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Joanna Nicolas

Safeguarding Consultant


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As the communist regime fell in Romania, Joanna spent several months there working with children who had suffered extreme emotional and physical deprivation and neglect.

That is what set Joanna on her path.

With over 21 years of experience of working in the fields of safeguarding and child protection, Joanna has an established career as an independent consultant and trainer.

What you won’t get from Joanna is jargon and academic language. What you will get is practical advice delivered in straightforward, layman’s terms.

Working in social care since 1991, Joanna spent many years on the front line as a child protection social worker but has graduated to become a much-prized consultant and trainer. Between 1995 and 2008 Joanna worked with various Local Authorities and London Boroughs, specialising in the most complex child abuse cases and care proceedings.

As the communist regime fell in Romania, Joanna spent several months there working with children who had suffered extreme emotional and physical deprivation and neglect.

In recent years Joanna has worked on a consultancy basis with a range of UK organisations including the Department for Education, Ofsted and various Local Authorities and Local Safeguarding Children Boards. In addition she sits on both the Quality Committee and Board of Cafcass and is the safeguarding advisor to Home-Start UK. More recently Joanna has been working with organisations looking to ensure they have a healthy workplace culture and along with consultancy can offer training in this area.

Joanna is a recognised and sought-after deliverer of bespoke training in the fields of Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults. The classes can be half a day, one day or two day and cover a variety of relevant topics, techniques and legislation. She is also a valued speaker at various conferences around the UK. Other areas of work include; supporting child actors and organisations through outer production.

As far as her media work is concerned, Joanna has become the ‘go-to’ voice for comment on safeguarding issues, appearing regularly across the BBC, ITV and Sky whilst contributing to various professional journals and The Guardian.

 

As the communist regime fell in Romania, Joanna spent several months there working with children who had suffered extreme emotional and physical deprivation and neglect.

That is what set Joanna on her path.

With over 21 years of experience of working in the fields of safeguarding and child protection, Joanna has an established career as an independent consultant and trainer.

What you won’t get from Joanna is jargon and academic language. What you will get is practical advice delivered in straightforward, layman’s terms.

Working in social care since 1991, Joanna spent many years on the front line as a child protection social worker but has graduated to become a much-prized consultant and trainer. Between 1995 and 2008 Joanna worked with various Local Authorities and London Boroughs, specialising in the most complex child abuse cases and care proceedings.

 

In recent years Joanna has worked on a consultancy basis with a range of UK organisations including the Department for Education, Ofsted and various Local Authorities and Local Safeguarding Children Boards. In addition she sits on both the Quality Committee and Board of Cafcass and is the safeguarding advisor to Home-Start UK. More recently Joanna has been working with organisations looking to ensure they have a healthy workplace culture and along with consultancy can offer training in this area.

Joanna is a recognised and sought-after deliverer of bespoke training in the fields of Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults. The classes can be half a day, one day or two day and cover a variety of relevant topics, techniques and legislation. She is also a valued speaker at various conferences around the UK. Other areas of work include; supporting child actors and organisations through outer production.

As far as her media work is concerned, Joanna has become the ‘go-to’ voice for comment on safeguarding issues, appearing regularly across the BBC, ITV and Sky whilst contributing to various professional journals and The Guardian.

Joanna has recently become a trustee of The Social Worker of the Year Awards, about which she is delighted because of the passion she feels for her profession.



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  • Kate VarahExecutive Director - The Old Vic

    Kate Varah
    Executive Director - The Old Vic

    "Joanna came to us highly recommended and, having worked with her over the past year on safeguarding and wider staff wellbeing initiatives, I can see why. Joanna carried out a safeguarding audit for The Old Vic in 2017 and her report was thorough and gave clear practical advice. So insightful was her advice that when launching our new Guardians initiative to support a healthy workplace culture, Joanna became a key part of the team.

    She carried out cultural awareness sessions (talking about what’s ok and what’s not ok in the workplace) for all staff, and now acts as a much trusted mentor for our Guardians, who she also trained. It is rare to find someone so experienced, sensitive, practical, and personable to work with. I would recommended Joanna without hesitation."
  • Liz WarnerCEO - Comic Relief

    Liz Warner
    CEO - Comic Relief

    "When I joined Comic Relief two years' ago, I prioritised a review of Comic Relief’s approach to safeguarding. We identified Joanna as an independent child protection/safeguarding specialist and from our very first engagements with her, we were confident we had found an expert to work with. Joanna undertook an end to end review of our existing approach to safeguarding and made excellent recommendations to tighten and improve our practices, which is now part of an ongoing process of constantly seeking to improve. She presented these improvements to management and trustees and kickstarted the work.

    In all, Joanna provided services to us for almost a year, and she undoubtedly left us in a better place with improved practices and a brilliant full time safeguarding expert she helped us employ. She was a pleasure to work with."
  • Dr Dawn HarperMBBS, MRCP, DCH, DFFP

    Dr Dawn Harper
    MBBS, MRCP, DCH, DFFP

    “I first met Joanna several years ago when I attended a “Safeguarding Children” course. I am ashamed to say that my only expectation of the day was to tick some government boxes, but I left totally inspired by Joanna. She has so much expertise and experience in this field and has an unusually brilliant way of communicating that knowledge. She has since become a very respected work colleague and someone I feel privileged to have met.”
  • Mrs. Sheila Brown, OBECEO, Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children

    Mrs. Sheila Brown, OBE
    CEO, Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children

    “The issues surrounding child protection are complex, but Joanna made it easy to absorb using her experience of working in the real world and her expertise, which helped us to implement the policy strategically. We needed to write policy, train and integrate the learning across very diverse groups of people from very different departments. Joanna genuinely cares about protecting children and you can see it in all she does, she provides clear and practical training, delivered with passion and commitment.”
  • Rob ParkinsonCEO Home-Start UK

    Rob Parkinson
    CEO Home-Start UK

    "Following Joanna's notable and well received contribution to our 2016 national convention, we invited her to carry out an independent review of our child protection activity. It was an insightful piece of work which will positively shape the future development of child protection activity at HSUK. I would recommend Joanna to other organisations looking to carry out similar pieces of work".

     

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