Families Outside Staff
Prof Nancy Loucks OBE
Nancy is the Chief Executive of Families Outside and works tirelessly to ensure the voices of children and families affected by imprisonment are heard.
Prior to Families Outside she worked as an Independent Criminologist, specialising in research on prison policy and comparative criminology. She received her M. Phil and Ph. D. from the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge and in 2012 was appointed as Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Law, Crime & Justice.
She was awarded an OBE in the 2015/16 New Year’s Honours List for services to Education and Human Rights.
As Chief Exec, Visiting Prof at the University of Strathclyde, and mother of two, Nancy has no spare time. If she did, however, she would enjoy good food and good films, occasional travel, and a great deal of time in her pyjamas.
Head of Resource & Development
A longstanding member of an expanding staff team, Elaine has worked with Families Outside, the only national charity in Scotland that works solely to support the families of people affected by imprisonment, for a number of years, and in a number of different guises. She is currently Head of Resource & Development with Families Outside, with responsibility for a number of key internal organisational areas. Prior to moving to the criminal justice field, taking up her post in 2005, Elaine was involved in education and was Project Co-ordinator for an Edinburgh-based organisation. She developed, and was responsible for running a Training Centre providing learning opportunities for black and minority ethnic women, with specific emphasis on work with children and families and anti-discriminatory practice, an area she continues to have a keen interest in.
Head of Family Support
As a Social Worker and Community Educator Gary’s background is in work with children and young people and families in both local authority and voluntary sector.
As a practitioner Gary has worked across Scotland and in England in a variety of settings, from community-arts projects, to group work with children and adults, to supporting vulnerable and at risk young people in educational settings and delivering intensive whole family work.
Gary has a managed a range of teams across sectors and is always looking to create supports that are relationship-focused, rights-based and able to address the full range of issues families face – from complex trauma and loss, to social isolation, to poverty and inequality.
At Families Outside, Gary is passionate that the voices and needs of children and families affected by imprisonment are heard and supported.
Laura van der Hoeven
Head of External Engagement
Passionate about social justice, Laura has worked closely with the UK and Scottish Governments for over a decade to tackle poverty and exclusion. Before joining Families Outside she worked for voluntary sector organisations in England including Citizens Advice and Prison Advice Care Trust. Since moving to Edinburgh in 2015 she has worked with Families Outside to expand the provision of Prison Visitors Centres at Scottish prisons and worked for the Scottish Government’s Prison Policy Team where she led work on mental health and suicide prevention. Laura is also a trustee of the Scottish Book Trust. She loves a good book, good food and social justice, especially when they can be combined.
Finance & Office Manager
Jonathan is the Finance & Office Manager of Families Outside. He joined the organisation in 2005 as an Administrator, having left the banking sector. With a degree in accountancy from the University of Glasgow, Jonathan has seen his role with Families Outside evolve as the organisation itself has grown, going through a number of role reviews before becoming Finance & Administration Manager in 2014.
As well as ensuring budgets are adhered to and that the organisation’s finances are brought back into the black each year, Jonathan has a wide range of other skills where he is more than capable of resolving issues around IT, internal policies, and the family support database to name a few. If he were to define his role, it would be as a finder of funds and a fixer of problems.
Jonathan also has a keen interest in film and has written a number of screenplays, with one short film having been made and nominated for a Kodak Short film BAFTA in 2004. He enjoys the outdoors, cycling, reading, and is an avid follower of one Merseyside football team.
He is also the proud and devoted father of two amazing girls, Amelia and Esmée.
Support & Information Services Manager
Sam is currently the Support & Information Services manager, responsible for our Helpline and for providing families with access to the information they need to navigate their journey through the justice system.
Sam has several years of experience as a training facilitator, focusing mainly on communication and behaviours in the workplace.
Sam is also the Vice Chair on the board of directors with ‘The Junction’, a health and wellbeing service for young people in Leith.
Kerry has worked with Families Outside since 2008 when the organisation started to provide direct support for families. Taking on the role as one of the first Family Support Workers allowed her to develop and shape the service that we can now offer all over Scotland. Over the years the role itself has developed and now involves working at a strategic level with partner agencies, voluntary and statutory organisations including the Scottish Prison Service, to ensure the support for families of prisoners is on everyone’s agenda.
Kerry has recently been appointed as the new Training Manager, her knowledge and experience will bring value to the role and is looking forward to the new challenge.
Practice Learning Coordinator
In 2014 Karen joined Families Outside as Helpline Support Coordinator. Prior to this Karen was a statutory social worker working in Children & Families and Adult Services. Karen has always had an interest in social work education and in 2019 took up the post of Practice Learning Coordinator at Families Outside.
Regional Manager (West)
Based in Glasgow, Susan is the Family Support Manager for the West of Scotland team of Regional Family Support Coordinators.
She joined Families Outside in 2008 and has held a variety of roles in the organisation, including providing direct support to families and strategic oversight for our awareness- raising and training sessions.
Susan has a history of working in the voluntary sector, including time as a Citizens Advice Bureau adviser based within a prison, when she became acutely aware of the issues facing families.
Regional Manager (North)
Based in Tayside, Laura is the Regional Manager for the North Team, working to support families and staff throughout the North of Scotland. This role involves supporting the staff team to deliver family support service to families and professionals.
Laura has come from working in the fields of Health and Social Care, with a defined interest in the Criminal Justice System and working with those negatively impacted by their involvement in that system. Laura went on to gain a BA (Hons) in Criminological studies, and joined the organisation in 2016, working with families affected by imprisonment through emotional and practical support as a regional family support coordinator.
Regional Manager (East)
Based in Edinburgh, Gemma is Regional Manager for the East of Scotland and associated team of Regional Family Support Coordinators.
Gemma’s background is in Criminal Justice and Family Support and spans over 20 years (I know, she doesn’t look old enough!) covering both the public and third sector. Her particular passion and drive has been around supporting families during traumatic events and times in their life, primarily those who have found themselves in or impacted by, the Criminal Justice System with a focus on improving outcomes for children, young people & their families.
She is delighted to have joined Families Outside in March 2019, initially as the Regional Family Support Coordinator for Fife & Clackmannanshire and now as Regional Manager for the East.
Policy & Public Affairs Officer
Adam is our Policy and Public Affairs Officer.
Adam started with Families Outside in November 2019 as our first Policy and Parliamentary Officer. In this role he worked with a range of external stakeholders to influence change for the better for the families and children we support.
In 2021, Adam’s post was expanded to include responsibility over some of our communications such as working with the press and creating content for our social media channels.
After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a MA (Hons) Business Management, Adam worked in politics. In his spare time Adam enjoys going to the gym, reading, cooking and travelling. On his days off he can found cycling.
National Prison Visiting Lead
Jennifer joined Families Outside in 2018 as the Regional Family Support Coordinator for Stirling/HMP Cornton Vale and in May 2020 was appointed as the National Prison Visiting Lead.
Jennifer’s role is to lead the implementation of an over-arching strategy for the sustainable delivery of Prison Visitors’ Centres in Scotland.
Having worked directly with families within a Criminal Justice setting for over 13 years and volunteering with her local Children’s Panel for 10 years, Jennifer is passionate about advocating on behalf of families and providing a service which meets their needs.