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Wed, 02 Nov 22 10:00

ADCS is collating useful resources to assist with the children’s services response to, and the provision of support for, Ukrainian children and families arriving here via the family and sponsorship routes.

International resources

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

The Alliance is coordinating a range of resources, in English, Ukrainian and Russian, to support the response to the crisis in Ukraine.


UNHCR Child protection resources

UNHCR has published a series of child protection resources, including identification tools and toolkits accessible via a PDF (which contains embedded links to practical resources).


In 2017, UNHCR published a study looking at the learning from the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. The scheme was launched by the Government in 2014 and aimed to resettle 20,000 refugees by 2020.


Ukraine Embassy - Diplomatic Note

In March, a Diplomatic Note from the Ukraine Embassy in London was shared with the UK government which called for the consent of Ukraine in bringing Ukrainian born children into care.


International child protection network

An informal network of child protection professionals are sharing resources and information, including translations, via a dropbox site, this is regularly updated.


New resources and additions are most welcome, please email

Wider local government responses

Local Government Association

Ukraine: related support from LGA and others. Information on council support from the LGA and others related to the war and new Ukraine arrivals.


Other related links and information

Children England

Children England is coordinating offers of support from the third sector via a regularly updated spreadsheet.


ADCS Mentoring Scheme for Newly Appointed DCSs

The role of the DCS is perhaps the most challenging and highly scrutinised role in local government. Collectively, DCSs have an enormous amount of knowledge and experience in all aspects of children’s services. They are adept at working within the frameworks set by government and at delivering the services needed in their locality with care, consideration and innovation.

The ADCS Mentoring Scheme for new DCSs is the Association’s commitment to peer mentoring as a means of ensuring that each newly appointed DCS has access to the expertise of established DCSs; to open dialogue between colleagues; and, to encourage DCSs to seek advice and counsel from each other.

The Mentoring Scheme extends to all new DCSs - interim and substantive post-holders - and Chief Executives of alternative delivery models (ADMs) such as children’s services trusts or social enterprises.

The Mentoring Scheme is a benefit of membership of the Association and should be seen as being complementary to induction programmes offered by individual local authorities. The scheme is not prescriptive in any way – it is designed to provide new DCSs with an introduction to a supportive network of peers.

A great deal of the work carried out by a DCS, like any other systems leader, is the unseen work which keeps the wheels turning. DCS colleagues who have been mentored, or served as mentors, have stressed that having a fellow DCS to act as a sounding board for how to balance the relationships with colleagues, partners and politicians in local government, is critical.

Whilst the scheme is not compulsory, we strongly encourage all new DCSs to take up the offer of support from an established DCS colleague.

For more information contact

There are currently no job opportunities at ADCS.

Contact with any enquiries

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


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

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 substantive 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.

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:

Application forms for Associate membership are available on request.

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 members of ADCS are eligible to join and contribute to the work of our six national policy committees. This is where we consider all aspects of children’s services policy and practice. In 2019 we were joined by various reps from the DfE, MHGLC, NHS England, PHE, DHSC, the NAO, Social Work England, the EIF, the Youth Custody Service and Ofsted as well as academics.

Our national committees also lead on the development of consultation responses and submissions of evidence to inquiries as well as ADCS policy position papers. In spring 2019 we published a paper on the wider children’s workforce, in the summer a discussion paper on serious youth violence and in the autumn a paper on how the health care system. Each committee meets on a quarterly basis, usually in London:

Educational Achievement looks at all aspects of education from the early years to FE, skills and training plus assessment, school improvement and standards. This group is chaired by Heather Sandy, DCS Lincolnshire (from Sept 2022) and supported by Matt Cunningham, Policy and Press Officer..

2022 meeting dates - 28 January, 22 March, 24 May, 21 September, 22 November.

Families, Communities & Young People covers safeguarding, youth work, youth justice, child poverty, family justice, preventative services and the early years. This group is chaired by Sara Tough, DCS Norfolk and supported by Katy Block, Policy Officer.

2022 meeting dates - 14 January, 31 March, 25 May, 29 September, 30

Health, Care & Additional Needs looks at all forms of permanence, SEND and the health and wellbeing of children and families. This group is chaired by Edwina Grant, DCS Lancashire and supported by Sarah Wilson, Policy Officer.

2022 meeting dates - 14 January, 25 March, 25 May, 7 October, 23 November.

Resources & Sustainability covers all aspects of funding for children’s services, commissioning, school place planning, capital and admissions. This group is chaired by Matt Dunkley, DCS Kent and supported by Sarah Wilson, Policy and Press Officer.

2022 meeting dates - 28 January, 25 March, 27 May, 14 October, 1 December.

Standards, Performance & Inspection covers the breadth of inspection activity, Regional Improvement and Innovation Alliances, intervention, data and performance management. This group is chaired by Andy Smith, DCS, Derby City Council and supported by Katy Block, Policy Officer.

2022 meeting dates - 27 January, 1 April, 24 May, 20 September, 30 November.

Workforce Development takes in professional standards and registration, training, qualifications and workforce planning. This group is chaired by Rachael Wardell, DCS Surrey and supported by Matt Cunningham, Policy Officer.

2022 meeting dates – 25 January, 24 March, 25 May, 29 September, 9 December..

We’re particularly keen to diversify regional representation on our national groups so that our engagements with government, and others, accurately reflect the state of play in local areas as they develop new policies and guidance, for example. If you would like to find out more about a specific group, please get in touch with the relevant ADCS policy officer directly

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.

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
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.

Representing Your Region

If you would like to get involved email
All DCSs are eligible to stand for election as Vice President, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer or Chair of a policy committee.

Stand for Election

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

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

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 Steve Crocker, Director of Children’s Services. Hampshire County Council and Isle of Wight Council

Past Presidents:

2021-22 Charlotte Ramsden, Salford City Council

2020-21:Jenny Coles, Hertfordshire County Council.

2019-20: Rachel Dickinson, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

2018-19: Stuart Gallimore, East Sussex County Council

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.


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