24 March 2014

A former social services director and advisor to the Scottish government has been named as the new independent chair of the county’s Local Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire.

Keith Makin has previously worked as a programme director for the Scottish Government and as chief executive of a company providing children’s residential, fostering and intensive intervention services.

A former director of social services at Dumfries and Galloway Council, Keith chairs two other safeguarding children’s boards in Southampton and Merton.

On starting in his new role Keith said: “Northamptonshire is a county with a rich and varied diversity of populations in both rural and urban areas and this presents a number of differing challenges and opportunities. Because I chair two other LSCBs in very different places, a small unitary area and a London borough, I’m hoping that I can bring learning from these that can be transferred to Northamptonshire and vice versa.

“Although Northamptonshire has been subject to a number of critical inspections, there is a real spirit of change with the partners very committed to the task so I am confident that the necessary improvements can be made.

“My immediate priority will be to make sure that everyone is on board with the changes planned and that includes helping frontline staff to feel supported and engaging children and young people in the processes of change, making sure that their voices are heard and listened to. I also see the speed of change as a priority, we need to not only bring about changes but do so quickly enough to make a difference.

“I’m encouraged by quite a number of positives. There’s a very well set-up improvement board, a good improvement plan, and committed senior leaders from all partner agencies.”

Keith holds a degree in Economics, a social work qualification and a post graduate management qualification.

As the chair of the LSCBN, Keith’s role will be to ensure all organisations and agencies involved in safeguarding work together effectively.

The LSCBN co-ordinates child protection work by all agencies in the county and challenges their performance to make sure they are carrying out their responsibilities. It exists to make sure that all organisations in the county who work with children and families are cooperating to protect children and young people.

As well as holding the county’s organisations and agencies to account, the LSCBN runs training programmes and develops policies and procedures for the whole county.