Foster Care Fortnight

Welcome to the Placement Team

Welcome to the Placement Team

Welcome to the Placement Team:

Sunbeam Fostering Agency has a dedicated Placement Team. The team has a proactive approach to fully understanding carer’s availability and strengths and work closely with Supervising Social Workers (SSW) and Local Authority Commissioning Teams in order to offer well matched placements. Sunbeam holds various tenders across the county, which in turn maximises our placement opportunities and ensures we remain the key choice for Local Authorities. To further develop this, the team holds regular meetings with Local Authorities to ensure our positive working relationship is maintained and developed further.

Meet your team:

John Collins – Head of Placements and Recruitment 

I am the Head of Placements and Recruitment Team at Sunbeam. I have over 25 years of experience in social care and over 15 years experience in working for Independent Fostering Agencies . I have worked as a supervising social worker through to Registered Manager and Responsible Individual. I particularly enjoy seeing the achievements and development of children and young persons supported by the agency.

Nicola Westley – Business Development Manager

I am the Business Development Manager at Sunbeam and have worked with Sunbeam for the last 15 years in a number of roles. Currently I oversee our contract management and have oversight also of our placement team. I am committed to ensuring our service continues to develop and support our foster carers to care for vulnerable children and young people.   My lengthy service is a testament to how Sunbeam supports and cares for its stakeholders and I look forward to many more years working in the organisation.

 Mathew Jacob – Placement Team Coordinator

It is just over a year I am with Sunbeam. Indeed it is a home away from home. It is the dream of every employee to be part of an excellent team of professionals. Sunbeam gives me, an ample of opportunities to grow and develop professionally. Sunbeam inspires its employees to be innovative and always promotes freedom with responsibility. Indeed I am a happy family member! I am a social worker and look forward to growing and offering my experience to the team. I am proud to lead a team of placement officers who hold impeccable individual competence.

 Mohammed Khurram – Placement officer

I have been working with Sunbeam Fostering Agency since 2009. I have worked in various departments within Sunbeam and currently I am working as Placement officer. I enjoy interacting with carers and LA providers. I am passionate about matching looked after children with families. Since 2000, our carers have provided care to more than 10000 children/young people. I am proud to be part of the Sunbeam family.

Elena Babintseva – Placement Officer

I started working with Sunbeam in May of this year. I have come from Finance, Children`s Services and Fostering background. Placements team is the heart of the agency as we work with the variety of people and I am very glad to be a part of the family!

Roshin Varghese – Placement Officer

I have been with Sunbeam for over 2years now and I am proud to be part of the placement team as a senior placement officer. My main goal is to ensure our foster carers are supported and the team continue to offer well-matched placements. I have always found it exciting to meet people from different cultural backgrounds. My passion is playing cricket & travelling.

How does it work?

The team receive referrals from a number of local authorities across the country. Should a referral come through that can be considered a match, the carer will be contacted by the team and the key points of the referral will be discussed over the phone. The placement officer will then send the carer a secure copy of the referral via email allowing carers to review and raise any questions or queries. At the same time, this will also be discussed with the SSW and Team Manager. Once all are in agreement to accept the referral the placement team propose the carers formally to the Local Authority. The final outcome/decision is then made by the young person’s Social Worker.

A little bit extra!

We support the carers via regular phone calls for those carers who do not yet have a placement or those who have additional vacancies, just to keep carers in the loop around referral trends. The team also send carers profiles every week to the relevant Local authorities to update them of availability. The current trends are sibling groups, enhanced needs referrals, parent & child, and newly arrived unaccompanied minors.


This job is probably one of my favourites. Every day is different, every day has new challenges and every day has new rewards. It’s not always easy but each challenge you go through with the child bonds you and makes you both stronger for each other.

Foster Carer
Foster Carer

We have been fostering for the last 8 years and feel proud to be a part of the Sunbeam family. At the beginning, we thought it’s a tough job, but the skills to foster initial training and the whole assessment procedure to become a carer was interesting, and it gave us both a broad insight into both the tough and rewarding side of what we were likely to encounter.

Hannah and Kashif
Hannah and Kashif

“Fostering is a rewarding experience as it allows you to actually make a difference for a child/young person. I feel happy being able to make such a difference whether it is for one day or several years.”


“When they told me that I had been approved for fostering, well I just cried. I was an emotional wreck and was so happy that I just couldn’t hold back my very, very, happy tears.”

Karen Thorn
Karen Thorn

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