NE Region February 2016 Update

Update for the February meeting of the ADCS Council of Reference

Director changes

The region continues to see significant staff changes:

  • Suzanne Joyner joined Darlington as DCS/DASS as of December 2015
  • Alison Elliott has joined Gateshead as Interim Director of Care, Wellbeing and Learning as of January 2016 following the retirement of David Bunce
  • Stockton has disaggregated the DCS/DASS post. Jane Humphreys relinquished the DASS role and became solely the DCS as of January 2016 with Peter Kelly, the current Director of Public Health taking on the DASS role
  • Daljit Lally in Northumberland became the Deputy Chief Executive and retains her DCS role with the DASS role passing to Vanessa Bainbridge
  • Steve Walker, Deputy Director in Leeds remains the Interim DCS at Sunderland as part of their improvement plan
  • Several LAs are advertising assistant director posts as a number of retirements are imminent.

Teaching Partnerships

In November 2015, Anton Florek, from the Virtual Staff College, facilitated a session with local universities and all 12 LAs in the region around the future of social work education in the context of Teaching Partnerships. As a result, the region will do further scoping work on the potential for a single Teaching
Partnership/Learning Alliance across the 12 LAs and spanning five universities. The first cohort of Step Up to Social Work students joined LAs in January 2016 and recruitment is ongoing for the Frontline programme, with students commencing in September 2016.

Tackling Exploitation Board

The first meeting of the North East Tackling Exploitation Board took place in November 2015 and agreed to do a piece of work on notifications of out of area placements of children in care, with the police playing a more proactive role on the sharing of risk assessments around particular areas and planned
placements. The Board meets again in February 2016.


The North East Adoption Leadership Board has been reviewed in light of the retirement of Jenni Cooke, DCS Darlington. Jane Humphreys now chairs the Board and the membership has been revised in light of national developments on regionalisation. The new Board is looking at the implications from the two successful regionalisation bids as well as how to increase bids into the Adoption Support Fund. The Board meets again in February 2016.


The region is working with Myriad Research via the LGA on looking at the use of agency staff within the region and the shape of the workforce to strengthen future work on workforce development.

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