0800 693 323
Our Governance

We are governed by 8 dedicated board members, each board member brings with them a wealth of experience from the fostering sector. They decide the strategic direction for Caring Families Aotearoa, ensuring that fostering families are enabled, supported and trained to provide safe and nurturing homes.

Board Members

The Board at Caring Families Aotearoa is made up of 8 dynamic, professional volunteers. Each brings a wealth of experience from the foster care sector. They decide the strategic direction of Caring Families Aotearoa, so that we can grow and make sure more and more kids in care are able to reach their potential.

John Dickson

John Dickson

Chairperson & Sector Specialist

John’s background is in Regulatory Economics, Public Policy and Government Relations, for organisations as wide-ranging as the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and Social Service Providers Aotearoa.
His current role is Manager Quality and Data at Kahui Tu Kaha, a Ngati Whatua organisation.
He has extensive governance experience and is currently Chair of the Samala Robinson Academy. John is also the very proud father of two children and uncle/matua to many in his large extended family/whānau in New Zealand, Australia and Texas.

Colin Hardgrave

Colin Hardgrave

Deputy Chairperson & Foster Carer Member

Colin lives in the Bay of Plenty and has fostered two girls who have now graduated from university and left home. He continues to provide short term fostering and respite care in a Family Home. Colin has cared for around 40 children over the last decade. Colin’s work experience is in banking management.

Edwina Poynton

Edwina Poynton

Sector Specialist

Edwina comes from a long career in social work in Ireland, the UK and New Zealand, including government, NGOs and education. The cornerstone of her work is a strengths perspective, enabling the voices of children to be heard in decisions affecting them. Edwina is Care Services Manager at Cholmondeley, a home providing residential respite care, transition to permanency and foster care.

Marina Seager

Marina Seager

Foster Carer Member

Marina has been a foster parent since 2010 fostering through Family Works Southland. She has also been a part of the Southland Foster Care Support Group most of this time. Marina has experience in matters regarding education, child safety, employment, government regulations, leadership, governance, management and business having completed a Diploma in Child Protection through Child Matters in 2012 and is an experienced Primary and ECE teacher. Currently, Marina is the owner/manager of Riverton Childcare with a team of 14. Additionally, Marina was a member of the BOT for Hope Centre in Riverton having previously been a member of the BOT at Riverton Primary and Aparima College. She was also a national trainer for Girl Guiding NZ and was a volunteer with them for over 20 years.

Marina’s vast experience has given her the ability to formulate and review policies and procedures, oversee financial management and planning, manage teams and employees and create and follow through with strategic plans.

Nicola Atwool

Nicola Atwool

Sector Specialist

Nicola has a particular interest in attachment theory and resilience, which she explored in her PhD. An ecological framework, the sociology of childhood, critical theory, and a children’s rights perspective informs her work. The goal of her research is to influence policy and practice to improve outcomes for children and young people exposed to adversity. Nicola came to an academic position with extensive practitioner experience and is committed to research that bridges the worlds of academia, policy and practice.

At the beginning of 2006 Nicola took up a position as Principal Advisor in the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. Nicola returned to Otago University at the beginning of 2012 as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work.

Angela Swinney

Angela Swinney

Foster Carer Member

Angela has been a Foster Parent for 22 years caring for both family and other children, with most her placements being long term. Currently, she cares for a teenage boy with high and complex issues.
She has vast experience working in the NGO sector and enjoys the variety of work it encompasses. Angela is a volunteer for the Salvation Army Food Bank and the secretary for the Fijian Social Services Trust.

Angela believes advocacy and peer support is paramount to ensure caregivers are supported and connected in their role.

Your gift will help foster parents transform a child’s life