Meet the members of our Community Participation Team

Jo Petty, Facilitator

Jo Petty, Good Childhood Facilitator

Jo Petty is based in Eastleigh, Hampshire and has worked at The Children’s Society since 2006. She’s worked with the Hampshire Young Carers team as a community development worker raising awareness about young carers and their families in Youth Justice, Children’s Services and Drug & Alcohol services. This involved providing training for professionals on legislation and best practice when working with young carers and their families. It also involved forming YC Voices forum for young carers in Hampshire to have their voices heard in a strategic environment.  Since 2010 she’s been a facilitator in the Community Participation Team which is a diverse role working on a child-centred process which assesses children and young people’s subjective well-being in schools, communities and local authorities.

Before this Jo worked with young adults with learning difficulties, autism and challenging behaviour. Her role was focused on overseeing the support plans of the young adults so their well-being and voices were promoted.  After this Jo supported children and families who have difficulty accessing school and alternative education as an Education Welfare Officer in the New Forest. 


Cath Morris, Facilitator

Cath Morris, Good Childhood Facilitator

Cath joined The Children’s Society in 2010 and is based in Lancaster. Before this Cath was a secondary school teacher for 10 years, teaching History, English, Law and PSHE. Cath took on a range of pastoral roles including form tutor, link tutor and head of house. Outside of teaching Cath worked with Looked after Children and adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, both in a residential setting. A central aspect of both these posts again was supporting the well-being of some often very vulnerable individuals, and ensuring their voices were heard.

Since joining the team 3 years ago Cath has had the opportunity to continue to work in the field of children’s well-being in a diverse and exciting range of settings across the country. The Community Participation team are a passionate and professional team committed to ensuring that the voices of children and young people are at the heart of the work we do at The Children’s Society.


Helen Maitland, Facilitator

Helen Maitland, Good Childhood Facilitator

Helen Maitland is based in Birmingham in the West Midlands and has been a facilitator since June 2010. Previous to this role Helen supported Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in Birmingham based projects delivered by both The Children’s Society and Save the Children. Her role included providing social opportunities to improve young people’s well-being and offering advice and mediation for young people in all aspects of their lives, but particularly around navigating the care system and the immigration process.  Helen has also worked across the West Midlands educating vulnerable young people about drug and alcohol misuse and assessing and supporting the needs of people at risk of homelessness.


Jim Davis MBE, Head of Youth Engagement 

Jim Davis

Jim has worked for us since 1981 when he was employed as a community worker in the Southdown Project. The project was set up on the estate where he lived in the City of Bath by Professor Bob Holman to address poverty and the risks of children going into care. The project worked with local people to develop and run an intensive programme of clubs and activities that were an entry point for families to access support and for referred families to be involved without stigma.

Since then Jim has developed and managed a variety of programmes with us including work with New Age Traveller families, children in care, young carers, and in promoting children’s participation. He has worked with children in poverty in rural communities and was chair of The Rural Coalition of Children and Young People. Jim was has also been chair of the YES Forum, a European network of organisations that tackle youth poverty and social exclusion.

Jim was a panel member of The Good Childhood Inquiry which in 2009 published its findings into what is needed for a good childhood.

Current work: As Head of Youth Engagement, Jim leads on children and young people’s voice within the charity and on enabling local agencies to have an improved insight into the needs of young people. This includes the delivery of local well-being assessments where children and young people are surveyed on their own sense of well-being and are consulted on the key themes and issues that emerge from the survey. Having facilitated the Children’s Commission on Poverty from 2012-2015 where a panel of young people considered the impact of poverty on children’s lives Jim now leads on the delivery of a poverty proofing process for schools. In partnership with the University of Bath, we are running a qualitative longitudinal study into child poverty. Jim is one of the researchers interviewing the same 60 children over a three year period to assess their shifting experiences of poverty.