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Meet our Team - Q&A with Sarah Dimmelow

Meet Sarah - Juno's Director of Operations. With more than 30 years of experience in social care, Sarah is a brilliant addition to the team, leading with passion and a strong value base.

Two comfortable chairs facing each other with a coffee table between them. On top of the table are two mugs and a notebook, the room is set up for  a chat

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m Sarah Dimmelow and I’m the Director of Operations at Juno. I’ve been lucky enough to work in social care for more than 30 years, and I’ve always been drawn to services that help people – services that give people access to the resources or support they need. Most of that time has been in children and young people’s services. I’ve worked for a young people’s mental health resource, with young people who are leaving care and in fostering and adoption services.

I learned about Juno from an organisation it’s linked to – Capacity – I got to know the team and the vision and thought it was really interesting and exciting. Juno is trying to do something in the sector that needs lots of bright, brave people to think about children, and that’s what made me want to join the team. 

I have two fantastic grown-up children, and I enjoy reading and singing; I’m always up for karaoke. My go-to song? Livin’ on a Prayer.


How would you describe what Juno is looking to achieve?

I think there are a few parts: providing brilliant care and making sure children are supported by people whose hearts are full of love, who want to keep children safe and help them achieve their very best.


The second part is acknowledging there aren’t enough of the right kind of loving homes for children across fostering and residential. Juno wants to have a different kind of relationship with local authorities that is more of a partnership and that helps to keep finances within the sector, as opposed to leaving it through for-profit provider routes.


We also want Juno to be a brilliant place for our staff, with lots of training, support, and a fantastic culture. We want to hire ambitious people who can deliver the very best care and shape the industry – the Registered Managers of the future.


What excites you the most about working with Juno?

Working with passionate, committed people. I’m very relational at work, and if I feel that I’m working with really committed, clever people who want the best things for children looked after, that makes me very excited. The people with brilliant values and boundless amounts of energy.


I’m also excited about Juno bringing in young people’s voices, in particular, around what outcomes we’re supporting young people to achieve. Adults have a view of what kids need, the Outcomes Star includes things like having a doctor, learning at school, having fun and hobbies, and so on. When you ask kids what their Outcomes Star would look like, they would say things like a decent mobile phone that helps to stay in touch with all they need to be in touch with; having a pet in their residential home, and being able to do things that children who are not in care can do, like have sleepovers. So one of the things I’m really excited about at Juno is creating our own outcomes framework that takes the best bits from a few exciting models but also works closely with the Young Leaders to make sure we have the voices of care-experienced young people in our outcomes framework.


What are some of your main focuses in this role?

Juno is a new organisation – I see my role as supporting new homes to open safely and with brilliant Registered Managers and brilliant staff and wanting to provide Outstanding care, setting it up in the right way.

Residential services are all about the team that is there to work with children and support them, build relationships with them. I’m very excited to be along that journey with Juno, opening homes that are high quality and full of the very best staff we can give to children and young people.


What are your hopes for residential care in the future?

Currently, when older children get to the point of leaving care, there’s a sense at times that they kind of drop off a cliff – they don’t get the right amount and the right kind of support that they need. Particularly the children who might have a variety of needs and complex needs around the experiences of loss and trauma. Children not in care stay in touch with their families – my eldest child is 23 and when he’s having a bad day, he calls home and gets somebody interested in him, somebody supporting him. I’ve seen it time and again (and it’s not individuals’ faults, there are lots of brilliant leaving care workers and social workers out there) but the system doesn’t seem to keep that connection. Why should we deny the opportunity to the children who had really challenging circumstances to reach back to a trusted adult, get someone to listen, someone with warmth and empathy? It doesn’t have to require lots of resources, just a listening ear and someone who will help guide them. I hope that this becomes a reality for all children looked after.


I also see that there aren’t enough residential homes for children with lots of different needs, particularly children with complex needs, working in partnership with local authorities. Local authorities spend a lot of time searching for the right placement and sometimes have to resort to things like using unregulated placements, putting a child in accommodation that isn’t suited to their needs, with a team that goes in. I would love for Juno to be providing more of the right kind of brilliant care that children need, and for many more fantastic providers to do the same.

Interested in joining the team? Check out the latest vacancies here, or email us at to join the mailing list for all upcoming vacancies.

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