0800 693 323
Meet Our Team

Leadership
Team

Regional
Coordinators Team

Caring Families New Zealand has a dedicated team of people supporting caregivers throughout the country
to provide safe and nurturing homes for children. Our team includes many committed volunteers such as
Association Key Contacts, Critical Support Workers and other individuals.

We also have a dedicated team of Regional Coordinators covering the country in ten regions.
Our RCs provide support and training to members. Our National Office is the central point for all our services,
ensuring the smooth running of our organisation, with a team of professional staff and volunteers
united in their commitment to support fostering families.

Leadership Team

Linda Surtees

Linda Surtees

Chief Executive Officer

Ph: 04 566 0294 to contact
Jennifer Hanson, EA to CEO

Linda has been with Caring Families Aotearoa (formerly Fostering Kids NZ) since 2010 and has a wealth of experience in the foster care sector. Linda is a strong advocate for fostering families to receive robust, collaborative support and training to provide quality care for our most vulnerable children.

Jennifer Kinsella

Jennifer Kinsella

Marketing and Communications Manager

Ph: 04 974 8204
Mob : 027 501 0330

Email: JenniferK@caringfamilies.org.nz

Andeana Pilalis

Andeana Pilalis

Critical Support Manager

Ph: 04 566 0299 
Free: 0800 693 278

Email: CriticalSupport@caringfamilies.org.nz

Andeana has been with Caring Families Aotearoa (formerly Fostering Kids NZ) since 2009 and has extensive foster care experience. She strives to ensure caregivers receive the support they need during difficult times and that caregivers are empowered with the knowledge they need to support the children in their care.

Stephanie James-Sadler

Stephanie James-Sadler

National Manager Training and Support

Ph: 04 282 0490
Mob: 027 501 0398

Email: StephanieJ-S@caringfamilies.org.nz

Stephanie manages the Regional Coordinators across New Zealand, having an overview of supporting members and the associations aligned with Fostering Kids. Stephanie has foster care experience and has a knowledge of working across the sector, education and health.

Suzanne Silva

Suzanne Silva

Fundraising Manager

Ph: 04 2820 488
Mob : 027 501 0396

Email: fundraiser@caringfamilies.org.nz

Suzanne offers a wealth of fundraising experience from working in the charitable, academic, arts, and museum sectors in the UK and NZ for the last thirteen years. Suzanne is passionate about supporting caregivers and making a positive impact on the lives of kids in care.

Regional Coordinators Team

Leanne Brownie

Upper North

Cape Reinga down to bottom of North Head.

Ph: 09 283 9483
Mob: 027 566 0294

Email: LeanneB@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Leanne

Ko Ngati Pukenga, ko Ngapuhi nui tonu, ko Kotīmana (Scots) ahau

No Whangārei ki Te Tai Tokerau

My husband Dennis and I are respite caregivers currently for whānau.

I’ve lived and worked in Whangārei most my life.

We have five Tamariki and nine Mokopuna who we don’t see often enough!

Anna Gundesen

Auckland North

Wellsford down to Mt Wellington.

Ph: 09 280 3862
Mob: 027 538 9691

Email: AnnaG@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Anna
I have been with Caring Families since June 2018 and have lived experience as a caregiver, a step-mum and a biological mum. I have been practicing therapeutic parenting for many years and have enjoyed the benefits of the DDP training and framework used at Caring Families. My focus in my work and family life is of a bi-cultural and holistic nature.
Nyvonne Krause

Auckland South

Manukau down to North Waikato.

Ph: 09 281 5609
Mob: 027 501 0395

Email: NyvonneK@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Nyvonne

Ko Tainui, raua ko Ngati Maniapoto, raua ko Te Aupouri oku iwi.

My super power is my children.

My kryptonite are my grandchildren.

My best attribute is my husband.

Heather Jeffcote

Central North

Bay Of Plenty down to Turangi.

Ph: 0800 693 323
Mob: 027 5010393

Email: HeatherJ@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Heather

Kia ora koutou. No Rotorua ahau. My family and I have been fostering children for the past 13 years and this has led me on a journey of learning about attachment and therapeutic parenting. I have a background in Education, so being involved in supporting other carers to learn and grow is something I’m passionate about. I know first-hand how important it is to have encouragement and support. I consider it a privilege to walk alongside caregivers, supporting them in their challenging role as we learn together how to understand the tamariki and rangatahi (children and youth) in our care in ways that can bring healing to their lives.

Teena Bennett

North West

Taranaki down to Whanganui.

Ph: 06 281 1642
Mob: 027 285 6015

Email: TeenaB@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Teena

My role at Caring Families Aotearoa brings together my experience over the last 18 years as a social worker walking alongside biological parents, their tamariki and rangitahi, foster parents and tamariki and rangitahi in care. Along with my personal life experience this mahi (work) has shaped my understanding, empathy and practice for the whanau/families I now support.

East Coast

Gisborne down to Hawkes Bay.

Ph: 0800 693 323

Email: StephanieJ-S@caringfamilies.org.nz

 

 

About East Coast

We’re currently looking for a East Coast Regional Coordinator! For now if you have any questions or need any support, please contact our National Training and Support Manager, Stepahnie.

Bernadette Jones

Lower North

Manawatu down to Wellington.

Ph: 04 282 0437
Mob: 027 501 0394

Email: bernadettej@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Bernadette

I have worked for different NGO’s over the last 30 years. My early years were spent in ECE and disability and I spent eight years as a Whanau Worker for Family Start. I also provided regular respite care for children with disabilities for around 10 years.

Denise Green

Upper South

Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast.

Ph: 03 929 6578
Mob: 027 369 3333

Email: DeniseG@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Denise

I have been with Caring Families Aotearoa since 2015 as Regional Coordinator in the Upper South region. I have 25 years experience as a caregiver and have completed Level 1 training in DDP. I remain committed to supporting caregivers in the Nelson/Tasman, Marlborough and West Coast areas.

Nicole McLean

Canterbury

Kaikoura down to Waimate.

Ph: 03 281 7495
Mob: 027 501 0392

Email: NicoleM@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Nicole

I have been with Caring Families Aotearoa since 2019.  I have experience as a caregiver and have received training in therapeutic parenting and Dyadic Developmental Practice (Level 1).  I value carer wellness as a priority for whānau wellbeing and as Regional Coordinator my role is to provide support, training, and advocacy in Canterbury.

Barbara McElligott

Lower South

Canterbury down to Southland

Ph: 03 928 5122
Mob: 027 501 0391

Email: BarbaraM@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Barbara

Tena koutou katoa, I am Barbara McElligott from rural Southland and a caregiver of many years. I understand the impact the care journey can have on both carers and their families. I look forward to offering  you support within your own journey. Please feel free to contact me through phone text or email . Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui;  be strong, be brave, be steadfast.

Rob Thomson

Otago

Otemata down to Kaka Point.

Ph: 03 470 1277
Mob: 027 5010 005

Email: RobT@caringfamilies.org.nz

About Rob

I am Pākeha and grew up in Tauranga, before moving south where I gained a PhD in Psychology at Otago University.  I have worked with academic, research, clinical and community organisations in family violence prevention. As well as my role as the Otago Regional Coordinator, I am also a Senior Research Fellow at Otago University and work with many community organisations. I live in Dunedin with my partner and son.

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