David Niven is the new independent chair of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB).
BSCB’s role is to work with all agencies and the wider community in keeping the district’s children safe. This includes dealing with issues of child abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, accidents and bullying.
The board also has a panel that reviews all child deaths in the district. In addition, the board has to conduct Serious Case Reviews (SCR) which are carried out when a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in the death. SCRs look at whether there are lessons to be learnt from the agencies involved with that particular child.
David has over 30 years experience in a range of roles connected to children and child welfare. He is also chair of Tameside Local Safeguarding Children Board, in Greater Manchester.
At 19, he worked in Harlem, New York, for the Boys’ Athletic League of America. This inspired him to pursue a career working with children and young people and gave him an insight into child deprivation in urban areas.
Other roles followed, including Scottish Youth Organiser for Shelter, a homeless family social worker in London and a long-term involvement with the British Association of Social Workers which culminated in him being elected as National Chair for a year. In this role he worked with Scotland Yard and Interpol on a number of cases of sexual exploitation and sex tourism.
He founded the charity ACHE (Action in Child Exploitation), which was pivotal in lobbying for the creation of the 1997 Sexual Offenders Act which included the register of sexual offenders. David has also been a trustee of The Green House, since 2011, a charity which provides professional therapeutic counselling to victims of sexual abuse in the South West.
David said: “I do not underestimate the challenges that chairing Bradford Safeguarding Children Board would bring, but by the sound of what I have read and been told, the city has much to be proud of.”
While BSCB is an independent board, chair is appointed by Bradford Council’s Chief Executive, Kersten England.
Kersten said: “After a rigorous recruitment process, we are delighted to welcome David into the role of chair of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board. The role involves a great deal of challenging work, but we are confident that David has the skills, experience and knowledge to handle it.”
BSCB is made up of agencies including Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police, the NHS, Public Health, local school head teachers, National Probation Service, Barnardos, the NSPCC and other community and voluntary organisations.