Meet the Team

The Maethu Cymru Gwynedd team is always there for you. You’ll have skilled and experienced staff on hand to support you, your family and everyone involved in the fostering process, whenever you need it. 

We’ll never let you feel alone.

Melvin Panther – Team Manager

I have worked within the Social Services department for over 35 years. Having been a Social worker for over 20 years. I now have had the pleasure of leading the Maethu Cymru Gwynedd team.   

I look forward to meeting you at some of our events soon.

Nia Medi Downey – Practice Lead, General Team

I started as a social worker in the children’s team in 2001. I worked in the adult learning disability team for 4 years and as a social worker in the Derwen team for 13 years prior to this. I was seconded to the fostering team on the ‘connected’ side for a while before moving on to a leadership position in the general team.   

As part of my role, I meet foster carers regularly. This is the part I enjoy the most. Listening to the many fostering stories are inspiring, and I look forward to meeting new foster carers.   

In my free time, I enjoy walking on the beach to relax. 

Shelley Hughes – Practice Lead, Connected Team

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Awen Mai Parry – Duty Placement Officer

I have worked within tim maethu since 2021. Prior to this I worked within the 16+ team. The role of Duty Placement Officer has since expanded and I now work alongside Manon. We are always a phone call away should you need any support.   

There is no such thing as an ‘ideal or perfect family’, each one of our fostering families have something unique to offer and this is what makes fostering special.   

As Duty Placement Officers it is important that we match carefully to ensure that the child or children establish a secure base and maintain a successful placement for them to thrive. 

Bethan Wyn Beech – Social Worker

I was a social worker in Derwen (an integrated team for disabled children) for over ten years before being seconded to the role of Short Break Fostering Social Worker. By working with families in Derwen there was a clear need for a short break for the children but there were not many options of placements available for these children.   

As part of my current role I recruit assess and support foster carers to offer a short break service for disabled children. Being part of this project has been an absolute pleasure.   

It is an honour to get to know foster carers who open their homes and offer small holidays every now and then to a child while their families have a little break from caring. The families of these share such positive feedback about the service and the difference the support makes to their everyday lives. 

Mererid Wyn Williams – Social Worker

I qualified as a Social Worker in 2017. I joined the Gwynedd Fostering team in 2018 following a short period in the Children’s Team. As a Social Worker assessing, supporting and supervising General Foster Carers, I feel very lucky to be able to see the difference our foster families can make to the lives of children and young people in Gwynedd. It is an honour to be able to play a small part in ensuring that children and young people who have had a difficult start to life have the very best opportunity for better futures. 

I also work closely with the Fostering Network and Gwynedd Fostering Pioneers to give a voice to Gwynedd’s Foster Carers. The main aim of the Pioneers scheme is to embed welfare principles throughout social care, education and health services, with an emphasis on improving the welfare of children and young people looked after. We now have an enthusiastic and active group of 12 Foster carers who are part of the Gwynedd Foster Pioneers scheme. They provide invaluable mentoring to their fellow Foster Carers, promote recruitment and marketing, and organise events for the foster children and families in Gwynedd.  

Originally from the Llŷn Peninsula and now settled in Anglesey, my roots are deep in the North Wales countryside. In my spare time I enjoy reading, cooking and spending time with my family, mostly going around cafes and restaurants feasting! 

Sarah Michelle Owen – Social Worker

I have been a qualified Social worker for over 18 years and spent 14 years within the children’s team prior to transferring over to the Gwynedd fostering team in 2018.   

I assess and support individuals and families within connected placements for children. I have enjoyed the new challenge and experiences of working within the fostering team, and look forward to meeting new foster carers as they begin their fostering journey.   

Away from work I have a very busy home life with my husband and 5 children who range from ages 20 to 18months! 

Siwan Fflur Williams – Social Worker

I am a newly qualified Social Worker and I feel very lucky to have my first job with the Maethu Cymru Gwynedd Team.   

As a Social Worker with Maethu Cymru Gwynedd’s Connected team, I assess family members and friends for fostering and supervise and support foster carers. The individual can be a grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin, to name a few.   

Seeing the children develop and thrive with their foster families is something very special to see and be a part of. I love hearing about the unique stories and experiences of our foster carers, and it helps me develop my knowledge and understanding as a social worker.  

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time socialising with family and friends and walking the local area.  

I look forward to meeting you soon and hearing all about your fostering journey!

Fiona Mary Roberts – Fostering Key Worker

As a Key Fostering Worker for Maethu Cymru Gwynedd I supervise connected family foster carers. I support the families and work closely with the children’s team, the education department and other agencies involved with the foster carers.  

I love to chat and meet our foster carers in conversation groups, annual meetings and various fun days organised during the year.  

Prior to this job, I was a primary school teacher for 23 years. I love the new challenge of this role.  

During the weekends I keep busy with our family meat company whilst also co-running our local pub. I also love to travel in my spare time.  

I look forward to hearing all about your exciting fostering journey ahead!  

Elin Lois Parry – Fostering Key Worker

I have been part of the Maethu Cymru Gwynedd fostering team since 2023 as a Key Worker for our fostering families. As part of my role I work directly with foster carers, visiting their homes to provide support with updating necessary documents, carry out supervision sessions and complete annual reports 

Meilyr Wyn – Fostering Key Worker

I recently joined the Maethu Cymru Gwynedd fostering team and am enjoying getting to know individuals within the team and our foster carers and their families. I previously worked within the Children’s Services in Gwynedd.   

As part of my new role, I will be visiting foster carers who have special guardianship orders to offer support, complete financial assessments and review support plans annually. I will be working closely with the staff at Y Bont to assist with coordinating events for foster carers.   

I am looking forward to meeting new foster carers in our future events.  

Nia Jones – Fostering Key Worker

I have been working within the Children’s Social Services team for many years and recently became a Key Worker within the Maethu Cymru Gwynedd team.   

I am also currently studying towards a degree in Occupational Therapy.   

In my free time I enjoy socialising with family and friends, and going for a walk!    

Katie Louise Jones – Fostering Key worker

I recently joined the Maethu Cymru Gwynedd team as a Key Worker. Prior to this role, I worked as a 1:1 Key Worker n a secondary school.  

I love spending time with my family and going for walks with my crazy springer spaniel, Oscar.  

I’m really excited to meet everyone in the coming months and hear about everyone’s fostering stories and experiences. 

Meinir Llwyd Bebb – Regional Marketing Officer

As Regional Marketing Officer for Maethu Cymru / Foster Wales, I support the six local authorities in North Wales on marketing and recruitment activities to raise awareness of local authority fostering and attract more foster carers. I also work closely with the Foster Wales marketing teams across Wales on national campaigns.   

I love meeting our foster carers and hearing their inspiring fostering stories. By sharing your stories and experiences, you are helping us to create an emotional and influential connection with potential foster carers, whilst also ensuring that our campaigns are authentic and a true reflection of local authority fostering in Wales.  

I look forward to meeting you soon and hearing all about your fostering journey!  

Lina Hills – Gwynedd Recruitment Officer

I have been part of the Maethu Cymru Gwynedd fostering team since 2023 as a Recruitment and Retention Officer. As part of my role I am a first point of contact to all new prospective foster carers and will deal with enquiries and carry out initial home visits prior to full assessments.   

I also co-ordinate local recruitment events and activities, promoting and supporting local, regional and national campaigns for Foster Wales to recruit more foster carers.   

I love meeting our current foster carers and listening to their fostering experiences and stories. I look forward also to meeting and getting to know new foster carers as they begin their fostering journey with us.  

Elena Davies – Administrative Assistant

I have been working within the Maethu Cymru Gwynedd team since 2018 as an Administrative Assistant. As part of my role I ensure that all new applications are completed and processed promptly and efficiently. I also prepare all relevant information needed for fostering panel meetings.