• Fighting for the children

    16 April 2024

    Incoming president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Andy Smith, talks to Ann McGauran about the optimism and opportunities he sees as the organisation tackles the challenges ahead for children and young people.

  • Clark: Tories and Labour unwilling to address SEND crisis

    15 April 2024

    Labour and the Conservatives have been accused of an ‘unwillingness’ to confront the crisis in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Demand surges for UASC age assessments

    09 April 2024

    Councils are struggling to cope with demand for age assessments of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) as record numbers arrive once again in Kent.

  • Association in tax havens crackdown

    08 April 2024

    Council directors have praised the Children’s Homes Association (CHA) for tightening its membership criteria to crack down on firms based in tax havens.

  • Sticking plasters for a wound

    20 March 2024

    Short-term funding and decision-making does not solve the underlying issues surrounding children’s services. It only stores up more pressure for the future says John Pearce.

  • Mission impassable

    20 March 2024

    After the DfE’s about-turn over its own consultation for councils to end the use of agency social work project teams, Rachael Wardell argues they diminish an authority’s ability to implement a consistent practice model. Ann McGauran reports.

  • This is not a slow burning threat

    05 February 2024

    We urgently need the Government to develop a national strategy to tackle the root causes of poverty, not just the symptoms, says John Pearce.

  • SEND school transport’s impossible situation

    23 January 2024

    Suzanne Smith and Ann Carruthers set out recommendations to government from a report highlighting the unsustainable pressures councils face from the cost of providing SEND school transport.

  • National children's placement strategy required to remove 'profiteering'

    13 December 2023

    The president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services has called for a national placement strategy to remove the risks posed by some ‘clearly profiteering’ large providers.

  • Remove the risk from large private providers

    11 December 2023

    Local authorities are the sole purchasers of children’s care placements, yet are often held to ransom by private providers. John Pearce examines the case for a comprehensive national placement strategy.

  • Leadership: reflections from NCAS

    05 December 2023

    Nik Shah, Helen Alwell and Chris Barrow outline why identifying and supporting good leadership is more important than ever.

  • NCASC: 'Watch this space' on spiralling cost of children's placements

    30 November 2023

    The sector should ‘watch this space’ for an announcement from the Government on the spiralling costs of private placements for children, a minister said today.

  • Surge in costly care placements

    29 November 2023

    The number of children’s care placements costing £10,000 or more per week has soared by more than 1,000%, a new survey has revealed.

  • NCASC: Government must make 'some difficult decisions' on children's services

    29 November 2023

    The Government must make ‘some difficult decisions’ if it is ‘not able or willing’ to provide funding to meet the financial pressures in children’s services, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services has said.

  • Fulfilling a crucial role for children

    27 November 2023

    As directors of children’s services prepare to attend the National Children and Adult Services Conference, Ann McGauran assesses the challenges and rewards of this important role

  • Elevating ambitions through co-production

    20 November 2023

    Chief executive officer at IMPOWER Sean Hanson looks forward to the National Children and Adult Services Conference. As gold sponsor, IMPOWER will focus on elevating ambitions and developing effective co-production for better outcomes.

  • Call for national mental health support team rollout

    18 September 2023

    A top children’s services director has called for the ‘very highly regarded’ mental health support teams (MHST) model to be rolled out across the country.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Questions over child age assessments

    25 August 2023

    Council directors have raised doubts over Government plans to take over age assessments of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

  • Pearce renews prevention call amid CAMHS spiral

    14 August 2023

    England’s top director of children’s services has called for a greater focus on prevention amid spiralling demand for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

  • Home Office hotel use for lone child asylum seekers 'unlawful'

    28 July 2023

    The High Court has found the Home Office’s use of hotels to house lone child asylum seekers to be unlawful.