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The role of the DCS and inspection

ADCS President John Pearce Said:

“The role of the director of children’s services (DCS) is the best but one of the most challenging in local government, requiring unique leadership and partnership skills to get the best deal for children. It is literally in the job description to be a champion and an advocate. The role is becoming more difficult because local government is in a funding crisis with many of the key financial pressures within the remit of the DCS. There are also big challenges outside of our control impacting on childhoods and children’s services, including rising levels of poverty, mental distress and a shortage of placements for children in care. This all impacts on our ability to make a difference. The level of scrutiny and accountability is also tough, a single word judgement following an inspection can be career ending and cannot represent the complex range of services we are responsible for. Our members value the robust and effective inspection of our services as part of the continuous improvement journey. However, inspection should be proportionate with outcomes reflecting the complexity and breadth of services covered, the context we work in, and, crucially, support improving outcomes for children. We urgently need government’s support to solve these issues and a long-term equitable and sufficient funding settlement for local government. Failing to do this will undermine any progress against the government’s children’s social care reform agenda, but most of all will let down our children and their families.”


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