Brian Cairns

Brian is a former social worker and a qualified teacher.

Brian Cairns
Brian Cairns

His broad experience in social work stretches back across four decades, and he has experience of teaching and assessment in social work since 1995. He is currently lead associate with Kate Cairns Associates, offering training and consultancy for carers and guidance and support to other KCA associates and staff. He is also a judicial office holder, and serves on fostering panels

Along with Kate and their three birth children, he provided a permanent family for twelve other children between 1975 and 1997. He has published a study of this work with BAAF as Fostering Attachments.


  • 2013–Present: Specialist Lay Member, Mental Health Tribunal
  • 2003–Present: Specialist Member, Care Standards Tribunal and Upper Tribunal
  • 2003–2017: Member and chair of various fostering panels
  • 2013–2016: Chair, Capstone Care Leavers Trust
  • 2009–2011: BTEC Programme Manager, als-akamas
  • 2007–2009: External Examiner, Social Work PQ, Sheffield Hallam University
  • 2004–2009: Chair and Academic Director, Akamas Ltd
  • 2004–2008: External Examiner, Social Work PQ, BAAF
  • 1993–2007: Senior Social Worker, Emergency Duty Team, Gloucestershire CC
  • 1995–2006: Tutor and Member of Assessment and Student Selection Panels, University of Gloucestershire
  • 2002–2004: Assessor/Mentor, Practice Teaching Award, UWE
  • 2000–2002: Assessor/Mentor, MA (Emergency Duty Social Work), University of Portsmouth
  • 1975–1997: Joint Head of Home/Foster Carer, Children's Family Trust
  • 1985–1993: Generic Social Worker, Gloucestershire CC
  • 1972–1982: Teacher in comprehensive and special schools


  • Practice Teacher's Award (TOPSS), UWE, 2002
  • Certificate in Management Studies (Local Government), GlosCAT, 1991
  • Approved Social Worker (Mental Health Act), South West Consortium, 1990
  • Certificate in Applied Social Studies, University of Bristol, 1984
  • Diploma in Social Administration, University of Bristol, 1983
  • PGCE, University of Bristol, 1972
  • BA (Hons) French/German & Theology, Cambridge University, 1971


  • Fostering Attachments: Long-term outcomes in family group care – BAAF, 2004