Who We Are | Soundly Fostering | Agency | Thetford | Norfolk

Who We Are...

Joy O’Brien-Miller

Joy O’Brien-Miller

Hello, I’m one of the directors at Soundly Fostering and also, the Responsible Individual. I am passionate about fostering and believe that all children should have the opportunity to thrive and go on to lead fulfilling lives, including those who are fostered. When living in a well-matched fostering home with supportive and tuned in carers, this helps create an opportunity for that to happen.

I was part of a family that fostered when I was younger, so can identify what it feels like to part of a fostering household. I have also been working as a social worker for over 30 years, spending the last 15 years in the fostering sector. I think it’s fair to say that my childhood influenced my choice of career and the direction it took. I love my job, I thoroughly enjoy working with fostering families and am often amazed by the level of commitment and sacrifices they make. I’m so excited about the future of Soundly Fostering and what we can create together. Before Soundly Fostering, I had become disillusioned and felt that working in a fostering agency that was part of a large group wasn’t for me. So, the idea of Soundly Fostering was born with my then colleague and now codirector, Kat. I knew I wanted to create an agency that felt intimate, supportive, and inclusive, as I believe that foster carers need to be recognised as individuals and the agency around them needs to be flexible, in order to meet their needs. I want foster carers to be heard and be part of our growth.

Our primary objective is ensuring that children are safe and have positive experiences which will allow them to be themselves and begin or continue the healing process. At soundly fostering, we do that together, we all play our part in the lives of children who are fostered, because together we are better. I consider myself to be ‘hands on’. For me, it's the best bit, and you will often find me out and about visiting families, attending activities, and generally getting involved.

Considering the wellbeing of everyone at Soundly Fostering is important to me, so we will make sure that you are supported with all that you need to be equipped to care for the children you look after a in way they can really benefit and help create opportunities. We also want you and any birth children to benefit from the experience, to learn, to grow, to feel ‘looked after’ as you are important to us. After all, it is a whole family experience.

I believe, it is together where we make the real differences to children’s lives and to our own. I am looking forward to working with foster carers who are passionate about children, who really want to help make changes, to create opportunities and be part of an inclusive organisation. We want to recognise your strengths and skills and to safeguard and effect changes in children’s lives. Together we will achieve.

Katharina Carter

Katharina Carter

Hello, I’m one of the directors at Soundly Fostering and also, the manager. Please call me Kat and feel free to contact me at any time, whether it is to chat, for support, or to share more serious aspects of our work and find a way through together.

In order for us at Soundly Fostering to support you in the best way we can, I would like to get to know you! To start this connection, it feels only right, for me to tell you a little about myself as well.

I came to England from Germany when I was 3 years old and lived in different temporary accommodations until we found a home in St Albans. Of course, I always got the train to London at the weekends when I was a teenager, as that felt much more exciting and interesting.

As an adult, I lived in Enfield, with my husband and two children. We moved to Cambridgeshire 7 years ago. Nowadays, I don’t need to go to London at weekends, as I am always visiting families and that feels interesting and varied.

I have always loved animals and am passionate about enabling people to have a good life. My little dog, Wooster, often sits at the desk with me when I am working.

I studied to become a social worker 10 Years ago and have worked in Local Authorities and with Fostering Agencies ever since. Being a social worker, really is an expression of my values and who I am. It embodies my honest wish to improve lives, as well as my commitment to building relationships with children, families and staff. Working together with people in this way, gives me a strong sense of purpose.

Soundly Fostering, is born out of the same ethos - one of support, hearing each other and celebrating each other’s strengths.

I really hope you will join Soundly Fostering and most importantly, I look forward to getting to know you, and working closely together.

Meet The Team...

Clare Aston

Clare Aston

Hello, I am Soundly Fostering’s Agency Decision Maker.

This means that I consider all the reports about prospective foster families presented to panel, along with the panel minutes, and decide if a family should foster or not. I also review the approval of all Soundly foster carers each year to ensure they continue to be suitable to foster.

I enjoy playing a part in the quality assurance process, ensuring the agency maintains its high standards by giving feedback about the agency’s reports, the effectiveness of panel and completing the appraisal of the Panel Chair.

I have been qualified as a social worker for nearly 30 years and for most of that time I have been working with foster carers.

It has been a pleasure to follow the journey of prospective foster families from their initial enquiry, through to having many years of experience, and in turn, a privilege to be part of the team that enables children to flourish and thrive.

Asa Seljestad-Payne

Asa Seljestad-Payne

Hello, I am the Administrator & Child Participation Co-ordinator for Soundly Fostering.

My name is Åsa (pronounced orsa) which is a Norwegian name.

I have a pet house rabbit called Artemis.

I love helping and supporting people and I have always been lucky to have worked in a capacity where I have been able to do this. It has allowed me to develop strong working relationships with people from many different backgrounds.

I am an experienced administrator and have previously worked with another fostering agency.

As part of the Soundly team, I will be making sure that everything runs smoothly in the Agency and organising events to engage young people, carers and birth children.

I am passionate about promoting equality, opportunity and good outcomes, by giving young people a voice and valuing their input, so will definitely be asking about and encouraging any ideas for things that we can do together.

It is exciting to think about all the possibilities and opportunities the future holds.

I am looking forward to helping and supporting you.

Gemma Boreham

Gemma Boreham

Hello, My name is Gemma and I am the Senior Supervising Social Worker at Soundly Fostering.

I live in Essex with my partner.

I have been a social worker for 15 years. I've worked in child protection, assessment, leaving care and family group conferencing teams. I've worked in fostering for the last 3 years with Kat and Joy.

I love working for an independent small agency which feels very supportive, friendly and caring. I really enjoy supporting foster carers and working together to find solutions and ways forward.

I like to take an active role in gaining feedback from the children involved with our agency and participating in activities together.

Soundly's ethos and passion for supporting children and foster carers is one of the many reasons I enjoy coming to work each day.

….Soundly by your side

For further details please call 01842 818793 or email us here

Who We Are | Soundly Fostering | Thetford | Norfolk