ESAB Independent Chair
BSc(Hons) CQSW Cert.Ed. Dip.App.SS
Deborah is a senior executive, having led strategic safeguarding partnerships for several years. Her background stems from directing adult social care’s strategic safeguarding across mental health; older people and transition services. She has also directed a local authority trading company, delivering county wide learning disability services. She also has a rich experience of leading and developing regional and national organisational learning programmes, from both a public service and commercial perspective, as the founder of Assess For Care Ltd, an innovative company producing expert content on lawful compliance for effective safeguarding and deployment of Mental Capacity Act, supplying several commercial companies.
In her operational years, she managed high levels of acute risk; brought about multi-agency system change and developed a wide range of social work performance improvement strategies, having led a series of high profile, local and national investigations and many statutory reviews, involving both children and adults.
Deborah was a Public Trustee and held a directorship at Laser Learning Awards (formerly the Open College South East) and was a non-executive director and National Mental Convenor at the Social Care Association. She was a former Judge for the National Training Awards; a former Department of Health Quality Assessor and member of their Performance Action Team, advising local authority senior leadership teams on performance improvement.
Deborah has grown into an adept strategist; a robust scrutineer; a seasoned facilitator and is a frequent public speaker. As Managing Director of AssessForCare, she produced the national Domestic Violence Service Standards for the The Home Office, and (former) Office of the Deputy Prime Minister; and has since been awarded many specialist commissions, such as working with the Metropolitan Police Murder Squad; conducting safeguarding business reviews for care and health partnerships and supported housing. She was later appointed as a Senior Lead Consultant to the Local Government Association and is an Associate of the Social Care National Institute of Excellence. She remains an active member of the South East Regional and National Safeguarding Chairs Networks and is a best-selling author on social care principles and delivering effective safeguarding practice.
Over the last five years, Deborah has worked to develop Safeguarding Executive Boards via peer reviews; peer challenge and senior partner learning events. Since the implementation of the Care Act in 2014, she was appointed as Independent Chair for the Safeguarding Adults Board of Kent and Medway in 2015; Independent Chair, for the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Review Panel in 2018; Independent Chair for Essex Safeguarding Adults Board in 2019 and Independent Chair of Southampton’s Adult Safeguarding Board in 2020. She is also the Independent Chair and Reviewer for Bexley Adult Safeguarding Board and Hertfordshire’s Independent Reviewer for their Partnership Case Review. Since 2016, she has been directly responsible for 25 Safeguarding Adult Reviews in England.
Her personal focus in her long career has been to safeguard vulnerable people and children by encouraging strengths based practice; listening to those who use services; developing creative teams and refining her own, analytical, innovative and reflective thinking to maximise the impact on prevention; robust high level risk management and quality outcomes. She has aimed high to lead strategic excellence, with a warm, tenacious, innovative approach, improving organisations, through their systems and their people.