He moved to the mainstream as a child and family social worker, managed two local authority children's homes and then a child and parent support project for young children with offending behaviour.
Richard now works as an independent social work practitioner, consultant and trainer. Richard's practice specialism is in developing and assessing parental capacity when prospects for rehabilitation are uncertain. Across the past decade his consultancy into Local Authorities and child care organisations has included consultation for the team around the child in complex cases and independent re-assessment in situations of disputed or complex permanency. Richard's opinion is sought in relation to the best interests of children in various legal proceedings and he has been a children's Safeguarder in court and children's hearings in Scotland.
Richard's training work includes a range of child-care and related system topics for foster carers, early years, teaching, social work, residential, community and health practitioners. His aim is always to help participants clarify thinking and develop effective personal practice in situations where children and parents are affected by trauma and dysfunctional relationships.
- 2005–Present: Director, Consultant & Trainer with Children's Services Ltd
- 2008–2018: Children's Safeguarder
- 2007–2018: Child Care Consultant, Lilias Graham Trust (residential family assessment and support services)
- 2003–2005: Children's Services Manager, Barnardo's Matrix Project
- 2000–2003: Residential Children's Home Manager
- 1998–2000: Social Worker, children and families, Stirling Council
- 1989–1997: Director and Head of Centre, Border Adventure
- Certificate in Child Protection Studies, University of Dundee, 2002
- Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work, University of Stirling, 1998
- BA (Hons) Philosophy and Politics, University of Southampton, 1985