Committee and Staff

Every member of our committee and staff is a foster carer or a former foster carer. Please feel free to email us!

Meet Your Branch Committee

Chair – Andrew Gale

My wife and I became foster carers in the late 1980s. Over the years we fostered for 4 local authorities and one IFA as my work took us around the country. Watching foster care develop into a professional vocation led to us joining the Union. The increased training, supervision, and requirements of recording has moved foster care from something which was a volunteer activity, which well meaning people engaged in, to a professional service. The terms and conditions under which foster carers work have not kept up with these changes. My motivation for belonging and volunteering with the Union is to see foster care workers receive the respect and rewards their hard work deserves.

Vice-Chair Scotland & NI – Ken Millard

I’ve been fostering with my partner Alice for over 20 years.  We live in an old restored house in the outskirts of Glasgow. I’ve been involved with the union for about three years and am vice-chair for Scotland and Northern Ireland. My other interests and pursuits are; bee keeping; tai chi; antiques and hillwalking

Vice-Chair England & Wales – Melanie Smith

Secretary – Pauline Graham

I have been fostering for just over 7 years for IFA, more recently with my husband joining me full time 

Assistant Secretary – Giles Lane

I am from Brighton originally but have lived in Yorkshire for 16 years and have been fostering since 2017. I also work part time in the NHS, and outside work mostly read and hang out with a cat. I’ve been involved in a variety of political projects and campaigns over the years, and I’m looking forward to helping build the power of the branch and conditions of our members.

Treasurer – Bruce McDowall

Casework Officer

Women’s Officer – Elaine Watson

I’m 56, single carer. Fostered for 13 years, have 14 years old twins with me for 12 years (although still short term 😂). Originally I was with FCA now with Families for Children. I have 2 daughters 23 and 30, a grandson 12 and a granddaughter 10. My eldest lives in Australia with my grandkids. Previously I worked in sales for 20 years, I’ve been through the tribunal system so have experience there. I was elected in 2020 and I’m looking forward to getting started.

BAME Officer – Sharon Anderson

I have been a foster Carer for the past 17 years in a Local Authority and across two IFA’s, fostering over 35 children from different backgrounds, cultures and life experiences. I primarily foster adolescents as my background is in youth justice and youth offending. As my husband was born in Jamaica we had to fight against cultural discrimination and challenge biases to be approved as foster care workers. The experience has lead me to be very passionate about listening and advocating for foster carers who are facing challenges, and fighting for justice.

IT Officer – Colin Smith


Branch Coordinator – Leanne Morton

I live in Central Scotland with my husband and son and have been fostering for 4 years. I been actively involved with the FCW Branch of the IWGB for 3 years. Prior to joining the IWGB as an employee I was the Secretary of the FCW Branch, a coordinator for the Central Scotland regional group and a member who experienced an unfounded allegation. I have a background in Not-for-Profits, fundraising and campaigns and a passion for justice, rights and proper recognition for Foster Carers.

Branch Coordinator – Annie Quick

My name is Annie. I grew up in Devon but  for the past ten years I have lived in South London where I am a respite foster carer. I have a background in policy development, community organising and campaigning on issues of social and economic justice and have worked for charities and in the civil service. I am committed to improving the foster care system both for foster carers and the children in our care. 

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