About Us - Background

The Independents social work professional network has been developed by a group of experienced qualified social workers and managers who are able to provide independent social work services.

We recognise the current climate of resource pressures upon both local authorities and the private sector.

The Independent Network is able to provide a service without an additional agency fee, as all our members are independent workers, therefore our rates are very competitive.

Our Members:
Samia Baig CQSW, BA (Hons) Applied Social Sciences
Samia is the referral co-ordinator for the Independents Network Social Work Professional network. She has over 12 years experience working with children and families, both as a social worker, and a field work manager.

Key Ares of Experience:
  • Frontline direct experience of complex child protection work, and care proceedings
  • Team management
  • Quality Assurance
  • Policy development with organisations
  • Developing management and work place systems
  • Independent reviewing of cared for children
  • Project work
  • Overseas kinship care assessments
  • Independent expert assessments for court proceedings
  • Fluent in Punjabi, urdu, conversational hindi, and conducted assessments in families where these are the first languages.

Samia has a valid CRB check and is registered with the general council.

Sandra Moore
Sandra qualified in 1980 as a social worker and practised at first in Slough in a generic social work team before specialising in children and families work. She was a practitioner for 7 years before becoming the manager of a large family centre which she turned from a day centre, to a community based family centre catering to the needs of a diverse community in Hounslow, Middlesex.

She has also managed for Hillingdon, Hounslow, and Slough, a variety of social work teams undertaking the following:

Key Ares of Experience;
  • Court work,
  • Child protection
  • Looked after children
  • Permanency
  • Assessment framework
  • Undertaking hospital social work
  • Project management,
  • Devised working systems,
  • Audited files,
  • Writing specialist chronologies and reports,
  • Writing of published public service guides,
  • Writing of practice guidance and procedures

Sandra has a valid CRB check and is registered with the general council.

Rashida Baig
Rashida Baig holds a BA in Social Psychology, a Diploma in Social Work (Distinction), a Diploma in Higher Education in Social Work (Distinction), The Post Qualifying Childcare Award part I and II and Adult Teaching Certificates Stages I and II. Previously she has worked as a Registration and Inspection officer in the Early Years for Social Services; a Registered Nursery Inspector for OFSTED; and a Bureau Associate of The Early Childhood Unit at The National Children's Bureau. At present she is a freelance trainer and Consultant in anti-oppressive practice; an Honorary Research Associate of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London and a Consultant to The BBC pre-school Department on matters relating to equality and diversity. Rashida also facilitates training and publishes materials for professionals in the early years.

Rashida has been employed in Local Authority Children and Families fieldwork since July 2000 and worked as an Independent social worker since 2002. Her core brief has been frontline Child Protection work, managing Care Proceedings and more recently chairing Child protection Conferences. She has also been involved in independent assessments both here and abroad and has reported to the court in that capacity. Rashida is fluent in Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi.

Rashida also has a valid CRB check and Registration with the General Social Care Council.

Anita Traynor
DMS Diploma in Management Studies (2002)
MSc Care, Policy and Management (1996)
CQSW and Post Grad Diploma in Social Work (1990)
BSc (Hons) Psychology (1986)

Anita has 15 years of experience working with Children and Families teams: - as a social worker, senior practitioner, assistant team manager and team manager. Since October 2004 she has worked as an independent social worker
Anita is a member of BASW's children and families sub-committee and a member of their independent's forum executive committee. She is also a graduate member of the British psychological society.
She is registered with the GSCC and has a valid CRB check.

Key Areas of Experience
  • Interim management
  • Supervision and mentoring of staff performance management
  • Successfully managing budgets
  • Devising working systems for unallocated work on a long term team
  • Managing complex court and child protection cases
  • Vice chair of a joint foster panel
  • Writing team's business plans
  • Chairing complex multi-disciplinary meetings
  • Member of a youth offending team's operational committee

Sarah Henshaw
Qualifications: Dipsw 2001, BSc Social Work Studies 2002, PQ1 2004
Sarah has over 4 years experience working within the field of children and families in both Family Support and Referral and Assessment. She is currently a senior social worker in a local authority child protection team.

Keys areas of experience:

  • Child In Need Initial Assessments
  • Core assessments
  • Undertaking Child Protection Investigations
  • Case responsibility for Child In Need, Child Protection and Looked After Children
  • Undertaking Comprehensive Social Work Assessments
  • Care Proceedings.
  • Acting as mentor for students
  • Completing Form E’s and permanency planning
  • Adoption
  • Joint interview of children, with the Police
  • Member of the Adoption Panel
  • Experience of working with children from developing countries.

Sarah has a valid CRB check and is registered with the General Social Care Council.

Dawn McNally
Dawn obtained the Social Work Diploma and Diploma in Higher Education in 1997. She has a level 2 drugs awareness certificate from the Open College Network and obtained a Diploma (merit) in systemic theory (family therapy) from the Tavistock in 2005. She has 75% credits towards the Advanced Social Work Award which is assessed at Masters level. She has worked as an Independent Social Worker for two years.

Prior to qualifying Dawn worked with older people and adults with learning disabilities and mental ill health. She was responsible for setting up and running a successful Adult Placement Scheme in Buckinghamshire and was joint secretary of the London Adult Placement Schemes.

Dawn has specialised in all aspects of Children and Families work with three Local Authorities since qualifying. This has included Assessment, including independent assessments, Court Work and Report writing in Child Protection investigations, Care Proceedings and all aspects of Adoption including life story work with children and birth records counselling with adults. She has had the lead in Adoption Training and Training multi-disciplinary groups on Domestic Violence. She has worked successfully with looked after children, families that are difficult to engage with and therapeutically with families in rehabilitative work.

Dawn has a valid CRB check and is registered with the GSCC.

Gela Harlow, BSc(Hons) Sociology and Psychology (1996) MSW, Dip Sw (1999)
Gela has worked in Health, Social Services and Education. Prior to training as a Social Worker, she worked in the diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries as a trainer and in customer support. She has six years experience of working with children and families, both as a social worker, and as a Primary Mental Health Worker within CAHMS including managing a PMHT. Latterly, she was asked to join a multi-agency Behaviour and Education Support Team (BEST) as a Primary Mental Health Worker. Most recently Gela has gained experience of working in a Local Authority Fostering and Adoption team. As an independent social worker she has offered therapeutic intervention to foster carers experiencing difficulty with placements.

Gela has attended extensive post-qualification training in Solution Focussed Brief Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Systemic Practice. She has also trained as a Webster-Stratton facilitator.

Keys areas of experience:

  • Therapeutic interventions with children and families
  • Child protection
  • Looked-after Children
  • Supervision
  • Team management
  • Design and delivery of training courses and presentations to clients and professionals
  • Group work & facilitation
  • Assessments and report writing
  • Complaints investigation
  • Multidisciplinary and multi-agency team cultures
  • Design and development of new team and service initiatives

Gela has a valid CRB check and is registered with the general council.

Debora Orr
Debora qualified in 1999 at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College and before specialising in child protection, worked in a range of settings, including Residential Management (learning disability), Care Manager (adult and children learning disability), Care Manager (adult mental health) and social worker (adolescent secure mental health provision)

Keys areas of experience:

  • In children’s services, has worked in Looked After Children, Referral and Assessment and Family Support and Hospital. This has been as a Social Worker, Senior Practitioner and Practice Manager
  • Range of practice experience includes child protection investigations, assessment framework, family support and court work
  • Management positions have been held in Referral and Assessment and Family Support and Child Protection.
  • Currently working as an Independent Child Protection Co-ordinator
  • Undertakes independent assessments for court, and assignments for Local Authorities and/or private agencies requiring specific work and training
  • Training provision includes workshops on Every Child Matters, Reporting for Court and Child Protection
  • Training undertaken includes PQ1, Practice Teaching Award and, currently, BA Hons Post Qualifying Practice
  • Is a practising Practice Assessor and Teacher

Janet Rose
Respected social care professional with over 25 years experience in a variety of social care settings and roles. Background experience includes child protection, mental health, operational and strategic work, service and systems development and training. A trained life coach and public speaker, with excellent interpersonal, communication and leadership skills and organisational development expertise. Qualified to administer Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test. Director of J & S Progress Consultants Ltd.


  • CQSW and Diploma in Social Work
  • Approved Social Worker (Mental Health Act) 1988
  • Post Qualifying Professional Practice (Child Protection) Award – Portsmouth University 1993
  • Certificate in Management – Reading University 1998
  • Competent Leader Award– Toastmasters International 1999
  • Accredited Life Coach Life Coaching Academy 2002
  • Advanced Toastmaster Gold (Public Speaking Award) 2005
  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator – approved user (2004)

Janet now runs her own Limited Company, and works from time to time with equally well qualified and experienced associates.

Julia McKee
Julia Mckee has a Diploma in Social Work obtained in 1999, a BSc in Social Work Studies obtained in 2000 and PQ1 obtained in 2004.

Julia has five years experience working with Children and Families, primarily in Family Support Teams. Julia is presently working as a senior social worker in a Local Authority Child Protection Team and has completed some independent pieces of work.


  • Core assessments
  • Undertaking S.47 Child Protection Investigations
  • Case responsibility for Looked After Children, Child in Need and Child Protection cases
  • Court work
  • Assessments and report writing
  • Completion of Form E’s
  • Adoption work

Julia has a valid CRB check and is registered with the GSCC.


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