Our staff group is committed to providing a high quality of service to meet the needs of young people.
Head of Service – Operations – Sara Lovelock
I joined Carolina House Trust in February 2016 after 23 years working in local authority social work services.
I started my social work career in a Fife child care team and after 8 years moved to work with Perth and Kinross as the Team Leader for the Child Protection and Duty Service. I then took up the post of Child Protection and Child Health Planning Officer which included being the Lead Officer for Perth and Kinross Child Protection Committee. In 2006 I took the job as the Lead Officer for Clackmannanshire and Stirling Child Protection Committees and in 2008 became the Service Manager for Child Protection and Quality Improvement with Clackmannanshire Council. From 2011 -2014 the Service Manager Post expanded to cover Stirling Council and included Youth Justice, Out of Hours and Duty Services. My most recent post was back with Perth and Kinross Council as the Quality Assurance Manager for Community Care.
I am a philosophy graduate and conducted post-graduate research into Buddhist ethics.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, spending time pottering about my garden, walking and watching a daily helping of an Australian soap opera.
Head of Service – Support – Joy Anderson
I joined Carolina House Trust in March 2016 after 20 years working in finance services within local government.
I am a graduate of the University of Abertay Dundee with an honours degree in Accountancy. I then completed my professional qualification in 2000 when I gained full membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).
I started my career as a trainee accountant at Tayside Regional Council in 1995 and then transferred to Angus Council in April 1996 as a result of the re-organisation of local government. I have undertaken a wide variety of roles within the local authority finance function, including various Accountant roles before moving into the post of Senior Auditor in 2004. I was then appointed to the post of Finance Service Manager in 2007 with primary responsibility for supporting services including Education, Roads, Planning and Economic Development, as well as responsibility for co-ordinating the council’s revenue budget process. Latterly, I was appointed to the post of Finance Service Manager supporting the People Directorate, which comprised all education and social work services.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading and travel.
Team Leader Foster Care – Gillian Merrett
I joined Carolina House Trust in February 2014 as a Supervising Social Worker, having had 6 years of social work experience. After 6 months I came off on maternity to have my first child. I came back to work in June 2015, as Team Leader and shocked everyone by announcing I was expecting my second child in October 2015. I returned to work in August 2016 to resume my position as Team Leader.
I graduated from Dundee University in 2008 with an Honours Degree in Social Work and moved to London where I worked as a front line social worker in a children’s and families team for just over a year in Hammersmith and Fulham Local Authority. I then moved to Australia and worked in a voluntary organisation supervising support workers, undertaking direct work with young people and being part of a reunification team, supporting children being rehabilitated back with their families. This included high-level safety planning with child protection, birth families and foster carers. After 2 years I came back to Scotland and undertook agency work in Dundee, doing various roles in children and families teams. I then worked in Angus Council, working in child protection, supporting looked after children and undertaking initial assessments. I have loved having the opportunity to work in the statutory and voluntary sectors in different countries and local authorities.
I love spending time with my family and friends and have a passion for travelling.
Residential Services Leader – Kathleen Mulvey
I have spent the majority of my career over the last 20 years working with children and young people who are struggling to find their way in life and impacted by their earlier experiences. For me, the environment that I feel most able to connect with young people is in the residential care environment where we journey together from strangers to connection. From 2014 to 2019 I first cut my teeth as a residential manager in a therapeutic residential childcare service. As the registered manager, we achieved grade 6 from the Care Inspectorate for management and leadership and we were also excelling in care and support. I’m incredibly proud of that outcome as I know how much as a team we put in.
Having spent a year with the Foster Care Team at CHT as a Supervising Social Worker covering leave. The opportunity to lead Tarvit re-ignited my first love – creating a healing home and caring for a team so that they can be extraordinary in the lives of our young people.
Some of my work outwith the 9-5 for residential care has included:
Since 2010 I have been active in leading the SRCCWA (Scottish Residential Childcare Workers Association) which afforded me multiple opportunities to support practitioners across Scotland and become more aware of the wider systems and discourses around residential care. In Autumn 2020 SRCCWA will relaunch as CYC-Scotland (Child and Youth Care Scotland). I’m also a Director of a Community Interest Company, KA Care In Ayrshire which is an advisory role.
2012 – 2014 Interaction into Historic Abuse in Scotland
This process, facilitated by the Scottish Human Rights Commission and CELCIS aimed to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved with historic abuse were understood. We developed an action plan of shared responsibilities to enable justice to be done. From this, the framework for the Inquiry into Historic Abuse (ongoing) was established and the national redress scheme. This was an opportunity to work with a contentious issue where all parties were represented who historically would not share the same forum. I was the voice of the current residential worker.
2016-2017 Working Group into Level 9 Qualification for Residential Workers.
Chaired by Scottish Government we looked at the implementation and barriers for a Level 9 (degree level qualification) for residential workers, this group was disbanded as civil servants were redeployed to the National Care Review.
National and International Conferences (Presenter)
I’m not a confident presenter, I get very nervous beforehand but I love the feeling of connection I get from the audience once I start, so I keep putting myself through the nervous rollercoaster, some of the topics I have presented on are: Supervision, Leadership, Language & Cultures and the efficacy of physical restraint. Training is different for me than presenting and I’ve written and designed training through the years on multiple topics and platforms.
- Child and Youth Care International Conference St Johns Newfoundland Canada, 2013
- Scottish Institute of Residential Childcare Conferences: Edinburgh 2014, Glasgow 2015
- FICE (INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF EDUCATIVE COMMUNITIES) and Child and Youth Care International Conference Vienna, Austria 2016
- Unity Through Relationship – Dublin, Ireland 2018
Outwith this I am powered by my Christian faith and enjoy connecting with Taize (www.taize.fr/en), a place I spent some years in my early 20s and return to when I need to recharge. I also watch far too many psychological thrillers and police programmes. I’m also a keen sports fan and will watch anything but cricket.