Meet the Team

Rob Elkins

Hi everyone, I’m Rob, the Participation Team Manager, I was really keen to get an introduction up onto here so that you all know who I am! I’m really excited and motivated by the role. I will be listening to your views and ideas about how together we can continue to build on all the good work that has already happened and to strengthen our participation offer across Devon.

I’ve been involved in working with children, young people and families, both as a front line practitioner and as a manager, for more than 13 years. Whilst I myself grew up in Devon, I have moved away a few times, working in Oxford and Birmingham at different times, but I always seem to find my way back to this lovely part of the country.

When I’m not working hard, I love to travel and visit different parts of the world. My photo is from my honeymoon last year to Costa Rica (I’m the one NOT in the tree) where I got to spend lots of time with all the different monkeys as well as experience different culture and to meet new people; it was brilliant and I felt very lucky 😊


T: 01392 382730
M: 07977 904968

Amy Bickford

Hi I’m Amy and I have been a youth worker for about 20 years, working in all sorts of settings, in youth centres, schools and out on the streets, and running all sorts of groups. I love working with young people and supporting them to have a say in the things which matter to them. When I’m not working I spend my time playing with my children and exploring the countryside with them, we love to go to the beach and the woods best of all!

Tel: 07772 383959

Lizz Williams

Hi I’m Lizz and I’ve been supporting young people to get their voices heard here in Devon for over 6 years. The best part of my job is how varied it is & I really enjoy meeting lots of new people and gathering their views on various issues. I help run the groups for care leavers & young people in care in the North Devon area.  I secretly love a good board game with friends, but only if I can win!

Tel: 07891 512344

Mel Webb

Mel Webb

Hello! My name is Mel and I specialise in working with children and young people with special needs and their families. I started as a playworker way back in 2003, and I have had all sorts of different roles working with children and young people since then. I think it’s really important to do everything we can to hear the voices of people who communicate in all sorts of different ways, and people who don’t always get the chance to speak for themselves. I help to run a group for young people called ‘Champions for Change’, and I volunteer at Exmouth Youth Centre. I also help parent carers have their say through Devon’s Parent Carer Forum.

Just so you know, I find it very hard to sit still, so you may see me jigging around if we meet face to face. I have been known to do little dances of joy when good things happen.

Tel:07890 595777


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Introducing Councillor McInnes

Hello, I’m James. I’m an elected member of Devon County Council, where I represent the people of Hatherleigh & Chagford in West Devon. I’m part of the Council’s cabinet – this is the group of people who make decisions about the day-to-day running of the Council – and within the cabinet I am the person responsible for Children, Schools and Skills. I see it a one of my key roles to listen to children and young people in Devon and to make sure that their views and opinions are heard when decisions that impact them are made.

I’m a proud father and grandfather.

If you want to find out how to get in touch with me and tell me what you’re thinking you can click here.

Introducing Jo Olsson,  Chief Officer for Children’s Services

I qualified as social worker in 1979, before any of you (and before most of your parents!) were born. I’ve worked in Children’s Services ever since, in lots of different jobs, as a foster carer, in childrens homes, as a social worker, team manager, senior manager and Director, in council’s and in voluntary organisations.

Mostly I’ve lived and worked in London so coming to Devon, which couldn’t be more different, is a fantastic opportunity to bring together the best of both worlds.

If you want to get in touch with me and tell me what you are thinking or if you have any ideas you can email me directly at this address

…and Daryl Freeman, Head of Service

Hello. I’m Darryl and I have a couple of different job titles. I’m the Deputy Chief Officer (which means that I’m Jo Olsson’s deputy) and I’m also called the Head of Service. I go to lots of meetings and I’m responsible for the social work and early help services across Devon. When I’m not in meetings I love to get out and about to meet people who work in our services and children and young people who use our services so do invite me along to some of your participation activities.

The Devon Children in Care and Care Leaver’s health team

We provide:

  • A health contact for children and young people, parents, foster carers and social workers for children and young people in care
  • Introduction leaflets of our service to parents/carers when children and young people enter local authority care
  • Advocacy for children and young people in care
  • Referrals to other agencies or teams in full consultation with the child or young person (age appropriate).

Click here to find out more.