After graduating from Oxford University, Joanna gained over sixteen years’ experience of working in the public, charitable and voluntary sectors, including ten years managing the London Fire Brigade’s Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme (JFIS) from 2003-13. Whilst JFIS Manager, Joanna worked with hundreds of London’s most at-risk children and families, and re-shaped the JFIS programme in line with statutory requirements to ensure the highest possible standards for clients and staff. 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 That Play With Fire.
Joanna has spoken at national and international conferences in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, New Zealand and the US, hosted by the Forensic Science Society, the Federation of European Union Fire Officer Associations, the Institution of Fire Engineers, the International Association of Arson Investigators, the New Zealand Fire Service, and Gardners Associates. Whilst JFIS Manager, Joanna delivered firesetter training to personnel from a range of Fire and Rescue Services across England, along with front-line staff from Greenwich Children and Families Social Care, the MET police, and staff responsible for juvenile firesetter training at the Fire Service College.
In June 2013 Joanna launched fabtic, a company specialising in juvenile firesetting behaviour. Joanna now delivers training, consultancy and supervision services to front-line practitioners, and continues her direct client work with children and teenagers who set fires (working both privately and via public sector organisations). Joanna has delivered training to 44 UK FRS since the launch of fabtic, along with training staff from the fields of forensic psychology, youth offending, police, education, social services, academia, arts therapies, secure units and mental health services, both in the UK and the US.
Joanna has a Post Graduate Certificate (PGC) in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health, is trained in restorative practice and is a member of the CPD Standards Office, authorised to deliver CPD certificated and accredited courses. Joanna’s 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 has been commissioned by Jessica Kingsley Publishers to write a book for parents and practitioners on juvenile firesetting (due out in 2019), is co-author of a chapter on juvenile firesetting in the Handbook of Behavioral Criminology, and is currently studying for her Masters in Applied Criminology at Cambridge University.