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Wed, 03 Jul 19 13:00

ADCS Mentoring Scheme for Newly Appointed DCSs

More information to follow

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Regional Sector-Led Improvement

SLI Hyperlink Directory

The SLI Hyperlink Directory brings together a series of hyperlinks that connect to regional sector-led improvement work and activities. The list consists of materials, projects and summaries that have been shared with us by the regions.

Find out more

The ADCS Research Group

The ADCS Research Group is a sub-committee of the Standards, Performance & Inspection Policy Committee. It advises the Association on research issues and priorities and considers applications for the approval of research, which seeks to involve local authority children’s services departments. The Group also ensures that there is an ongoing dialogue with representatives of research organisations and institutions. Research into all aspects of children’s services is an important part of the professional landscape and as such research that is firmly evidence-led is valuable in continuing to improve services and service delivery.

Application form for support from the Research Group

This form will allow you to include information from other documents. Your completed form can be emailed as an attachment, sent by post or faxed. If you email the form, your email address will be taken as your signature, but if you mail or fax the form, you must remember to sign it. If you send the form, you should enclose a cheque for your fee. If you do not enclose a cheque you will be invoiced for the appropriate amount. Your application will not be processed until your fee is received.

Application form


The ADCS Ltd Research Group

Piccadilly House
49 Piccadilly
M1 2AP
Tel: 0161 826 9484

E: research@adcs.org.uk

Guidelines for Research Approval

Children’s services departments are frequently asked to take part in research exercises and surveys, and the Research Group wants to ensure that the projects carried out are worthwhile and that the topics best reflect the main concerns of departments.

View the guidelines for ADCS research approval

View the application form for ADCS research approval

Approved Research Projects

Research projects approved by the ADCS Research Group:

2012 - 2019 (Updated 20 Mar 2019)

Research at DfE

Overview of research at the Department: More

Please Note: DfE projects are not required to come through the ADCS Research Group for approval

Associates Network

The ADCS Associates Network aims to keep Associate Members up to date with policy and service issues; generally assist in the development of ADCS and its overall aims to improve outcomes for children and young people; and provide a network which can be called on for support by DCS and local authorities, as required.

ADCS Associate membership is open to colleagues who have previously held a senior role within a local authority children’s services department (from directors to third tier managers), but do not presently qualify for Ordinary membership of the Association.

Background and Membership Information

The ADCS Associates Network was launched at the 2011 ADCS annual conference.

Annual subscription for Associate membership is currently £180 (inclusive of VAT) which entitles Associate Members to:

  • Full membership of the Associates Network
  • Eligibility to receive the weekly ADCS ebulletin
  • Participation in policy committees, subject to a balance in favour of serving directors and officers
  • Attendance at regional meetings and events which are open to all ADCS members in that particular region
  • Invitations to the non-director only sessions of the ADCS annual conference
  • The opportunity to link with the Staff College as an Associate.

Associate Members have a range of skills and interests to contribute to the development of children’s services, and to the overall aim of ADCS, which is to improve outcomes for children and young people.

Associate Members may still be actively working in a related field. A clear distinction is drawn between the voluntary contribution of Associates to the development of ADCS and any commercial, financial or other interests they may have as consultants, directors of companies or shareholders, or arising from the work done for other organisations, including any work undertaken in a regulatory or improvement capacity.

The aims of the Associates Network are to:

  • Bring extra capacity to help ADCS and its policy committees develop and respond to policy, consultation and research projects
  • Generally assist in the development of ADCS and its overall aims to improve outcomes for children and young people
  • Keep Associate Members updated with policy and service issues
  • Support Associate Members as they move into a new career phase
  • Provide a network which can be called upon for support by DCSs and local authorities, as required.

John Freeman is Chair of the Associates Network for the 2015/16 membership year. As Chair, John has a seat on the ADCS Council of Reference.

The Associates Network is keen to hear more from members about how they would like the Network to develop, and encourages new applications for associate membership from those who have left local authority children’s services.

For further information about the ADCS Associates Network please email: associates@adcs.org.uk

Application forms for Associate membership are available on request.

Chair: John Freeman

Meeting Dates


Meeting dates to be confirmed.

Updates and Papers


Will be posted here.


Associates Paper 1 - Education Bill UPDATED John Freeman | June 2015

Terms of Reference

Associates Network Terms of Reference (revised June 2014)

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services Ltd (ADCS) is the national leadership association in England for statutory directors of children’s services and their senior management teams working in local authorities in England.

Ordinary Membership

Ordinary membership of the Association is open to statutory directors of children’s services (DCSs), senior managers who report directly to a statutory director of children’s services (second tier managers), and senior managers who report directly to second tier managers (third tier managers).

Associate Membership

Associate membership is open to those senior officers (from directors to third tier managers) who have previously worked within local authority children’s services, but do not presently qualify for ordinary membership.

Associates Network

The ADCS Associates Network aims to keep Associate Members up to date with policy and service issues; to generally assist in the development of ADCS and its overall aims to improve outcomes for children and young people; and to provide a network which can be called upon for support by DCSs and local authorities, as required.

For more information on the Associates Network click here

Membership Application

To request a membership application pack, please email us, detailing your name, authority/employer, address, email address, telephone number and line management details in accordance with the criteria set out in the descriptions of ordinary or associate membership, as detailed on this page.

Membership Fees

Membership fees of the Association are set annually. The cost of ordinary membership is included in the local authority contribution* to the Association.

The cost for individual Ordinary membership is significantly higher for those in local authorities that do not make the local authority contribution to the Association.

The cost of Associate membership is set annually and is calculated at a flat rate.


Full details of membership can be found within the ADCS Ltd Memorandum & Articles of Association.

The membership year runs from 1st April - 31st March.

*For further information about the local authority contribution and the cost of Ordinary and Associate membership, please contact the ADCS office.

ADCS is a member-led organisation. Our strength and credibility is derived from the involvement of members. We want to ensure the leadership voice of local authority children’s services departments is heard on the national stage.

Policy Committees

All ADCS members can participate on one or more policy committees. The committees meet several times a year and lead on policy development in all aspects of children and young people’s services.

If you would like to get involved email info@adcs.org.uk

Policy Leads

There is a wealth of knowledge and experience amongst the ADCS membership.

Policy leads enable ADCS to be represented on a variety of national groups, covering all areas relevant to children and young people. Policy leads are supported by the ADCS policy committees, policy officers and the wider staff team.

If you would like to get involved email info@adcs.org.uk

Representing Your Region

Each of the nine English regions is represented on the Council of Reference. Council acts as a consultative body working with the ADCS Board of Directors to lead the governance and policy direction of the Association.

If you would like to get involved email info@adcs.org.uk

Stand for Election

All DCSs are eligible to stand for election as Vice President, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer or Chair of a policy committee.

Any Ordinary Member can stand to be an Elected Director on the ADCS Board of Directors.

Did You Know…?

The Association is a company limited by guarantee. It provides a collective voice for those leading local authority children’s services, offers practical and professional advice to policymakers highlighting the reality of implementing new initiatives and provides a national forum for developing policy ideas.

How Do We Do It?

By working with ministers, senior civil servants, Ofsted and other inspectorates, Local Government Association, Solace, ADASS, the community and voluntary sectors and other key national partners to ensure that the voice of professionals in children’s services is heard loud and clear.

By giving evidence to parliamentary inquiries and by responding to formal and informal consultations.

By being represented on over 100 external national groups.

By voicing the perspectives of our members in the trade and in the national press and through policy position papers.

If you would like to get involved email info@adcs.org.uk

About Us

ADCS is a membership organisation. Our 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. Working in partnership with other agencies our members work to achieve tailored and joined-up services for children, whatever their identified needs.

Our Values

ADCS and its members are committed to:

  • A national framework for children’s services with clear lines of accountability and responsibility
  • Local delivery of children’s services, accountable to local communities through the democratic process
  • The promotion of research, innovation and learning across children’s services
  • The promotion of equality and diversity in service delivery and in the children’s workforce
  • Securing adequate and equitable funding to deliver and support the work of children’s services in every local authority
  • Promoting improved outcomes for all children, young people and their families and carers so that they are healthy and safe, can enjoy and achieve in their education, make a positive contribution to society and achieve economic well-being.

What We Do

The Association is led by its members in all areas of policy and practice. Through the contributions of its members, ADCS provides the collective voice of professionals in children’s services leadership roles on policy, practice and resourcing of the wide variety of services available to children, young people and their families.

Within local government, ADCS is the professional contact point for children’s services issues with central government. The Association works closely with ministers, government officials, the community and voluntary sectors, local government organisations and other professional bodies on designing and delivering integrated services for children and young people.

ADCS’s work is undertaken through a comprehensive policy committee structure that spans the full remit of the statutory director of children’s services and through a welcoming regional branch structure. Through its national network of expert professional leaders, ADCS provides invaluable support and advice to colleagues.

Council of Reference

The principal purpose of the Council of Reference is to act as a consultative body, advising the Board of Directors as required, on behalf of the wider membership.

Membership of the Council of Reference is constituted as follows:

  • The ADCS Board of Directors - including the five Honorary Officers of the Association (President, Vice President, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and Immediate Past President)
  • The Chairs of each of the Association’s Policy Committees
  • The Chair of the Association’s Research Group
  • The Chair of the ADCS Associates Network and
  • Representatives from the regions – either two, three or four depending on the number of local authorities in the region.

Further information regarding how the Association operates can be found in the The ADCS Ltd Memorandum and Articles of Association.


The current President of the Association is Stuart Gallimore, Director of Children’s Services at East Sussex County Council.

Past Presidents:

2017-18: Alison Michalska, Nottingham City Council

2016-17: Dave Hill, Essex County Council

2015-16: Alison O’Sullivan, Kirklees Council

2014-15: Alan Wood, Hackney Council

2013-14: Andrew Webb, Stockport Council

2012-13: Debbie Jones, Lambeth Council

2011-12: Matt Dunkley, East Sussex County Council

2010-11: Marion Davis, Warwickshire County Council

2009-10: Kim Bromley-Derry, Newham Council

2008-09: Maggie Atkinson, Gateshead Council

2007-08: John Coughlan, Hampshire County Council and John Freeman, Dudley Council.


Presentations and related materials will be posted here, when available, after the conference.


Use of Site

This website, (the “site”) is operated by The Association of Directors of Children’s Services Ltd (ADCS).

Please read these terms carefully before using this website. Using the site indicates that you accept these terms. We may change these terms at any time and we will post the amended terms on this page. Please re-visit this page from time to time to review the revised terms by which you are bound. You should assume that everything you see or read on this site belongs to ADCS unless otherwise noted. Access to it does not imply a licence to reproduce and/or distribute this information which means that you cannot reproduce, modify, publicly display, link to or distribute the contents of this site, unless you have express permission from ADCS.

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You agree that your use of the site or any downloadable devices is at your sole risk and that you are responsible for all costs associated with your access to, or use of, the site. ADCS will not be liable for any damages, losses, costs, claims or demands of any kind, whether direct, indirect or consequential, related to your use of this site.

These terms are governed by English law and any dispute will be resolved by the English courts. Any materials on this site belong to ADCS.