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We have a strong political leadership team, coupled with visionary senior leaders and a committed workforce, striving to deliver the best services for the people of Nottingham.

We are committed to recruiting a talented workforce that reflects the communities we serve. We are a fair and inclusive employer and welcome applications from people from all backgrounds and with different abilities. We recruit for diversity and value difference; our aim is to increase inclusivity in Nottingham. 

Below you can find an introduction to each member of the Children’s Services Management Team.  

Catherine Underwood, Corporate Director of People’s Services and Statutory Director of Children’s Service
Catherine qualified as a social worker in 1995 and in her early career practiced in adult mental health. Catherine has held several leadership roles and commenced in her current post in 2019. Catherine says that the best bit about being a DCS is the opportunity to work with skilled and committed colleagues to bring about positive change for children, young people and their families at the earliest opportunity.
Ailsa Barr
Director of Children’s Integrated Services
Ailsa qualified as a social worker in 1993, she has always worked in children’s social care within local authorities. Ailsa joined Nottingham in January 2022. Ailsa passionately believes that getting things right for children and families should underpin all that we do and that a big element of this is providing the right environment for practitioners and managers to do their best work.
Wilf Fearon, Head of Service – Early Help Service
Wilf’s professional background is in Youth Work and Youth Justice. Wilf started working for the Youth Justice Service in 2001 and has held a number of roles in children’s services since then, starting in his current role in 2019.
Sam Danyluk, Head of Service – First Response
Sam qualified as a social worker in 2013. Sam has worked for Nottingham children’s services since 2001 when she joined as a family support worker. Sam has held a variety of posts within the service moving to her current role in 2022.
Nicole Harris, Head of Service – Fieldwork services
Nicole qualified as a social worker in 2010. Nicole joined Nottingham children’s services when she qualified and has worked in Fieldwork ever since as a social worker and later progressing to senior practitioner, team manager and service manager. Nicole moved to her current role in 2022.
Mary-Anne Cosgrove, Head of Service – Children in Care
Mary-Anne qualified as a social worker in 1995 having worked previously with people with learning disabilities. After working as a social worker and team manager in duty and fieldwork, as well as in the voluntary sector and in University, she was Head of Service in two local authorities. Mary-Anne joined Nottingham children’s services in August 2021 as Head of Children in Care.
John Matravers, Head of Service – Safeguarding and Quality Assurance
John qualified as a social worker in 1999 and has worked for Nottingham children’s services ever since. Over the years he has enjoyed working in many different parts of the service before moving to his current role in 2018. John strongly believes that it is a privilege to work with children and families in improving lives in our wonderful diverse city.
Sam Morris, Head of Service – Strategy and Improvement
Sam’s professional background started in Probation before moving into Youth Justice in 2009. Sam started working for Nottingham children’s service in May 2022 and prior to that held a variety of roles including Head of Service in different local authorities (across Youth Justice and Leaving Care services).

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