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.

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