Calderdale director aims to drive forward improvements in children's services

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A new assistant director has been appointed by Calderdale Council to help drive forward improvements to children and young people’s services in the borough.

Victoria Gibbs will join the council’s senior leadership team in Children and Young People’s Services directorate as the Assistant Director for Early Intervention and Safeguarding in January 2019.

She replaces Julie Jenkins who was appointed as the Director of Children and Young People’s Services in September following the retirement of Stuart Smith at the end of the summer.

In a nutshell, her role will be key in keeping children safe and working with families who need extra support.

Ms Gibbs will be will be responsible for making sure children in Calderdale are happy, healthy, safe and successful.

She will also work with the council’s wider senior management team in the council’s drive to deliver its Vision for 2024 – Calderdale’s 50th anniversary – and to become the Best Borough in the North for children to grow up in.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People, Coun Megan Swift (Lab, Town) said she was an oustanding candidate to fill the role.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to appoint such an experienced individual to this crucial role in tough times.

“It’s no secret that nationally there are growing pressures on children’s social care and it’s an incredibly challenging time.

“Our priority is always to make sure we continue to protect the most vulnerable children in Calderdale so that they can have a happy childhood and grow into resilient and independent adults.”

Currently the Head of Integrated Commissioning and Prevention at North Lincolnshire Council, Ms Gibbs has over 20 years of experience in children’s social care. North Lincolnshire Council’s Children’s Services is rated as outstanding by Ofsted.

Ms Gibbs said the council had impressed her and she looked forward to joining the team.

“I’ve been inspired by the ambition which I’ve seen in the place and the drive for improvement and innovation within the Children’s Services team.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the team and to improving the lives of children, young people and families in Calderdale,” she said.