Dana Ashley.

Dana Ashley

Director of Therapeutic Care


As Director of Therapeutic Care at Innovate CYPS, Dana brings a wealth of experience to the role having worked in the care sector for 28 years and in children’s services for 19.

Having primarily worked in child protection, including duty and assessment and long-term safeguarding for 12 years, Dana has directly contributed to service-change within many local authorities.

Before joining Innovate CYPS, she worked in a multidisciplinary support team for five years. The team provided a therapeutic and systemic approach to the delivery of services to vulnerable children who were adopted and looked-after. Here she introduced theraplay and provided consultancy to safeguarding teams on assessments, screening of children’s emotional needs, care planning and service delivery.

An inspiring Director of Therapetuic Care

In her capacity of Director of Therapeutic Care at Innovate CYPS, Dana draws on her child-centred therapeutic work and years of child protection experience to actively plan and manage change within children’s services. She has an innovative approach to problem-solving and service improvement and is a key decision-maker on high-risk cases. She is also responsible for the operational management, assessment, planning, delivery and commissioning of needs-led, outcome-based services. Her focus is always on ensuring the delivery of timely and effective outcomes for children and their families. She is meticulous in managing, analysing, evaluating and improving performance and identifies opportunities to work with partners in sharing resources.

Having worked with Innovate CYPS Managing Director, Emma Blakemore, for several years, she took a permanent role at Innovate CYPS in March 2019. In her own words, Dana says “I believe that the team and I share the same values for change and improvement; to provide a service with children’s outcomes at the heart of decision-making”.

Motivated to inspire change

Driven by a want to make a positive change in the lives of children and their families, Dana firmly believes that for her “social work will always be about assisting those who need it most and making a difference on multiple levels”.

And Dana does just this, adding value to every relationship and developing new service models on behalf of clients.

When she’s not busy enriching the lives of children and young people, she focuses on widening her own life experiences. Outside of work she loves to travel in her campervan. Every year she makes time to snowboard in Europe and loves to photograph the breath-taking views.