Link Maker is a social enterprise founded by two people with personal experience of children's social care - that's us below. While working together at an adoption and fostering charity we realised how much children's social care could benefit from being more joined-up. Today, our 9 full-time development and support staff provide an online platform across the UK, spanning adoption, fostering, residential care and commissioning.
Our vision is for all looked after children to find stable relationships with those who can best meet their individual needs, and to receive the right support to help them recover from past experiences and flourish. By improving communication and data, we aim to:
Give access to the widest choice of placements for children, and to promote needs-led decisions (see 'services' above)
Make placements faster and easier to find, so that authorities and providers can direct more of their resources to working with children (see 'services' above)
Promote more of the right placements, with better knowledge of sufficiency to inform recruitment and development of new provision more
Support effective collaboration, so that intelligence and resources can be shared, and placement activity can occur at the right scale more
Evidence how early investment in children brings rewards for everyone, with a longitudinal, national picture of children's journeys and wellbeing more
We develop our platform using an 'agile' process, which involves frequent updates in response to changing needs. This is informed by an exchange of experience and ideas within within an advisory group of experts and national leads.
Andy Leary-May - Chief Executive
Andy began bringing innovation to children’s social care in 2007 when he founded New Family Social, a charity that pioneered new ways for families to share support, and is responsible for many other initiatives that brought about positive change in the sector.
As an adoptive parent, and after running a successful product design consultancy followed by a UK-wide community organisation, he draws on a valuable range of experience.
Through regular engagement with government and third-sector social care leads, practitioners from Local Authority and independent agencies, as well as with fellow families and carers, he constantly seeks new ways for Link Maker to achieve its social aims.
Craig Rigby-Wilson – Director of Operations & Technology
Since becoming an adoptive parent Craig is strongly motivated to bring targeted IT tools to the children’s social care sector to help improve the process for both children and parents.
With a background as an IT System Engineer Craig has worked in security, system maintenance and disaster recovery, and has specialised in delivering software solutions across large organisations in complex environments.
Craig is responsible for the IT strategy and product roadmap of Link Maker’s services.