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North East region update December 2016

Update from the North East region for the December meeting of the ADCS Council of Reference

The North East Regional Update

The region continues to work through a period of change with three interim DCSs currently in post in Gateshead, Durham and Middlesbrough pending permanent appointments. Current Assistant Director Martin Gray will become DCS in Stockton in January when Jane Humphreys moves on to a new role within the authority.

Teaching Partnership

The North East bid for a regional Teaching Partnership was agreed by the Department of Health in November. This is an agreement between the 12 local authorities and 5 campus based universities in the region supported by the Open University. The Partnership aims to improve the links between local universities delivering social work courses and local authorities, giving local authorities greater influence in the design and delivery of courses in line with the government agenda around social work education.

Sector-led improvement

We have developed a process to support case file audits as part of our sector led improvement offer. The aim is to develop a shared understanding of ‘good’ practice, support a consistently good approach to quality assurance and grow capacity and expertise in the region. The offer includes a small number of regional audit clinics led by experienced external facilitators. Local authorities will work together in groups of four and good practice will be shared, with follow up sessions held in each local authority. A peer audit process will run alongside this work on a 12 month cycle to embed the learning.

Child in Need transfer protocol

The Vulnerable Children Safeguarding Network has developed a regional Child in Need protocol to ensure information is shared and support for vulnerable children continues and is effectively coordinated when a child transfers from one local authority area to another.


Under the new regional workforce development committee, we have recently begun a piece of work to review agency social worker rates and quality standards across the region.

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