Glenys Johnston OBE has been appointed as the new independent chair of the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board.
Mrs Johnston brings a wealth of experience to the role. She is currently the independent chair of the Safeguarding Partnership Boards in Jersey and has served in similar positions in local authorities in England and Northern Ireland.
A qualified social worker, Mrs Johnston will take up her post in the Isle of Man in April, succeeding Paul Burnett.
Her appointment comes at a time when a new Safeguarding Bill has progressed through the branches of Tynwald. This places the new Safeguarding Board on a statutory footing, replacing the current Safeguarding Children Board and Safeguarding Adults Partnership, which operate on a non-statutory basis.
The Bill also puts an obligation on organisations that work with children and vulnerable adults to consider safeguarding needs.
The overall aim is to enable people of all ages to safeguard themselves, to support the minority who are at risk and to intervene when vulnerable people need to be protected.
Mrs Johnston, who has experience working in the fields of mental health and children’s social services, said:
‘I am looking forward to working with organisations in the Island to support the wellbeing of people in the community. The safeguarding of children and adults at risk is complex, challenging work that is best supported by agencies working effectively together within a society which recognises that safeguarding is everybody’s business.’
‘I understand the special position of Crown Dependencies, which have different priorities, but similar opportunities and challenges. They have excellent opportunities to work with their communities to help people to support themselves without the involvement of statutory services, and to respond effectively when these services need to intervene or assist.’
The appointment has been welcomed by Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK who said:
‘We are delighted that someone with Glenys’s skills and experience has agreed to take on this important position. She will play a key role in driving forward the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board and building on the work carried out by the outgoing chair Paul Burnett.’