Meet the team
Catherine has carefully selected an impressive Team of Associates, all accomplished in their specialist areas and all share her principles, standards and values. Catherine and her Associates each have in excess of 30 years experience across a range of different sectors including Early Years, Education, Health Visiting, Social Work, Mental Health, Advocacy, Social Policy and Administration and Family Therapy.
Catherine Rushforth has been working in the Children’s Services for 38 years. She is a life-long advocate for heart-centred practice, where Practitioners deliver warm, professionally boundaries support to children and their families.
In fact, Catherine has quite a great deal to say about the emotional intelligence in the workforce! She has been involved in the Early Years Champions Group at Westminster, informing the development of MP’s understanding of very early child development, now reflected in the cross-party Manifesto document the First 1001 Critical Days.
Catherine has led an esteemed group of experts in the production of Conception to Age 2: The Age of Opportunity 2013, for the WAVE Trust and Department for Education; Has received referrals from the Ministry of Justice to assist organisations involved in working with the most vulnerable young people in Youth Offender Institutions, Secure Training Centres and Children’s Homes; Works extensively with the Homeless Sector along with CEO’s who provide for those with the most complex of needs, often manifest over the full life course.
Catherine has a deep understanding of human development from the pre-birth period to older age, including the key ways in which poor emotional attachment, neglect and abuse interrupts and derails healthy relationships, life opportunities and happiness.
She is known as an innovative and dynamic thought-leader who inspires professionals to own the full breadth of their safeguarding responsibilities with a genuine professional competence and confidence.
Like many members of the team, John has worked for Children’s Services for over 30 years, in the capacity of Social Worker, Head of Pupil Support and Special Educational Needs. Prior to joining CR&A, he was the Head of Educational Welfare and Safeguarding for a London borough.
John brings a strong strategic and operational management experience to the team and is widely regarded for his:
- Vast experience in safeguarding, including his facilitation of Serious Case Reviews and chairing several Safeguarding Children Board sub-groups
- Exceptionally warm, common sense and principled approach
- Capacity to support, reassure and empower practitioners and managers
I am delighted to welcome Dimitrios to our Team. He's a man of great warmth, who really importantly 'has time' for the young children, their siblings and parents with whom he works. This IS truly extraordinary as he and his teams work with over five thousand vulnerable children and families across the Nursery School and Children's Centre he manages day to day.
Dimitrios has worked in the primary education sector too and and is widely sought after as a Trainer for STEEP and ATLAS, as well as on a part-time basis for us. He is highly accomplished academically, (BA Hons, MA, MPhil, NPQICL) He brings a deep authenticity to professional training as he works in safeguarding including the very serious levels of child protection as a Designated Lead Person on a very regular basis; simply put 'the man walks his talk'.
Lorraine brings a fresh, recent from practice edge to her Associate role at Catherine Rushforth & Associates. She’s an accomplished woman having trained herself as a Teaching Assistant, Teacher for Key Stages 1 and 2 and then led a Pastoral Team, taking on the Designated Lead Person role. Having held this position herself in the last years, culminating in a senior leadership role, she has a wealth of knowledge. This recent insider position enables her to really understand current challenges to safeguarding, including child protection at a very practical level.
Lorraine was well known and widely respected as a Pastoral Lead and Family Support Manager, particularly for going that extra mile with children and their families.
Lorraine has designed and delivered a number of professional learning and training events in her role for a large federation of schools and brings that heartfelt approach to safeguarding synonymous with the Catherine Rushforth & Associates.
Chris brings an extensive experience of direct work with young people to the Team. He is a warm and exceptionally perceptive man who has the capacity to draw out the best in young people and practitioners alike.
He is a respected figure in residential care, youth services, youth offending and integrated services within the community and across the secure estate in Secure Training Centres and Youth Offending Institutions.
His stance is unwavering in enabling professional understanding of :
- The complex needs of young people during adolescence, particularly for those who experienced troubled early years, family breakdown and family trauma.
- The need to apply a sensitive and comprehensive assessment model with a view to achieving successful engagement with young people and their families.
- The importance of Practitioner maturity and ‘boundaried’ work with young people to bring about positive and sustained change.
Christine is exceptionally well-read, with an MA in Social Policy and Administration. She is a life-long advocate for social justice, including Children's’ Rights and the fundamental importance of family life.
Christine has a sharp eye for emerging trends and coupled with her informal, relaxed approach, puts her intellect to work in assisting others to:
- Recognise how their service ‘fits’ within the current legal and social policy framework.
- Apply an evidence-based approach to practice, rooted in respected research findings.
- Adopt an accessible structure for monitoring and evaluating professional practice.
In 2012 she was the first PSHE Association Chartered Teacher of PSHE and went on to address Parliament, sit on the DFE expert group for PSHE, work with the PSHE Association and Sex Education Forum and often speaks at conferences highlighting the need for high-quality provision in schools.
Melonie’s passion and expertise lies in creating safe spaces for children and adults to explore sensitive issues, speak from the heart and challenge ideas of what is right and wrong, enabling children and adults to feel into who they want to be as they grow and what they want in their lives, making changes where necessary and asking for help when needed.