After graduating with a degree in criminology and psychology, Nikki began her carer with West Midlands Police where she served as a police officer in a variety of different roles. It was whilst working as an Integrated Offender Manager (IOM) that she developed a greater understanding of the issues of exploitation, serious youth violence and trauma.
Nikki recognised that as much as she had a passion for policing, she wanted to use the knowledge she had acquired to support children and young people, rather than as she described ” be complicit in punishing them for their abuse.” This resulted in her taking the brave step of leaving a job she thought she would do for life.
The next step for Nikki was to work in the field of substance misuse, where she managed and developed a young person’s substance misuse service in Warwickshire. She led the development of Hidden Harm Pathways, ensuring that children of parents dependent on substances were no longer invisible and in receipt of the support they needed. This work was recognised by the CQC as an exemplar of outstanding and innovative practice that should be replicated nationally.
In May 2017, Nikki joined the CQC as a Children’s services inspector where she led and contributed to a range of National Review processes including LA SEND inspections, JTAI’s and Children Looked After and Safeguarding (CLAS) reviews. She also managed a portfolio of children’s homes, supporting them to meet the complex needs of children in a way that was responsive and trauma informed. She remains a bank Children’s Services Inspector today. (CSI)
In 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Nikki launched Safer Together. “For me, the pandemic was a moment of clarity, a moment where I reflected on what I learnt as a CSI and a moment where I thought I want to share the learning to support fatigued practitioners and systems to navigate the complexities of the world our children live in, to come together, work together to make society safer.”
In addition to heading Safer Together, Nikki is also an accredited SILP reviewer and author of Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs), Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) and Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (CSPRs). She is also a researcher, and a visiting lecturer of criminology and psychology.
In the little spare time she has, she fills her cup by spending as much time with her two boys, Joe and Flynn, the two not so little people who inspire her every day to be better and do better so that their world, and the world for their children is a safer, fairer and a more compassionate place.