David Leatherbarrow - NFA Group CEO

David Leatherbarrow

Chief Executive Officer

What I enjoy most about working at NFA Group:

“Having the opportunity to lead and inspire an organisation whose purpose is to improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people as a real privilege and a truly humbling experience. Working every day with talented people who care about this as much as I do makes my work a real pleasure.”

David joined NFA Group as CEO in August 2018, arriving from Bupa Dental UK where he held an MD position. David has extensive experience working with local authorities during his time in the healthcare industry, which also includes spending just under six years as COO at Oasis Dental Care. Prior to joining Oasis, David held senior operations roles at leading brands in both the leisure and retail sectors.

NFA Group CFO Jean Luc Janet

Jean-Luc Janet

Chief Finance Officer

What I enjoy most about working at NFA Group:

“NFA Group is the leader in children’s service in the UK and it leads the way on a number of very exiting projects such as developing some amazing new schools or care facilities which make a real difference to communities or creating some fantastic adventures for the children in its care. Working with over 2,200 colleagues achieving every day great outcomes for vulnerable young people is very motivating and a privilege.”

Jean-Luc joined NFA Group in 2012, initially as CFO of Acorn which was acquired by the Group in 2016 when he became Group CFO. Prior to joining NFA Group, Jean-Luc worked in different senior management functions in the medical and care industry for over 12 years, including as an adviser to the NHS and Government on investment projects.

Mike Blakey - NFA Group

Mike Blakey

Quality Director

What I enjoy most about working at NFA Group:

“I joined the NFA Group because I wanted to be able to positively influence the care and education of thousands of young people. No two days are the same in this job and I love the passion and commitment of our staff.”

Mike is our Group Director overseeing the quality of our fostering, schools and residential services. Mike is a former inspector of schools, children’s centres and teacher training and he previously worked on behalf of Ofsted and several overseas inspectorates. Mike is a leader of education and children’s services with a proven track record of rapid service and school improvement. Mike’s experience spans education and children’s services in local government, health and social care in the statutory, private and third sectors. Mike holds a private helicopter pilot’s license and loves flying and for the past 25 years he’s been a member of one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the UK.

Richard Power - NFA Group MD Education and Residential Division

Richard Power

Managing Director Acorn Education and Residential Care

What I enjoy most about working at NFA Group:

“The people! I can hand on my heart say that people working for NFA Group want to do the right thing, treat each other well and genuinely care for the young people and adults we support. This, coupled with the days where you get to visit a service to see the hard work taking place, resulting in young people thriving and progressing, always allows me to end the week on an incredibly positive reflective note. We help make a difference!”

Richard Power joined the NFA Group in 2018, previously having worked in sectors ranging from healthcare to financial services spanning both UK and global companies. His interests tend to revolve around, sport, food and travelling with his wife.

Richard Young - NFA Group

Richard Young

IT Director

What I enjoy most about working at NFA Group:

“As NFA Group grows, my team and I are establishing new foundations for harmonising a multitude of IT systems from new and recent acquisitions, whilst continually enhancing the quality, resilience and security of the Group’s IT infrastructure. I enjoy the complexities of this professional challenge and the long-term vision that is required to create a bigger, strong group. I also enjoy working with my dedicated, resilient and hard-working team. However, what really motivates me and why I joined NFA, is seeing the difference IT makes to the lives of the children who rely on us.”

Richard Young joined the NFA Group in 2017 and has over thirty years of experience in IT, most recently as IT Director at Cambridge University and BUPA Care Homes.

Steve Christie

Managing Director - Fostering

What I enjoy most about working at NFA Group:

“Children are our future and being involved in a business which has such a positive impact on the lives of so many vulnerable children is an incredible privilege. The talented and energetic team at NFA group are highly motivated to increase the numbers of children and young people we look after and to continue to strive to improve the outcomes for those children. When you consider the impact that each child has on the world during their lifetime, that is making a huge difference. Each day brings heart-warming stories about positive outcomes for children, such that it is a pleasure to go to work.”

Steve has worked at senior level across a number of sectors, the last six years being involved in Healthcare. He also spent six years working with local authorities providing critical services and support. He joined NFA in 2019 to head the Fostering Division.

Suzanne Robson - NFA Group

Suzanne Robson

HR Director

What I enjoy most about working at NFA Group

“It has to be the people. Everyone who comes into the business and meets our people tells me how impressed they are with their passion for the business and care for those in our care. This has been consistent for the past 10 years I have been here.”

Suzanne joined NFA in 2009 and has been with us ever since, watching us grow and develop from a pure fostering business into the multi-divisional service it is today. Suzanne has been a HR professional for 30 years across a variety of businesses and sectors including hospitality, retail, outsourced business services and more recently children’s services.

Vicky Dobson - NFA Group

Vicky Dobson

Head of Marketing

What I enjoy most about working at NFA Group:

“Working with supportive and collaborative colleagues throughout the business. Everyone truly has children at the heart of everything we do. I also enjoy motivating others and knowing that the campaigns and initiatives we run will make a real difference in the world, which drives us forward to work even harder and dream big!”

Vicky Dobson joined NFA Group in 2018, arriving with an unwavering passion for marketing and all things creative. Vicky has 20 years of international marketing and brand experience in Paris, London and Manchester at senior levels across a variety of sectors.

NFA Group Quality Committee Member Tim Loughton MP

Tim Loughton (MP)

Quality Committee

Tim has held various positions during his time in Parliament. He was Shadow Minister for Environment from 2000, Shadow Minister for Health and Children from 2003 during the Conservative Party’s time in opposition.
He was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Children and Families following the 2010 General Election until 2012 leading on several areas of successful reform in child protection, child sexual exploitation and adoption in particular.
Tim Co-Chairs the APPGs for Mindfulness and Children. He is Vice Chairman of the All Party Groups on Youth and Care Leavers.

NFA Group Quality Committee Member Baroness Mary Watkins

Baroness Mary Watkins

Quality Comittee

Baroness Watkins of Tavistock is a British Professor of Nursing. She currently is emeritus professor of healthcare leadership at Plymouth University and Deputy Vice Chancellor of the university.
She trained at the Wolfson School of Nursing, Westminster Hospital (RGN, 1976) and at South London and Maudsley Nursing School (RMN, 1979). She obtained her PhD from King’s College London in 1985.
She was nominated for life peerage by the House of Lords Appointments Commission and was created Baroness Watkins of Tavistock, of Buckland Monachorum in the County of Devon, on 2 November 2015.

NFA Group Quality Committee Member Jenny Whittle

Jenny Whittle

Quality Comittee

Mrs Whittle was the Deputy Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education Learning & Development from June 2009 until January 2011, when she was appointed Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services.
She has a particular passion to improve outcomes for looked after and vulnerable children, as her late mother grew up in care undergoing some 20 foster placements and a five-year spell in a children’s home in Sidcup.
She lists her interests as reading, studying current affairs and history and taking part in sporting pursuits. She was also a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and is a qualified practitioner in this field, having passed her Diploma in 2008.