Meet The Team

Fay Alford

Fay Alford

Director

 

With boundless love and vast reserves of energy, Fay Alford puts the welfare and wellbeing of children at the centre of all that she does.  Fay and her husband David have fostered close to 90 vulnerable children over the last three decades while raising their two biological daughters.  They have adopted two foster children, and a third chose to adopt the Alfords when she turned 18.  Fay and David are still fostering today raising their now six-year-old granddaughter who they have cared for since birth.  A member of the Foster Care Association since 1987, its President-Elect from 2001 and Director from 2009, Fay provides support and advocacy to foster carers throughout the state of Western Australia.

Fay is an advisor to the minister of Child Protection and the Assistant Director-General of the Department of Communities; Fay is the public face of fostering in WA; a guest speaker at conferences and community events; and a key figure in the training, panelling and recruitment of new foster carers. Fay has twice been nominated as a finalist in the Australian of the Year in 2016 and 2017 and was the recipient of the prestigious John Curtin Medal in 2018 for her recognised qualities of vision, leadership and significant and ongoing service to the community. In 2020, Fay was awarded the prestigious Order Of Australia Medal for her exemplary service to children over the years.

Helen Dale

Helen Dale

Office Manager

 

Helen brings 16 years experience in office management, working in various industries including aged care, town planning, manufacturing and now in foster care.

Helen’s role within the Foster Care Association is managing the office on all levels, working together with the advocacy team, using her exceptional interpersonal and organisational skills. Helen has also worked with MYOB for the last 16 years, honing her accounts skills and becoming proficient in this programme.

Helen’s outside interests are swimming, dancing, music and reading books.

Helen is very passionate about providing a professional and proactive office environment always firmly believes in a ‘can do’ attitude.

Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones

Team Leader | Senior Social Worker Advocacy & Support Officer

 

Rebecca Mann

Rebecca Mann

Senior Social Worker Advocacy & Support Officer

 

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Social Work and began her career with the Department for Child Protection in 2001. During her 16 years with the Department, Rebecca gained experience as a Case Manager and senior in various teams. It was during this time, that she found her passion in supporting foster families and for the most part, worked within placement services at a District level.

Rebecca joined the Foster Care Association of WA in 2017 as a Senior Social Worker, Advocacy and Support Officer. This role has seen her expand on her skills in working alongside foster families, advocating for their rights, and ensuring that they feel valued and heard. This position has also enabled Rebecca to work alongside the Department and Community Sector Organisations, as well as provide opportunities to engage with foster families throughout Western Australia.

Rebecca strives to keep a balanced family and work life, loves spending time outdoors, and enjoys watching her three children play sport and participate in various activities.

Cassie Walton

Cassie Walton

Senior Social Worker Advocacy & Support Officer

 

Cassie holds a Bachelor of Social Work and commenced her career with the Department for Child Protection in 2000. She has significant experience working within the child protection and out of home care systems as a Case Manager and Placement Officer at a District level.

Cassie joined the Foster Care Association of WA in 2018 as a Senior Social Worker, Advocacy and Support Officer. She prides herself on building relationships and working in partnership with foster families. She brings a wealth of knowledge and commitment and has valuable insight into the experience of carers and the challenges that they face. Cassie has developed a strong passion for working alongside carers, advocating for their rights, and achieving optimal outcomes for their families and children in care.

Cassie is the mother of two beautiful children and enjoys the challenge of balancing work and motherhood. Her outside interests include music, sport and exploring the outdoors with her family.

Natalee Payne

Natalee Payne

Carer Family Support Worker

 

Natalee joined the Foster Care Association in January 2020.   Natalee brings a unique set of skills to the role; growing up in a family where her parents were Foster Carers to many children over a span of more than 40 years, Natalee brings a very personal understanding of the needs and concerns faced by many Foster Carers. 

Natalee is a practical and down-to-earth person who has real, everyday experience which comes to the fore when supporting Carers.  Natalee loves her role which involves meeting with Carers and supporting them through the challenges and rewards of their fostering journey.

Leah Atkinson

Leah Atkinson

Carer Family Support Worker

 

Leah joined the Foster Care Association in 2020 as one of the Carer and Family Support Workers providing additional support, advice, and emotional debriefing opportunities to foster carers.

Leah has extensive experience in the Community Services sector with a particular focus on children, youth, and family services. Leah is goal orientated and passionate about working alongside vulnerable children and families to build capacity and help them create positive outcomes. Leah finds it extremely rewarding being able to develop strong relationships with carers and support them through their journey of fostering.

Kim Lee

Kim Lee

Carer Family Support Worker

 

Kim has worked with families for over 25 years and has been a Carer Family Support Worker for the Foster Care Association since this new role was created in 2020.

With a strong background in Children’s, Youth, and Community Services, Kim is dedicated to delivering valid, appropriate and holistic services that resonate with the families she works with on an individual level. She believes in meeting people where they are, early intervention, trauma-informed care, and using strengths-based approaches to enhance family life. She feels incredibly privileged to be able to connect, share in the highs and lows and personally contribute to the well-being and capacity of carers and the community.

Kim is proud to support those who care for WA’s most vulnerable children.

Freddie Povey

Freddie Povey

Marketing & Communications Consultant

 

Freddie is a Marketing & Communications professional with many years experience in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Freddie has a passion for delivering high-quality marketing material that aligns with an organisations business goals. She has a strong focus on brand awareness and is vigilant in ensuring brand equity is never compromised. Attention to detail is very important to Freddie and she will stop at nothing to ensure that a project is executed in the highest possible manner.

Freddie is extremely passionate about protecting vulnerable children and keeping families together wherever possible. Freddie and her husband David’s life changed dramatically when they discovered Freddie’s brother’s four children (who they did not know existed) had been in the foster care system for over 12 months and were about to be split up and put into four different families. Freddie and David fought relentlessly to keep the children together and overnight expanded their already significant family of six to a family of ten.

Fast forward six years and Freddie could not be more proud of the wonderful children she has helped to raise and will be forever thankful for having had the opportunity.

Meet The Board

Larissa Whiskin

Larissa Whiskin

Chairperson

 

Larissa and her husband Phil started Fostering in September of 1995. Over the years, five children were added to their already family of five. Wherever possible, Larissa and Phil have worked closely with the biological families of the children in their care, so that the children could have a sense of belonging and maintain an attachment.

Larissa joined the FCAWA Board in September of 2012 and current acts in the role of Chairperson. Larissa has a passion for all carers and children in care and for the necessities of their needs being met.

FCAWA are strong advocates for all carers and it has been a honour to be involved in their journey.  Larissa assists at monthly Foster Care Training sessions providing an overview of fostering from a carers prospective. Larissa was previously involved on the panel in the assessment of new carers.

 

Prior to fostering, Larissa worked as a PA in the Aged Care sector for 15 years. She currently works part-time for an accountancy firm and also partakes in voluntary work at her local Soup Kitchen with preparing meals and offering support to those in need.

Larissa firmly believes that their lives have been enriched by their fostering journey and we is extremely proud of the achievements of all of their children.

Ann Hawke

Ann Hawke

Vice Chair | Cultural Advisor

 

Founder of Kinship Connections in 2012, Ann is a descendant of the Yawuru people from Broome on her grandfather’s side (Hawke family) and Gooniyandi people from the East Kimberly on her grandmother’s side (Cox family). Ann is the third generation in her family to have been affected by government removal policies.

Immediately before starting Kinship Connections, Ann worked in the Department for Child Protection for six years as a Senior Field Officer within Fostering Services. She worked first as a trainer on best practice fostering but soon moved into recruitment and assessment of potential foster parents. Ann’s knowledge and expertise continues to be sought by the Department of Child Protection and other agencies on a regular basis. She sat on the Foster Carer’s Centralised Panel for eight years and is a key resource on Aboriginal and fostering issues across the non-Government sector in WA. Her detailed knowledge of kinship relationships across the Aboriginal community is frequently called on and she takes a growing number of after-hours calls on this issue.

Ann is a strong advocate for Aboriginal children in care and currently sits on the Foster Care Association WA’s board.  Ann currently sits on a number of RAP planning Committees (The Reconciliation Action Plan) within the Non-government sector.

Ann has been an active foster carer for the past 35 years and has fostered in excess of 100 children over this time.  Ann is now currently caring for her five grandsons full time through the Department.  Ann is a strong advocate for parents and families who are involved with the Department of Child Protection.

 

Sue House

Sue House

Board Member

 

Sue has been a Foster Carer since 2000 and began working at FCAWA a few years later managing the clothing store in Subiaco, and is now coordinating emergency packs. Sue joined the FCAWA Board 14 years ago.

Sue has been a foster carer for many years and has been involved with guardianship orders and adoption.  Sue is still very much involved with the children who were in her care, who have since become adults.

Sue is a dedicated wife, mum, nanna  and carer who enjoys whatever life throws at her and always has her heart and door open.

Heidi Bentink

Heidi Bentink

Board Member

 

John Leone

John Leone

Board Member

 

John has worked in many fields over his lifetime.  He was an owner operator of a successful family business and is now semi-retired and enjoying working within the community.

John is a father of three adult children, a foster father of three young children and a husband to a wonderful wife who works while John runs the household. John and his wife have been foster carers since 2019.

When not at home, John volunteers at several charities from store work to delivering furniture and household goods to people in need and helping with food hampers.

After being commissioned as a Justice of the Peace, John has worked in the judicial system with domestic violence for many years. John is active on The Justice of the Peace Alliance Board, Vice president of the Royal Association of Justices for the Joondalup /Wanneroo Branch and is on the Hepburn Centre Board.

John’s lifelong motto is, “There is good and bad in every creed, colour or race. Be excellent to everyone and one day someone will be excellent to you”.

Dion Gliddon

Dion Gliddon

Board Member

 

Beth Harris

Beth Harris

Board Member

 

Beth became a member of the Foster Care Association in 2008 and joined the Board in 2020. Beth, along with her husband, have been fostering for fourteen years. They have cared for over forty emergency, short-term, long-term and respite placements and currently includes in her family four adult children, five long-term and two short-term children.

Beth graduated from Curtin University in 1989 as a registered nurse and has worked in staff development, emergency, paediatric, surgical, medical, oncology and recently in school health.

Beth is passionate about supporting foster carers and attends recruitment events as a foster care presenter, acting as a mentor to new carers and helping them to navigate the system, as well as providing knowledge about connections to biological family and connection to culture.

Natasha Rainbow

Natasha Rainbow

Board Member