Prime Ministerial Announcements

Commenting on a series of Prime Ministerial announcements made today, Monday 14 December, Alison O’Sullivan, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

On strengthening and improving services

“Up and down the country extraordinary, creative and innovative practices are being used to strengthen the sector from within so that we can improve the lives of the most vulnerable. And at a local level this is being orchestrated by Directors of Children’s Services and their authorities. We recognise that in some areas services are not yet good enough and it is right that we draw on the expertise of the strongest authorities to safely unlock the skills and potential of the practice and corporate leaders working within it and within the wider children’s services sector.

‘But there is more to improvement than simply changing structures. Parallel to this lies the need for increases in demand to be met with adequate financial resources. Even with the closure of many children’s centres and youth services we still face a funding shortfall and we risk losing capacity in the system to prevent problems from escalating to a point beyond repair. This must be urgently addressed, we owe it to our children, to our young people and to their families.’

On the What Works Centre

“The practice of using innovation and creativity to make improvements within the sector has largely been led and delivered for the sector, by the sector. Often what local government has done central government has followed and this move represents a more formal way to harness good practice from across the sector to promote better outcomes for the children, young people and families who rely on us the most.”

On the review into LSCBs

“The Association fully supports the statutory requirement for every top tier local authority in England to establish an inter-agency LSCB; it performs an important function within wider safeguarding arrangements in place to protect vulnerable children and young people from harm. However, the lack of clarity and mission creep surrounding what the role of the LSCB is and is not for has led to some Boards becoming ineffective. So we welcome this review to clarify the role and remit of LSCBs in a way that strengthens and promotes a better understanding of its role without detracting from its core function – to ensure safeguarding children remains a priority for all partners.”

On the investment in social work training

“Social workers hold exceptional responsibility on behalf of us all and the work they undertake each and every day is critical in protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities. This is why recruiting the right people into the profession and supporting them to develop the skills needed to improve the lives of children, young people and their families is one of the most important things we do. So as leaders of children’s services we are committed to promoting, rewarding and strengthening the profession and this investment signals that the government recognises the standing of the profession too.”


The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Ltd is the professional leadership association for Directors of Children’s Services and their senior management teams in England.

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