Hugh Pelham joins the independent agency, which provides foster carers for cared-for children, after three years with the Children’s Family Trust where he was both Regional Manager for the Children’s Family Trust and a Trustee.
Since January this year he was also Policy and Research Adviser for The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (TACT), the largest fostering and adoption charity in the UK.
Living with his partner, Angie since 1997, Hugh, 66, grew up in Essex and trained as a mental health nurse and a social worker. He has been working with children since the 1980s.
He spent almost 20 years with local authorities before moving to the Third Sector in 2001. From 2001 to 2005 he was Chief Executive of East London Foster Carers before its merger with TACT. He then became Executive Director of Children’s Services for TACT for six years until 2011.
“I’m very excited to be with Community Foster Care,” said Hugh. “The organisation has a strong history and an excellent reputation in good child care. The fact that it is a charity is important – I fervently believe that children’s services should be delivered in a public way.
“Having met some of our team, I am struck by the quality of the staff and of our foster carers. They are very experienced and extremely well trained. I shall be making sure that quality and those high standards continue as we support local authorities in their work.
“We must also do all we can to spread the word that there is a national shortage of foster carers in the UK as a whole, and Gloucestershire/Wiltshire is no exception.“
Hugh’s predecessor, Rebekah Pearson, who was a finalist in the Gloucestershire Women in Business Awards in 2014, has left the Community Foster Care after seven years to move to Norway.
The agency, based in Staunton, is a registered charity and not-for-profit company operating in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Lancashire and Cumbria. Established in 1999, it has nine staff based in Staunton, Gloucestershire, and seven in Lancashire and Cumbria. It was the first foster care charity to receive the Social Enterprise Mark in 2009.