Sharon Lewis - Executive Manager and Safeguarding Lead
I am a highly motivated Early Intervention Manager and Safeguarding Lead at Home-Start Thanet, with 30 years' experience of recruiting, training, supervising and leading a staff team and outreach Mentors in the community. In my current role I develop training for our Mentors and Trustee Board and continue to deliver the induction and ongoing training in a wide range of subjects.
My main focus is managing the operational side of the scheme, including analysing needs and writing funding applications to meet the demands on our service. These added support programmes enhance the core Home-Start service and utilise fully the qualifications, experience and skills of our staff team. My responsibility for triaging and allocating referrals, plus continued interaction with families, ensures my understanding of the complex needs of many of our families living in a deprived part of Kent.
Having worked directly with clients for over two decades by offering individual and group interventions, I have developed a diverse range of assessment skills, enabling me to undertake individual assessments of need, create bespoke packages of support and work collaboratively with a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies, both locally and nationally.
I have worked closely with East Kent College and Kent University for many years attending and contributing to their Community Learning Forums. As part of the Home-Start Thanet bespoke package of support, I provide individual and couples counselling sessions. I have also acted as an onsite learning facilitator/supervisor for Student Social Workers (Christ Church University) and Student Nurses.
I am a trained Freedom Programme Facilitator (Group support for victims of domestic abuse) and in addition have worked alongside other professionals to deliver perinatal group support, my specialist area is physical and mental health including perinatal and post-traumatic stress. As Safeguarding Lead I am aware of risk, safeguarding both vulnerable adults and children and am trained in risk assessment, plus deliver safeguarding training sessions and triage our child protection concerns.
Qualifications and training
Following a fulfilling career in nursing as a Registered Nurse and Health Advisor/Counsellor in family planning, I studied at Kent University in Psychodynamic Psychanalytical Psychotherapy, Family Therapy and Relationship Counselling, obtaining certificates in all subjects. To enhance this I went on to obtain qualifications in Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and having placements on maternity and psychiatry find that these are key areas of interest. In studying with the University of Lancashire I obtained a teaching qualification which has supported the training we deliver at Home-Start. I have completed training in Autism and Spectrum Disorders, Mental Health, Children's Challenging Behaviours and a wide range of health training. Over the years I have studied and obtained qualifications in: management; staff supervision/appraisals; group facilitation; addiction issues; conflict management; motivational interviewing; corporate fundraising; and project management including evaluation and monitoring.