Childrens services

  • Somerset MP urges county to up SEN spend

    08 April 2021

    A Somerset MP has urged the county council to find £2.4m from existing coffers to settle a two-year dispute over SEN funding.


  • Seize the reins

    30 March 2021

    The County Councils Network's new business plan for recovery and renewal puts forward evidence-based practical proposals to influence the Government's key agendas across six clear priorities, says Simon Edwards.


  • Back from the brink

    23 March 2021

    In 2018, Northamptonshire CC became notorious in local government. Yet the council, which is soon to be replaced with two new unitaries, is set to leave a substantial surplus to its successors. Cllr Matt Golby explains how this was achieved.


  • Getting to the root of youth violence

    17 March 2021

    Jenny Coles urges all parts of the public sector, including Government, to work in a co-ordinated way with the voluntary sector for a holistic public health strategy to combat violence among our youth.


  • Coming up for air – what councils need to think about

    17 March 2021

    John Fowler looks at the range of ways in which councils can help children and young people recover from the impact of the pandemic.


  • Commissioners to step down from Torbay children's services

    08 March 2021

    Government-appointed children’s commissioners are set to step down from Torbay Council in April after significant improvements.


  • Lessons from a year of challenges

    02 March 2021

    As the first anniversary of ‘lockdown 1.0’ approaches, Beate Wagner reflects on how Wakefield Council rose to the challenge of supporting children and families, and looking after staff wellbeing.


  • Keeping Calderdale’s children closer to home

    02 March 2021

    Calderdale is committed to developing more local and personalised provision for children and young people in care, says Julie Jenkins. She explains how their needs are being prioritised.


  • Long-term funding for local government looks ominous

    17 February 2021

    In her first column for The MJ, and in her role as the incoming president of the Society of County Treasurers, Lorna Baxter says her worry is 'not the short-term funding issues, but the longer-term impacts on local government'.


  • Flexing practice in response to COVID in Surrey

    17 February 2021

    Rachael Wardell reveals how promoting flexibility in Surrey CC’s usual practice is one of the biggest changes in the way children's services have responded to the impact of the pandemic.


  • Reasons to be hopeful

    17 February 2021

    Newham LBC’s children’s services is rising to the demands of the third lockdown, while continuing to respond to the challenges that already existed in the London borough, says Tim Aldridge.


  • Children’s tsar - Families should be at the centre of MPs’ plans

    15 February 2021

    Radical reforms in the wake of the pandemic should include rebuilding a government department that looks more widely at children, schools and families, says the departing children’s tsar.


  • Finding more funding

    02 February 2021

    A flurry of Government grants have been received by local authorities in the wake of the pandemic. While this has helped some councils stabilise finances, what longer-term approach is needed to balance budgets? Martin Ford reports.


  • ‘This was liberation’

    01 February 2021

    Daisy Carter of the Innovation Unit outlines how COVID disruption inspired new ways of working in Greater Manchester.


  • Filling in the gaps

    26 January 2021

    The Government has launched an independent inquiry into children’s social care in England, amid calls for a cross-Government commission into the impact of COVID-19 on the young. What do sector experts hope could be achieved? Ann McGauran reports.


  • Don’t forget our youth workers

    20 January 2021

    Government needs to put as much focus on resourcing the children and young people’s workforce as it does on ensuring the sustainability of the of the sector in the short term, argues Jenny Coles.


  • Helping families through the tough times

    20 January 2021

    Local welfare assistance schemes are crucial to delivering the Government’s package of winter support to families with children during the pandemic, says Toby North. Some councils, who previously did not have one in place, have set them up, he adds.


  • Babies’ needs overlooked in COVID response

    19 January 2021

    A generation of babies risks being damaged by the fallout from the pandemic without a concerted effort from local support systems to improve outcomes, says a new report.


  • Knowing when to hit the dance floor

    13 January 2021

    GatenbySanderson’s Phil Whitman outlines the importance of embracing adaptive leadership in public services.


  • Starting a journey of improvement

    15 December 2020

    Jenny Turnross talks to Ann McGauran about Birmingham Children’s Trust’s progress with improving services for children and young people – and how it has risen to the challenge of the pandemic.