About Ascent Fostering
We believe that children and young people can and will succeed in life with the right support, nurturing and guidance. Our mission is to help children and young people work through the difficult start they have had in life, to become the best that they can be and achieve excellence. In the care of a skilled carer, our children and young people will:
- Feel safe, valued and have a sense of belonging
- Feel understood and have all their needs met, no matter how complex.
- Will enjoy learning and be given opportunities to explore their talents
- Form secure, trusting relationships with family, carers and peers
- Embrace life with all its opportunities and challenges
- Develop into confident, well-rounded, high achieving adults who will leave their mark in society
The professional team at Ascent fostering is a dynamic mix of people. We have experienced social workers, mentors, administrators, and a therapeutic practitioner who helps us reflect, and work in an innovative and creative way with young people. We believe effective support and team work is the best way of achieving good outcomes for young people.
We work closely with our foster carers, assisting them in managing the needs of the children we look after. Ascent fostering is committed to working effectively as a team to support young people achieve good outcomes.
I have been managing services and teams for longer than I care to remember, I enjoy supporting people and helping the team reach its full potential. I believe that all children can become successful adults despite previous set backs. I’m committed to create safe spaces where children thrive.
Favourite thing: Laughter
Least favourite thing: people who don’t see the potential in people!
Superhuman Power: Dancing…….
Mark qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young in 2002 and went on to hold a range of senior financial management roles at FTSE 100 companies during the next decade. Alongside this, Mark has spent 20 years developing and leading work with young people. This culminated in 2010 with him founding youth charity Reaching Higher a thriving organisation supporting young people in the Croydon community. Mark combines his passion for young people with his management experience to good affect at Ascent Fostering.
Favourite thing: Sharing laughs over a good meal with friends and family.
Least favourite thing: Going to the gym on a cold winter’s morning.
Superhuman Power: Indestructability. To protect myself against my children’s ambushes!
Fostering Practice and Development Lead
I have worked with children and families in a variety of setting such as: child protection, looked after children, residential care, fostering and education.
Part of my role as the Fostering Practice and Development Lead is to help develop Ascent’s therapeutic strategies and resources for supporting foster carers and children in their placements. In addition, think creatively about the team’s development and practice. I feel passionate about enabling children to feel cared for, supported and being part of a family.
Favourite things: Travelling, Music and Food
Least favourite thing: Liquorice all sorts
Superhuman Power: Breath underwater
Supervising Social Worker
My career started off as a trainer and mentor within the home office – delivering human rights legislation training to staff. I went on to work for the Probation Service for 5 years, initially as a Programmes Tutor delivering accredited groupwork programmes such as those on domestic abuse and anger management, I progressed to become a treatment manager for the latter three years. I qualified as a Social Worker with Goldsmiths University in 2014 and was working for Lambeth children’s Social Care at the time as as a Family Support Worker. My current Role as a Supervising Social Worker involves supervising foster carers in order to ensure that our young people are afforded the best opportunity to flourish and grow in a safe and nurturing environment.
Favourite thing: Singing, Silly moments and hanging out with my children.
Least favourite thing: Exercise of any kind – I’m allergic to exercise!
Superhuman Power: Remaining calm in the eye of the storm.
I have extensive and varied experiences of the practical side of social work, which include managerial (team management and independent review) and advisory roles; I have also worked within and outside of local governmental structures.
I am passionate about children’s welfare and my main interest is around relationships between attachment and trauma, as well as the benefits of therapeutic fostering.
Favourite thing: helping others
Least favourite thing: Onion gravy
Superhuman Power: Being able to stay optimistic in any circumstances
Therapeutic Child Care Consultant
Trudy Darien has spent over 25 years working in the care profession with looked after children and young people. She is a qualified youth and community worker and has a M.A. in therapeutic child care.
Trudy devised and implemented an experiential training programme which has demonstrated that by employing these methods exemplary outcomes can be achieved.
Trudy is passionate in her belief that “All looked after young people need therapeutic intervention”.
Additionally, Trudy works directly with young people; who have complex attachment histories particularly those who have no formal diagnoses or those who act out or opt out of formal structures.
Favourite Thing: Veganism
Least Favourite thing: Putting petrol in my car
Super human power: Only needing 4 hour sleep