Expert heads up Torbay Children's Improvement Board
The new Chairman of Torbay's Children's Improvement Board is now taking a leading role in overseeing the improvement of services for children in the Bay.
Professor Ray Jones chaired his first CIB meeting this month and will keep an eye on and advise on changes that are being driven forward by Torbay Council and its partners through the Children's Partnership Improvement Plan.
The Children’s Improvement Board was set up to oversee, review and discuss the progress of CPIP, which aims to improve the way all public sector agencies work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of families in Torbay.
Members of the Board are from a wide variety of organisations including Torbay Council, the TSCB, the police, health and the Torbay Voluntary Service.
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The new chairman brings a wealth of expertise to CIB. He is a registered social worker with 40 years of practice and management experience in residential care and community social work. He has been a Director of Social Services and a Director of Adult and Community Services at Wiltshire County Council, as well as the Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence. Professor Jones has also been an advisor to numerous government policy and research committees.
He is currently the Chair of Bristol's Safeguarding Children Board and Salford's Safeguarding Children Improvement Board as well as a Professor of Social Work at Kingston University and St Georges, University of London.
Professor Jones is the author of five books and more than 100 published papers on social work, social services, social policy and children and adolescents. He is also a frequent media columnist and commentator.
He said: "My first meeting as Chairman of the Children's Improvement Board was very positive and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead. Torbay has put many measures in place to improve safeguarding practice and we must work together to drive on these changes. There are many benefits of genuine collaborative working, but achieving this is by no means easy.
"I am pleased to be the independent chair of the Children's Improvement Board, because it will enable me to make a contribution to the welfare and safety of children in Torbay."
Torbay Council's Executive Lead for Children, Schools and Families, Councillor Chris Lewis, was the former Chairman of the Children's Improvement Board. He said: "My role as Chairman of the Improvement Board was to work closely with the Director of Children's Services, Richard Williams and our partners to make sure everything was in place to implement the Children's Partnership Improvement Plan.
"That has now happened and we are making real progress, but there is still much to do. The time is right to hand over the reins to an independent chairman with expertise from outside the Bay to make sure we continue to move in the right direction. I am delighted that Professor Ray Jones has agreed to step into the role and I'm confident that he can guide us through the changes taking place to improve safeguarding practices across the Bay."