CPD Standards Office Provider Number: 21339

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Category: Emergency Services, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Safeguarding, Social and Care Work


After graduating from the University of Oxford, Joanna gained over sixteen years’ experience of working in the public, charitable and voluntary sectors, including ten years managing the London Fire Brigade’s firesetting intervention scheme for children and adolescents. As manager, Joanna worked with hundreds of London’s most at-risk children and families, re-shaping the intervention scheme in line with statutory requirements to ensure the highest possible standards for clients and staff. Using her working knowledge and training in children’s safeguarding and wellbeing, Joanna worked closely with the London Child Protection Committee to introduce juvenile firesetting behaviour into the London Child Protection Procedures for the first time. In 2010, Joanna’s work with two clients was filmed as part of the BBC2 documentary series Wonderland, in an episode entitled ‘The Kids Who Play With Fire’.

In June 2013 Joanna launched fabtic, a company specialising in juvenile firesetting behaviour. Joanna now delivers training, consultancy and supervision services to front-line organisations. She continues to work directly with children and teenagers who set fires, including accepting referrals from public sector bodies. Joanna’s professional clients include practitioners from the NHS, CAMHS, HMPPS, YOT, forensic psychology, fire services, police, education, social care, academia, arts therapies, secure units, mental health services and charities including the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH). She has also trained practitioners overseas and developed and delivered workshops and webinars tailored specifically to parents and carers. Although specialising in juvenile firesetting, Joanna’s work and studies enable her to deliver training that covers the spectrum of children, families and practitioners needs. As a result, Joanna has spoken at national and international conferences in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, New Zealand and the US on the subjects of juvenile firesetting and children’s safeguarding.

Joanna has a Post Graduate Certificate (PGC) in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health, and a Master’s in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management at the University of Cambridge. Achieving distinction status, her thesis explored the identification of risk and need when addressing child firesetting.

Her work continues to attract media attention and in October 2016 featured in the Financial Times in an article entitled ‘I Stop Children Setting Fires’. Joanna’s first book ‘Children and Teenagers Who Set Fires: Why they do it and how to help’ was published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2019. In response to COVID-19, Joanna has tailored all her services to provide client work, training and supervision online. In 2021 she was awarded ‘Training Provider of the Year’ by the Fire and Excellence Emergency Awards, receiving several nominations for the title.

Accredited Activities:

  • Foundation Training for Staff Working with Children and Teenagers Who Set Fires

Who Should Attend:

fabtic training is suitable for frontline practitioners and managers across the helping professions.

Further Information: