Our Team

Val Carter - Executive Director

Executive Director of Home & Family, Val Carter, has extensive experience in education and social services both here and in the UK. She has worked for CYF, the Ministry of Education, University of Canterbury and has taught at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

Val’s experience of working with young people and their families has enabled her to understand how precious Home & Family’s work is to our community.

Eve Wingerath - Fundraising Manager

Eve has extensive experience in the public and charity sector. Eve previously worked for Ormiston Trust in the UK, a charity which aims to improve the life chances of children and young people, and has taught in primary, secondary and further education in the UK and Asia.

Eve is interested in mental health, empowering women, education, early intervention and working with the whole family. She is passionate about the work and social history of Home and Family.

Parenting Team

Sandra Talbot MNZASW, Dip Child Protection Studies

As a social worker with over 20 years’ experience, Sandra manages the team of residential family workers who support families participating in our parenting services and accommodation programmes. She has worked with Home and Family for 16 years and is really proud of the development of the parenting programme.

Sandra has always been passionate about ensuring a safe environment and support for families to address their concerns and keep their children in their care. She values Home & Family’s commitment to ongoing training and supervision for staff, which ensures services provided are robust and professional.

Counselling Team

Cheryl O'Neill, MNZAC, Dip. Counselling, Cert. Supervision

Cheryl is our Senior Counsellor with over 12 years’ experience. Her expertise and qualifications enable her to work across our service, providing interventions such as Child Centred Play Therapy (CCPT), parent coaching and external supervision. 

CCPT primarily uses play, the most natural mode of communication for a child. It allows children to safely explore issues, past and current, that are impacting their immediate well being. It works to identify and enable their inner resources to bring about growth and change.

‘My desire is that all clients find their value, significance and purpose.’

Guy Adams, B.PRTM, G.Ct.Ls, PG.Ct.Soc.Sci, Dip.Coun, MNZAC

Guy has been working at Home & Family for over five years. As well as providing counselling support to families within our residential parenting environment, Guy specialises in CCPT. He has a built a strong reputation for his work with children and young people. Guy places value and respect at the centre of building effective counselling relationships.

Carolyn Skinner, Dip Counselling, B Counselling, MNZCCA

Carolyn has been a counsellor with Home & Family for four years. Her extensive experience working as a psychopaedeic nurse provides a solid platform of knowledge that underpins her counselling practice.

She is also qualified to deliver CCPT and a the majority of her work is with children and young people.

David Millar, MNZCCA, Bachelor of Counselling

David has been a counsellor for over 10 years.  With a Degree in counselling, he is also an Emotionally Focused Therapist (EFT). EFT is a specific attachment based way of working with couples.

‘Attachment is of particular interest to me in the work I do. We may find ourselves as parents or in our couple relationships being caught in negative patterns of relating that cause relational disconnection on some level.  These can leave us feeling quite hopeless. Consequently, I am passionate about being able to reconnect parents with children. I am also interested in creating spaces for connection in my work with couples; or for children to be able to step into different ways of relating within themselves and to others.

Over the years I have worked with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. I facilitated a ‘relationships’ course for adolescents in prison for a number of years, as well as group and individual work with men around anger and relationships.  I continue to further my training in EFT.’

Jocelyn Chapman, Dip. Counselling, MNZCCA

Jocelyn has worked for Home & Family as a counsellor for over four years, having joined the organisation as a student counsellor.

Now fully qualified, Jocelyn works with adolescents and adults.  She uses Person-Centred Counselling and has an interest in creative therapies, which empower clients by offering them the opportunity to externalise issues in order to work through them. This modality can be very effective for people who find it challenging to verbalise their difficulties.

Gill Hall, Dip. Counselling, MNZAC

Gill has worked for Home & Family for five years, completing her training as a counsellor during this time. The majority of her work is with adolescents and adults.

She specialises in Person-Centered Counselling, which places understanding and empathy at the centre of the counselling relationship to help individuals to identify and access their own resources. This enables them to alter their self-concept and change behaviours, to improve wellbeing.

Arijana Ruznic-Beyer

Kia ora, my name is Arijana, and I am in the second year of 3-year Master’s Programme in Arts Therapy.

Arts therapy engages with various forms of creative expression, such as storytelling, poetry, free writing, painting, visualization, drawing, movement and dance. These are the channels through which the person addresses both conscious and subconscious aspects of self.

Each session is structured according to the client’s specific needs, interests and their sense of timing and being in the world. I trust that each person has their own voice and resources within to effect the change that they desire.

I primarily use a combination of somatic and transpersonal therapeutic approaches, which address and release the sensations locked in the body and the subconscious. These approaches include all aspects of self, whilst also addressing our relationships with familial, ancestral, cultural, spiritual and the natural environment.

I am interested in how our experiences and presentations of individual and generational trauma shape our way of being and in their potential to transform it, when appropriately supported. In other words, source of problems can also become source of solutions. Symbolism, metaphor, dreams and myths are powerful tools which I use to encourage subtle awareness of our patterns and conditioning to aid their shift.

Refocus Team

Kevin Hapi, Kaimahi Whānau

With over 25 years’ experience in youth and social work, Kevin is passionate about work in the community. He believes that in addition to being more diverse, working with people in their environment allows services to offer a personal approach and bespoke intervention. He has now been with Refocus for five years and believes that in order for difficult conversations to take place, trust between workers and the families is essential.

‘I love the Refocus programme; we’re allowed to be creative in our approach and the work we do is real and authentic. Others report the progress and changes in the families we work with. It’s a privilege to be allowed into the lives of others.’

Rudolph Diaz, Kaimahi Whānau

Rudolph joined the Refocus team at the start of 2017, having been a youth worker for nine years. His experience in this field, alongside his career as a health promoter and time as a truancy officer, provide a solid platform that underpins his practice.

Like Kevin, he most enjoys work in the community and he thinks the community centred and long-term nature of the Refocus programme are essential parts of its success.

‘I love being part of the Refocus team and the wider Home & Family team; there’s real synergy between our work and everyone is supportive. The five-year intervention that Refocus offers allows us to see each family’s journey and allows for far deeper work to take place. There is scope to work with the community to provide wraparound support for families.’

Hunia Waenga, Kaimahi Rangitahi

Hunia began his work with us volunteering on the Refocus programme. He is now a youth worker who appreciates the value of youth workers offering support and good role modelling to young people.

‘I love meeting the kids and I’m understanding how they respond to things. I find the Refocus team open and supportive and I’m really learning a lot.

Zenn Rarare, Kaimahi Rangitahi

Zenn joined the Refocus Team in 2017. He has extensive experience in the youth sector and is a qualified youth worker.

Kia ora, the name is Zenn.

Working with young people is a huge passion of mine and have been doing this for a few years. I have gained knowledge and experience from numerous organisations, working with different sets of challenges each time.

My other passions are Te Reo Māori, music, worship, watching Kapahaka and basketball.  I am actively involved within the Aranui community and love it as this was the area I grew up in.

The thing I like about Refocus is the wrap-around service that is delivered. Rather than working with the young person alone, development is made throughout the family and I think that’s awesome.

The Refocus team have many skills and work efficiently together. I  am blessed to be a part of the team.