The Children's Chances Cohort

The 2017/18 cohort of Crook Public Service Fellows are working on the theme of 'Children's Chances'

Isabelle Trowler

Department for Education

ITSince qualifying as a social worker in 1996 from the London School of Economics, Isabelle has worked within the voluntary, statutory and private sectors both in education and social care settings, in a variety of practice and senior leadership roles. She is well known for co-designing a new model of delivering child and family social work, Reclaiming Social Work, which has had an enduring influence on the children's social care practice system across the UK and internationally.

Isabelle took up the role as the Government's first Chief Social Worker for England (Children & Families) in 2013. Since then she has been instrumental in the introduction of national practice standards and post qualification accreditation for child and family social work, the development of nationwide teaching partnerships and the creation of a new professional regulator, Social Work England.

She has also played a central part in the ‎introduction of a new What Works Centre for Children's Social Care, the national improvement programme "Partners in Practice", and the roll out of the Department for Education's Innovation Programme.

Sara Gowan

Sheffield Young Carers

saraSara has worked in youth and community work for over 25 years, at a local and national level. Her current role is Managing Director of Sheffield Young Carers Project. Sara previously managed Home-Start Sheffield and has been Deputy Manager at Children and Young People’s Empowerment Project. Her project development, strategic and managerial experience is in the children and young people’s sector. Sara's commitment to the principles of community development and young people’s participation underlies all her work.

Sumi Rabindrakumar 


SumiSumi is a researcher with a background in mixed methods research and evaluation. She works in the policy team at Gingerbread, where she leads research on welfare, employment, childcare, child maintenance and family structure.

Sumi is currently working on projects looking at single parent family finances under austerity, benefit sanctions policy, and the effects of recent child maintenance reforms. Prior to this, she worked for the children’s charity Coram, focusing particularly on adoption and family support services, and in the Audit Commission’s service evaluation team.

Alice Field 

Young Futures

aliceAlice is trained as a Child and Adolescent Psychodynamic Therapist and has been in front-line work with young people in and leaving care since 2009.

In 2015 she was hired to project manage the creation of an innovative new Therapeutic Residential Home for young women leaving local authority care in South East London. The building of Yvonne House was completed in 2016 and has been operating as a residential placement for just over a year.  She works closely and consults with commissioners in 9 London local authorities, social workers, multi-disciplinary mental health teams, existing residential placements, key-workers, police, CSE teams, health services and other statutory and voluntary services as well as care-experienced young people. Yvonne House exists to try and support the residents to address (and professionals to understand) the underlying reasons for the poor outcomes well-documented for young people leaving care in the UK.

Alice and the team at Yvonne House are committed to bringing together research into best-practice to work with young people who have experienced disturbed attachment and cycles of inter-generational trauma. They also aim to support staff and the wider professional network to think together about how best to support care-leavers to reach practical, emotional and social independence. Alice's research will inquire into the differences in provision from borough to borough, multi-disciplinary communication break-down and the gaps between research recommendations and policy.