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Meet The Team

What makes us unique is our personal experience mixed with our professional experience. We have combined over 30 years experience as Foster/Adoptive parents, caring for children aged from 0-18 years, alongside over 50 years experience in Social Work. We not only have the technical skills needed to work with children/young people who have experienced trauma, we also have the insight of how this works in reality thanks to our extensive personal experience. Our carers appreciate the fact that we have lived experience alongside specialist expertise.

Mike Spencer

I have been involved in social care for some 40 years & 25 years as an active foster carer, fostering a range of children, from toddlers to teenagers with a range of needs including complex needs.

Our last placement was twin baby girls who were born 11 weeks premature, the twins came to us straight from hospital, 9 years on they are now my daughters and the ultimate end to my fostering career. My birth children now in their 30’s are actively involved with the twins and support me and my wife in any way they can. My wife Sue is the “glue” she is central and holds our family together. I qualified as a Social Worker in 1993 & went on to complete a BA (Hons) in Applied Social Science. In 2012 I completed a degree in Therapeutic Work with Children & Young People. I was fortunate to complete my Therapeutic Degree with the renowned Mulberry Bush School in Oxfordshire. Further to this I completed DDP training at level 1 & 2, I was very fortunate to complete my level 2 training with the renowned Dan Hughes. During part of my professional career I commissioned & managed several Children’s Homes for Hillcrest Care Ltd, these homes gained and maintained “outstanding” status with OFSTED.

Katie Gibson-Cook

I am the Registered Manager here at TheraParent Fostering and a proud mum of 2. My parents began fostering when I was 2 years old and continued to do so until I was 24, when they adopted twin girls.

As a result of my experience as a birth child within a fostering family, I subsequently qualified as a Social Worker in 2011 and have been working within Independent Fostering Agencies ever since, providing support to fostering families and Looked After Children. I have also worked within Child In Need Teams and have experience in working with survivors of sexual assault. I have completed Level 1 training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy to enhance my Therapeutic practice and more recently completed Level 1 training in Theraplay. I therefore am fortunate enough to have experience both personally and professionally of working with children and young people who have experienced developmental trauma and am passionate about ensuring the right support is offered to families to meet their specific needs.

Mark Gibson-Cook

I am a qualified Social Worker, and have worked with Independent Fostering Agencies in therapeutic teams and with traumatised children for over 6 years.

Prior to this I worked with charities and services supporting young people who faced homelessness and family breakdowns and who were not in education, employment or training. I have had the pleasure in managing and setting up services and learning provisions and always maintained my passion for working with young people. I started over 14 years ago working with supporting people schemes of all ages, then quickly found my path working with the younger age groups. During this time I have married and had a son, and a daughter. Amongst lots of valuable training I have completed Therapeutic Life Story Work Training and see real value in this service for supporting young people in care. Throughout my career I have grown more and more aware of the impact of trauma and how this effects the development of young people, their lived experiences and the fostering families I have supported. I remain driven and passionate about outcomes for young people and families and I’m excited about the support services we can offer.