with Article 39. Hopefully with some relevant experience and a desire to make a difference I will be able to make a contribution to this organisation, which is needed as much as ever.”
Susannah was an early ‘generic social worker’ at a time of great optimism that there was a better future for all. She then specialised in fostering services. After a career break, she retrained in law and practised at the Bar as a family lawyer, with a particular focus on public law child care cases.
“Working alongside care experienced children and young people, and helping them have a loud voice, is what I feel most passionate about. I am proud to be an Article 39 trustee as it allows me to contribute my knowledge and experience to improve the lives of marginalised children.”
Viv was a social worker with Westminster City Council for over 20 years. She had various jobs, including children in care, emergency duty, mental health, alternative-to-care and managing a youth justice team. During this period, she was also a foster carer for 7 years. She then worked for a charity undertaking action research about young offenders in London, and co-authored a report, ‘Is a Persistent Offender a Child in Need’. In 1996, Viv joined the NSPCC as a children rights officer in London, providing advocacy for children and young people and facilitating participation groups for children’s homes and care leavers. She went on to manage three inner London children’s rights projects.
Latterly, Viv was an independent reviewing officer for children in care. Prior to her recent retirement, she worked for Barnardo’s as an advocate for looked after children, focussing mainly on protecting the rights of disabled children. Over the years, she has contributed to many policies and publications for looked after children, such as a guide to their rights; their experience of the complaints system; and guidance for staff on the looked after children reviewing process.
Viv has lots of experience of voluntary work, including community projects, bereavement counselling, a lay visitor to police stations, and a Childline counsellor. She enjoys travelling and learning about different cultures, as well as hiking, the arts, and football.
Carolyne Willow – Founder Director
Carolyne Willow is a registered social worker (qualified in 1988). She started her career in child protection social work and then moved into roles promoting and protecting the rights of children in foster and residential care amid the first wave of revelations of institutional child abuse. Between 2000 and 2012, she was head of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), during which time she led the charity’s successful fight for transparency in restraint techniques used in G4S and Serco child prisons and initiated legal action to force the government to notify former child prisoners they had been unlawfully restrained. She was a member of Lord Carlile of Berriew QC’s Inquiry into the use of physical restraint, solitary confinement and forcible strip-searching of children in custody. Carolyne co-ordinated two major submissions from non-governmental organisations to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. She was principal author and editor of nine of CRAE’s annual State of Children’s Rights in England reports, and has written extensively on children’s rights over the past 30 years, including for the Council of Europe, Save the Children Sweden, Save the Children International and UNICEF. Her first book was ‘Children’s Rights and Participation in Residential Care’ (1996); and her latest is ‘Children Behind Bars. Why the Abuse of Child Imprisonment Must End’ (2015).
Carolyne is a Patron of the National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers. She won the Social Worker of the Year (Championing Social Work Values) Gold Award in 2017, and the Sheila McKechnie Foundation Outstanding Leadership Award in 2020.
Outside of work, Carolyne enjoys amateur dramatics, family board games and going to the theatre. She also loves her camper van.
Augusta Itua – Head of Children’s Rights Advice Service
Augusta is a children’s rights lawyer, co-ordinating our children’s rights advice service, ON YOUR SIDE. She facilitates Article 39’s advocacy clinics for members of our Children and Young People’s Advocates Network, and delivers our rights nights, where children and young people can learn about their rights and share ideas on strengthening children’s rights.
In addition to her part-time role at Article 39, Augusta works as a Legal Consultant at Coram BAAF (previously the British Association for Adoption and Fostering) and holds a trustee position on the board of the Hackney Migrant Centre. Recently, she was awarded the 2023 Churchill Fellowship, granting her the opportunity to travel to Australia to explore ways to improve access to social care records for individuals with care experience. Previously, Augusta was a youth advocate at Just for Kids Law. She qualified as a criminal lawyer there, and gained experience of working in community care and education law, and strategic litigation. She later transitioned into a role as a Youth Justice Lawyer and Policy Officer, practising as a criminal lawyer and court advocate, co-ordinating the Youth Justice Legal Centre’s advice service, and advancing the Children’s Rights Alliance for England’s (CRAE) youth justice policy portfolio. Prior to that, she delivered Become’s award-winning Passport to Parliament project. Passionate about enhancing access to justice, Augusta has volunteered at the Kent Law Clinic, the Free Representation Unit, and Toynbee Hall Free Legal Advice Clinic.
Outside of work, Augusta enjoys playing volleyball, spending time outdoors, and exploring her creativity through writing.
Karolina Kozlowicz – Head of Advocacy Support
Karolina co-ordinates Article 39’s Children and Young People’s Advocates Network – a community of independent advocates, children’s rights officers and advocacy managers across England dedicated to providing excellent advocacy to children and young people. Karolina also leads on the design and delivery of Article 39 training and specialist resources for advocates.
Karolina’s background is in law and human rights, and before joining Article 39 she worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 10 years, including at Rape Crisis England & Wales, Unicef UK, Ealing Community and Voluntary Service and Centrepoint.
Outside of work, Karolina is a keen hiker, and she loves spending time outdoors in nature. She also enjoys music, books and cooking.
Mari Sutherland – Assistant to Director
Mari came out of retirement to join Article 39 to provide administrative support. She brings to the role a passion for admin, a love of data and a number of years experience working in secondary schools and units for children outside mainstream education.
Outside of charity work, Mari likes to spend time with her two flat-coated retrievers and pottering in her new potting shed.
Michelle Safo – Training and Events Advocacy Support
Michelle supports Article 39 with its training and events particularly for the Children and Young People’s Advocates Network. Her background is in mentoring young people as she has a passion for inspiring the next generation. She also has extensive experience in supporting charities.
Outside of work, Michelle enjoys travelling trips with her family, trying out new cuisines, reading and completing jigsaw puzzles.
Millie Hall – Children and Young People’s Activism Lead
Millie supports our Blooming Change group – young people working together to make mental health hospitals much better places for all children and young people.
Before joining Article 39, Millie was at the Alliance for Youth Justice where she worked alongside other organisations and children and young people to bring about positive change in the youth justice system. Millie has a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and History, and a Master’s degree in Race, Media and Social Justice where she furthered her passion for system change, knowledge building and sharing, and challenging narratives.
Outside of work, Millie likes to spend most of her time in the outdoors in nature, especially camping. She also loves music, history, visiting museums and trying out new food!
Renata Sweeney – Justice First Fellow
Renata is a trainee solicitor and Justice First Fellow, currently working with Article 39 and Bhatt Murphy Solicitors.
Prior to joining Article 39 and Bhatt Murphy, Renata worked in the actions against the police team at Deighton Pierce Glynn (DPG). She spent five years at DPG where she initially entered the firm as an administrative assistant and progressed to a paralegal. During this time, she assisted on cases involving breaches of human rights and civil liberties. She advocated for families whose loved ones died through state failings, families in inquests and civil claims arising from violations of the state in article 2 European Convention on Human Rights / Human Rights Act obligations to protect women facing domestic violence. She was also part of the legal team acting for bereaved families, survivors and residents in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Renata graduated from De Montfort University with a degree in Law and Criminal Justice in 2013. She then volunteered at the Citizens Advice Bureau where she gave advice on various issues such as housing, social security and immigration.
Outside of work, Renata is an avid comic book movie watcher and loves all things action. She also enjoys reading and learning something new, whether that be about business, philosophy, psychology or reading socio-political commentary.
Sue Kessler – Legal research volunteer
Sue helps to keep the content of Article 39’s rights4children website up-to-date. She is a retired childcare solicitor with extensive experience in representing children and young people in and leaving care, and homeless young people. She also worked for a number of local authorities during her legal career.
“I strongly support the child’s right to protection and support and their entitlement to be involved in decisions about their care. I am glad to be involved with Article 39’s work on promoting advocacy in particular as I believe it to be central to children accessing those rights. Advocacy gives children a voice, without which they may not gain protection, and empowers them- building strength and self-esteem.”
Jenny Clifton has held various posts in social work practice, management and policy in the statutory and voluntary sectors. She has been a lecturer in social work at the University of East Anglia and at the University of Sussex and has published on children’s rights and child protection. She has worked as an advocate and managed visiting advocacy services for Voice for the Child in Care – now Coram Voice. While working with the Children’s Commissioner for England, she led the advice service for children in care. There too, she developed a number of projects designed to promote an understanding of children’s experiences of, their need for and their rights to protection and support. Of particular relevance is the Recognition and Telling work undertaken with the University of East Anglia, designed to improve ways of understanding the obstacles for children in gaining help.
PROFESSOR KEVIN BROWNE
“Institutions or residential care homes for children are sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘orphanages’. The vast majority (94 to 98%) of children in ‘orphanages’ have at least one living parent who are often known to the authorities. These so called ‘orphanages’ provide a non-stimulating clinical environment for infants, toddlers and children, which is associated with negative consequences for child development. We must stop children being frequently placed in institutional care throughout the world.”
Kevin Browne is Chair of Forensic Psychology and Child Health at the University of Nottingham.
He first held academic appointments at the University of Surrey, University of Leicester and University of Birmingham Medical School before being appointed as Professor and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre in Child Care and Protection at the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham from 1998 to 2007. He then became the Chair of Forensic and Child Psychology at the School of Psychology, University of Liverpool (2007 to 2009).
Kevin was an Executive Councillor of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect for 12 years. In 2002/03, he led an EU/WHO investigation into 33 European countries on the extent, characteristics and effects of early institutional care on child development and behavior. He was a consultant and contributing author to the UN Secretary-General’s World Report on Violence against Children (2006).
His publications include The Risk of Harm to Young Children in Institutional Care, published by Save the Children UK and the Better Care Network in 2009.
Kim Harrison is a lawyer and Head of Human Rights at Slater & Gordon Lawyers. She acts for families whose loved ones have died in prison representing them at both the inquest and any subsequent civil or Human Rights Act claim. She also acts for victims of abuse including those in care homes, schools, churches and in the care of the state. She has published articles on human rights, modern slavery and abuse and regularly appears on TV and radio commenting on these issues.
“I am thrilled and honoured to be invited to contribute to Article 39. This is an area of work I passionately believe in, having not only worked with young people at risk, but spending two years myself as a teenager in a child and adolescent psychiatric unit in the 1990s. The treatment I received there was nurturing and positive, helping me to heal from the effects of abuse and neglect I had suffered at home. I want all children and young people to benefit from such nurturing care as I did and would hope to lend my experience of these caring relationships to advise and inform the work of Article 39.”
Jo McFarlane is a writer and performance poet, with an extensive body of published work on the themes of mental health, child protection and diversity/equality. She has 20 years’ experience of promoting the rights, views and experiences of people using mental health services – including through, research, group work, policy advocacy and training. Working for the Mental Health Foundation (Scotland), Jo trained and supported teams of ‘survivor’ researchers in Scotland and Northern Ireland. At the Advocacy Safeguards Agency (Scotland), she undertook research into advocacy for children and young people and advised local authorities and health board commissioners on strategically planning these services for children and adults. During parliamentary discussions of the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill, in 2014, the President of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, Dr Joe Morrow, said of Jo’s book Skydiving for Beginners: “[The book] has a chapter on her experience of advocacy and how it supported her through a particular period. Because you would all benefit from reading it, I would be happy to put up the money to buy you all a copy”.
Richard Scorer is a lawyer and Head of the Abuse team at Slater & Gordon Lawyers. He is ranked as a ‘Leader in the Field’ and an ‘Eminent Practitioner’ in Chambers Independent Guide to the legal profession and has a national reputation for his work on behalf of abuse survivors, having represented hundreds of victims of abuse in institutional settings including prisons, churches, care homes and schools, as well as victims of child sexual exploitation around the country. He is the author or co-author of 6 books and over 100 published articles on various aspects of abuse law and regularly appears on TV and radio in relation to his cases. He has also served as a local councillor in his home town in West Yorkshire, and is a board member of several social enterprises.
Expert Panel members support the work of Article 39 in an individual capacity, and not as representatives of their organisations.
Article 39 was extremely fortunate to have John Kemmis lead our work around strengthening children’s advocacy services, from April 2017 to December 2018. His obituary in the Guardian newspaper can be read here.