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Children’s Services Policy Context

ADCS members hold leadership roles in children’s services departments in local authorities in England. They specialise in developing, commissioning and leading the delivery of services to children, young people and their families, including education, health, youth, early years and social care services.

Managing the statutory demands placed upon DCSs and their senior teams in the face of diminishing resources is proving to be one of the biggest challenges in modern local government.

This resource has been developed for our members to provide an overview of the key current legislation, policy and inspections which drive or otherwise impact upon children’s services, as they deal with diminishing budgets and a range of reviews of the wider services they provide.

Children’s Services Statutory Duties

In 2011, a piece of work was undertaken by government which produced lists of statutory duties as they apply to councils in England. Of those duties, around 200 were in respect of children’s services. More than seven years on, ADCS has undertaken an exercise to update the list of duties - we believe there are now almost 300 statutory duties in relation to children’s services.

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Children’s Services Timeline 2007 onwards

ADCS has developed a timeline which illustrates the key events and changes that impact on safeguarding children and young people in England.

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The Roles and Responsibilites of Directors of Children’s Services and Lead Members for Children’s Services

This guidance covers the legislative basis for the 2 appointments; roles and responsibilities of the post holders; and government expectations about the role of local authorities in education and children & young people’s services.

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ADCS Safeguarding Pressures Research

ADCS longitudinal research into the pressures facing local authority children’s services departments.

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ADCS has developed a resource which brings together a range of supporting information regarding ILACS inspection, including links to the framework and guidance; an overview of published outcomes and a range of supporting materials.

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This resource will continue to be developed. If you have any comments or suggestions to assist the development please contact

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