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In early 2010, fabtic Company Director Joanna Foster was approached by the BBC in her then role as manager of the London Fire Brigade’s juvenile firesetting intervention scheme.

The production team of the BBC2 documentary series ‘Wonderland’ were making an episode entitled ‘The Kids Who Play With Fire’, and were keen to feature the work of Joanna and her London team.

Joanna was filmed intensively over a six-month period, including her day-to-day office work and her direct work with two children named Liam and Hulya.

Ten-year-old Liam and 14-year-old Hulya were both setting fires at home, endangering themselves and their families. The programme provided a deeply personal insight into their home lives and the individual sessions each child had with Joanna. The BBC crew filmed every session that took place, sensitively capturing how each child talked to Joanna about why they set fires, and the techniques and strategies she used to address their firesetting. The issues of deliberate self-harm and family dynamics were also discussed, and filmed, during the sessions.

Filming ended in late December 2010, by which point both Liam and Hulya had set no further fires following their work with Joanna.


To request a free copy of the BBC DVD The Kids Who Play With Fire, please email

In the autumn of 2016, fabtic Company Director Joanna Foster was approached by journalist Blanche Girouard for a feature about her work, to appear in the Financial Times.

Interviewed in the journalist’s home, Joanna talked about her journey into this specialist field and the different children and teenagers she has worked with. It also included a story frequently recounted by the Fire Investigation Team of the London Fire Brigade, where an eighteen-month-old boy was able to set a fire by sparking a lighter across a carpet. In Joanna’s words, “it’s extraordinary he survived”.

The article was printed on 14 October 2016, coinciding with the 150th anniversary year of the London Fire Brigade.

The article can be accessed here


"I first met Joanna in August 2004 at an International Conference on Juvenile Firesetting in Philadelphia, USA. As soon as I met her it was obvious how she had a very warm and infectious personality and a great sense of humour. Since the first meeting with Joanna and in all of my contacts and connections with her since, I can honestly say how professional, knowledgeable and approachable she has always been. I feel she has so much information and help to offer and share with others to progress the field of firesetting behaviour. I would commend her to anyone who feels that they could benefit from this."

Doug Underwood, Community Safety Team Manager Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

"I first met Joanna about five years ago when I was working with juvenile firesetters in Yorkshire. Not only was she incredibly knowledgeable about firesetting behaviour but she was, and still is, amazingly generous in sharing that knowledge. Her enthusiasm is infectious and the dedication she invests into working with young people shines through. Having attended training provided by Joanna I can vouch for the thoroughness of the provision, but it is more than that. Joanna provides engaging, person-centred delivery with genuine understanding and complete professionalism. Joanna understands the whole range of factors which can impact on a young person’s behaviour, including those that fall under the Safeguarding umbrella. Joanna genuinely is the real deal. I can wholeheartedly recommend her. She is professional, dedicated and has a passion for understanding and helping change the behaviour of juvenile firesetters and their families."

Jenny Townsend B Ed T Cert, Headteacher (retired)