Amber Care Family

Meet The Team

Carol Benbow – Business Director/Responsible Individual

Carol is the Business Director of Amber Family and she provides the business support, staff management and office organisation for the entire service. Carol has responsibility for ensuring the service provided complies with the expectations of OFSTED and is in line with National Minimum Standards and published legislation relating to residential family centres.

Carol comes from a project management / business organisation background, specialising in construction and she has worked on major schemes for Central Government across the UK. Carol is keen to support the Amber Family vision for good quality, approachable, honest residential family centres in the North West for parents and their children. From feedback received from the Courts, Local Authorities and other professional services, it’s apparent that this is a much needed service.

As well as having many construction related qualifications, Carol has also achieved the Level 5 Health and Social Care (Adult Pathway – Advanced Practitioner) qualification and is now expanding her knowledge in Restorative Practice which is currently being implemented throughout the Amber Family service.

Gill Whalley – Care Director/Registered Manager –

Amber House & Amber Lodge

Prior to opening Amber Family, Gill was a Social Worker for the Local Authority on the integrated assessment team for Children and Young People, working with children at immediate risk, children in need and looked after children. Gill’s role was to identify risks as well as to develop and implement support packages to enable families to maintain stability and to achieve positive outcomes for their children. This role also required working within the Court arena, providing reports and attendance at Court proceedings.

After many months of research and talking to other Social Workers, commissioning departments and family support workers, Gill identified a need for a service to provide a homely, welcoming and caring environment into which new parents can be placed to enable an assessment of their capacity and capability to care for their child in a calm and supportive setting.

Gill is still a Registered Social Worker; she has continued her professional development which has included undertaking her PAMS (Parenting Assessment Manual) training in 2013 and an NVQ Level 5 in Care Leadership and Management. Gill is passionate about giving parents the best opportunity to bond with their child and to be supported whilst undergoing a fair, robust assessment. She believes this approach will affect a long-term positive change for the parents, children and their families.

Kate Hannon – Business Strategy Manager

Kate brings a wealth of business knowledge from both private and public sector.

Having predominately worked within People Management, Business Development and Human Resourcing roles and spending some time as a stay at home mum whilst studying L7 CIPD HR Management (to fill those gaps between nappy changes!) her knowledge, keen eye for detail and optimistic personality were a match with the business.

Kate is passionate on supporting the current high standard of practices at Amber Family, whilst developing strategies alongside the Directors to deliver the visions and aspirations for the business.

Nat Clarke – Registered Manager – Amber Grange

Nat has worked for Amber Family since it opened in 2014 and was the Key Worker for the first family who lived in the setting. Since then, she has Key Worked over 25 families in both Amber House and Amber Lodge. For the last two years, Nat has been the deputy to Gill at Amber House and Amber Lodge and the opening of Amber Grange has provided Nat with the opportunity to progress as Registered Manager of her own setting.

Nat is qualified to Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (Adults’ Residential Management) and has been working with one of our partners, Tools 4 Change and is now a accredited Gateway Programme Practitioner.

Nicola Miller – PAMS Assessor

Nicola is a qualified Social Worker gaining her BA Hons in Social Work at Edge Hill University in 2014. Nicola began working for Amber Family in November 2016. Whilst working at Amber, Nicola has continued her professional development which has included undertaking her PAMS (Parenting Assessment Manual) Training in 2017. Nicola has supported family’s in Amber House, Amber Lodge and is now undertaking her new role as PAMS assessor in Amber Grange, Amber Family’s newest setting.

Phil Higham – Family Liaison Coordinator

Phil has worked for Amber Family since 2015 and he started as a Key Worker, providing Phil with an excellent insight into what the service aims to achieve and what the Key Worker role involves.

Phil previously worked for a Local Authority supporting adults with learning disabilities and whilst working for Amber Family he has achieved his Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management as well as becoming a Gateway Practitioner. The Gateway Course focuses on the issues of domestic violence / abuse and how parents and children can be affected by it.  Phil is currently working towards the Restorative Justice Accreditation with the Restorative Justice Council.

Six parent education courses have also been devised and implemented within Amber Family by Phil and his colleague, Emma Sutcliffe. These courses in budgeting, weaning and a healthy diet, childhood illnesses, attachment, healthy relationships and baby safe, focus on developing and maintaining parenting skills and are offered to all parents residing in Amber Family.

Lauren Benbow – Staff & Office Manager

Lauren has worked for Amber Family since July 2017. Initially starting out considering a career in Law, Lauren completed a Law Degree at the University of Leeds and then a subsequent Law Practice Certificate at Manchester University. Lauren worked for law firms for a number of years, before embarking on her new role as Staff and Office Manager for Amber Family.

Lauren is currently studying a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN). Lauren works in the office and alongside Rebecca and deals with all referrals, contact with Local Authorities and external stakeholders as well as keeping us all organised!

Rebecca Gauder – Business Support

Rebecca has worked for Amber since February 2017. Her first role at Amber Family was as a support worker and she spent 12 months supporting many families at Amber House and Amber Lodge before moving to the office as Business Support in April 2018. In the office, Rebecca deals with enquiries from Local Authorities and Solicitors regarding referrals and room availability in all of the Amber Family settings. She helps Lauren with the smooth running of the houses in terms of room changeovers and ensuring that rooms are pristine and stocked for any new parents arriving in one of our three settings.

Key Workers & Support Workers

All Key Workers and Support Staff employed by Amber Family have either achieved or are working towards the Level 3 Children and Young Peoples Workforce, Level 3 in Health and Social Care, City and Guilds Level 4 Working with Families or the Level 5 Diploma in Health and Social Care. All our staff are positive role models for parents and ensuring that we have a fully qualified, comprehensively trained and extremely competent and committed workforce is a main objective for Amber Family.

Get in touch with one of our team

Call Us

01704 807170