Childrens services

  • Children and childhood must get the priority they deserve

    03 May 2024

    A plan for childhood should have a focus on developing the workforce, as well as a national emphasis on improving children’s outcomes in a systematic way, says Andy Smith.


  • Social work development programme 'pulled' by Department for Education

    16 April 2024

    A Government decision to end a training and development programme for social work managers has been branded a ‘kick in the teeth’ for the sector.


  • 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.


  • Wanted: A cross-party view on SEND

    16 April 2024

    The unwillingness of either of the Government contenders to make future SEND spending commitments risks the problem not getting the pre-election focus it requires, says Greg Clark


  • 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.


  • New funding: A helping hand for care leavers

    12 March 2024

    The Care Leavers’ Programme provides a backbone of support for young adults and the benefits will trickle back into our neighbourhoods, says Cllr Richard Kemp CBE.


  • Newsam report reveals Rochdale exploitation failings

    15 January 2024

    Failings by officials at Rochdale Council and senior police meant vulnerable girls were targeted by a child sexual abuse gang for years, the latest report on the scandal has concluded.


  • The next step for children’s services

    08 January 2024

    Dominic Luscombe asks if the new Data Strategy and Children’s Social Care reform strategy are opportunities to widen our ambition and strengthen our focus on children’s needs.


  • Barnsley's Hub: where children’s social work flourishes

    19 December 2023

    Barnsley MBC’s Practice Development Hub is supporting staff across the Children’s Services workforce as well as benefitting families, says Carly Speechley.


  • Regional working is here to stay

    11 December 2023

    John Copps says regional working in children’s services can no longer be something that can be seen as a side show and local authorities need to engage now or risk getting left behind.


  • Using data to make better decisions for our children

    04 December 2023

    Dominic Luscombe and Debbie Barnes look at how an approach to capturing and tracking children’s needs over time, while connecting it with the cost of their care, has worked in five councils.


  • No quick fix as challenges grow

    04 December 2023

    Ann McGauran reflects on last week’s NCAS conference, where the general mood was of determination despite a morale-testing lack of financial backing for the sector from the recent Autumn Statement.


  • Under pressure

    04 December 2023

    Pressures are increasing in every local authority he speaks to, but with the need to bear down on the cost of living still pressing, this is not the right time for a big rise in council tax, says Greg Clark.


  • NCASC: Everything you need to know

    04 December 2023

    Following the National Children’s and Adult’s Service Conference in Bournemouth last week, The MJ rounds up everything you need to know.


  • 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.


  • Partnerships will unlock potential of Oxfordshire’s children

    28 November 2023

    Children and young people are at the heart of Oxfordshire’s partnership approach – a shared vision to give them the very best start in life, says Cllr John Howson.


  • Who wouldn’t want to be a DCS?

    27 November 2023

    As directors of children’s services gather at the National Children and Adult Services Conference, Philip Emms and Jane Parfrement reflect on the achievements of the aspirant DCS programme


  • Autumn Statement: not what it says on the tin

    24 November 2023

    Kate Ogden says it seems likely either taxes will have to rise further, borrowing will have to rise, or the range and quality of public services provided will have to fall.


  • A tactical shift that has boosted our services

    18 October 2023

    Angela Bremner explains how leadership coaching has transformed Together for Children’s people services and led to the creation of a new performance management programme for the company.


  • UASC children deserve a plan

    09 October 2023

    Meeting the needs of unaccompanied asylum seeking children calls for the development of a co-ordinated plan over the short, medium and longer-term, says John Pearce