19 December 2013

Northamptonshire's local safeguarding children board is set to recruit a new independent chair in the New Year.

The current chair, Kevin Crompton, has accepted an offer from Bedford Borough Council to take up the post of director of children’s and adults services.

Kevin said: “The post I have been offered represents a further professional challenge for me and is also closer to my home making it an opportunity I could not ignore and I am very pleased to have been appointed.

“I will be leaving confident that much has been achieved in this first year of the improvement programme having re-structured the LSCBN to make it better equipped to challenge performance.

“We have, for example, completed all current serious case reviews on time and will have published most of them by the end of January. We’ve overseen the implementation of the multi agency safeguarding hub. We’ve relaunched child protection guidance for everyone working with children and families, including the Common Assessment for Families process which we believe will reinforce for all partners the role they play in safeguarding.

“Progress has been made by individual partners in meeting the recommendations of the various inspections of 2013. There remain however serious issues to be addressed by the partnership.

“At the heart of the county’s challenge is the need to recruit and retain more qualified and experienced social work staff to make sure the child protection system is appropriately staffed.

“Partners need also to ensure that they are all fulfilling their role particularly at the early intervention phase so that we can reduce the demands on the child protection system.”

Councillor Catherine Boardman, Northamptonshire County Council's cabinet member for children, said: “Kevin joined us at a very challenging time for the county and has helped steer the safeguarding children board along its improvement journey so that it is best placed to challenge all partners.

“His input will be missed but we appreciate that he wants to grasp new professional challenges. We will begin the process to appoint his replacement and in the meantime we will continue to be guided by the independent chair of the improvement board, Christine Davies.”

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds, said: “We congratulate Kevin on his move and thank him for the contributions he has made to the Local Safeguarding Children Board during his time here.

“We look forward to working with his successor, as we continue to work towards our established improvement programme. We have already delivered in a number of areas around safeguarding and will continue to improve with the support of the new chair once appointed.”

Peter Boylan, Director of Nursing and Quality, NHS Nene and NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group: “I would like to congratulate Kevin on his new role at Bedford Borough Council. This is an excellent opportunity where he will bring great experience and leadership to the role.

"I am sure through his experience as Chair of Northamptonshire’s Safeguarding Children Board, he will be best placed in working with partner organisations to ensure services are delivered effectively and to a high standard that improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults in the Bedford community. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Kevin over the last year and I wish him well for the future.”

Kevin will remain the Chair of the LSCBN until the end of February while the partnership recruits his successor.