Our Team

Val Carter - Executive Director

Executive Director of Home & Family, Val Carter, has experience in education and social services both here and in the UK. She has worked for Oranga Tamariki, 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.

Sandra Talbot - Practice leader

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, and offers clinical guidance across all services. She has worked with Home and Family for 18 years and is really proud of the development of its services.

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.

MNZASW, Dip Child Protection Studies

Jess Rodda - Fundraising Manager

Jess has an extensive background with non-profit organisations both here in New Zealand and in the United States and is a recent transplant to Christchurch.

Natalie Cassidy - Lead Administrator

Natalie has diverse experience in working with young people and people from all walks of life, having worked at both Hagley College and Upper Coomera State College in Australia for the past 14 years.

Natalie’s strength lies in connecting with others and she embraces the opportunity to provide support wherever she can.

Claire Quinn - Financial Administrator & Our House Functions Coordinator

Claire has substantial experience in the corporate sector, having worked at businesses both in the UK and NZ.  Claire relishes the change and the challenges that working in the charity sector presents.  Qualified with a Bachelor of Social Science, Majoring in Business Management gives Claire a unique understanding of the importance of social relationships in a child’s formative years, through to adulthood. Claire thrives on organising and coordinating events, drawing on her work and study experience to ensure functions run smoothly and successfully.

Claire enjoys most forms of exercise (but in particular football), baking and is also a qualified nail artist.

Deb Marsh - Administrator

Before working at Home & Family, Deb had a career as a teacher, then life coach and hand analyst! Her experience in running multiple businesses means she brings invaluable skills to her role at Home & Family.

Deb supports both the Counselling and the Parenting programme with administration, data and compliance.

She loves food, grandchildren and folk art painting!

Parenting Team

Carol Watson -Team coordinator and Family Support Worker

“It’s a privilege to work with a team of people who are committed to supporting families as they navigate the challenges and complexities of parenting with the hope and reassurance that the best interest of the child will always be paramount.

Working with families has been my lifetime’s focus and so for me it’s a very easy fit to be part of the transforming and equipping work that Home &; Family does in our community.”

Certificate in Social Services and Child Protection Studies

Kirstin Waters - Social Worker

Kirstin is a registered social worker, and the newest member of the Parenting Programme whanau, and comes with a wealth of experience.

“My experience includes working with complex mental health and alcohol and drug issues. I have also supported people experiencing homelessness.

I am excited to join the team at Home & Family and look forward to my new role supporting families that use our services, to create positive change.”

Bachelor of Social Work

The House Team

As well as Sandra & Carol, the house is staffed with friendly and professional Whānau Support Workers, 24 hours a day. The team are there to give help and guidance to parents during their journey with Home & Family.

L-R: Henny Jane, Sarah, Mandi, Sandra, Debbie, Carol.

Counselling Team

Guy Adams - Counsellor

Guy has been working at Home & Family for seven years. As well as providing counselling support to families within our residential parenting environment, Guy specialises in CCPT and also works with couples. 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.

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

Arijana Ruznic-Beyer - Arts Therapist

Kia ora, my name is Arijana, and I have completed a Master of Arts in Arts Therapy.

Arts therapy engages with various forms of creative expression, such as storytelling, poetry, free writing, painting, visualisation, 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, sources of problems can also become sources 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.

M.A.A.T (Clinical), Diploma of Art (Expressive Arts)

Heather McKain - Counsellor

Originally from Montana, Heather is a trained GP and counsellor. As well as counselling, she has training in  biofeedback, mindfulness and play therapy. She has a great passion for working with children and young people. Heather constructs the counselling process to the individual child to build a therapeutic relationship.

ND, BSc-Community Health and Neuroscience, MAANP, NZAC-Provisional Member

Refocus Team

Rudolph Diaz, Kaimahi Whānau, Refocus Team Leader

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.

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.’

Stephenie van den Anker - Kaimahi Rangitahi

Steph joined the Refocus team in March 2019. She has a background in personal training and culture performance.

Steph’s passion for community and hauora (health) and brings with her an understanding of Te Whare Tapa Wha, which is greatly valued by the Refocus team. In her spare time, Steph runs a community hauora initiative, where she can engage with whanau, and work on inter-generational health.

Malifa Maiava - Kaimahi Whānau

Malifa is the newest member of the Refocus whanau, but he has a wealth of experience in the social sector. He spent 13 years working for Oranga Tamariki (CYFS) as residential worker. He is motivated by helping young people find and sustain hope for the future and says he loves giving them the tools needed to take positive steps.

Malifa’s role as Kaimahi Whānau enables him to extend support to parents and caregivers and he hopes to support families to become safe, secure and connected. He believes in team work and showing parents to work alongside tamariki as guides, not directors. Having previously worked in a clinical setting, Malifa values the chance to work side but side with children and families in the community to create new patterns.