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ADCS DCS update 2018 Comment

ADCS DCS update 2018

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) today, 3 May, publishes the directors of children’s services (DCS) update 2018 using data from the Association’s membership year 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

ADCS has gathered and recorded detailed information about changes in post holders of the statutory DCS role since the Association was established in 2007. The report offers some year-on-year comparisons, several of which date back to 2007, in order to highlight trends and patterns of change.

Stuart Gallimore, ADCS President, said: “The importance of strong, effective local leadership in children’s services cannot be understated. The children’s services landscape has changed hugely since we first started collecting this data, the most obvious change being a 50% reduction in funding for local government since 2010, whilst demand has significantly increased. As local systems leaders, budget cuts have meant that local authorities are faced with difficult, sometimes counter-intuitive, decisions to cut the very services we know make a huge difference to children and families and reduce demand for high end statutory services.

“During 2017/18 there were a total of 65 changes in DCS post holders – the highest number of annual changes since 2007. Some churn in the system is to be expected and despite the high level of turbulence this year, a great deal of expertise remains in the sector, the majority of the changes have been accounted for by DCSs moving from one local authority to another, former DCSs filling interim positions or returning to the DCS role, and a large amount of succession from assistant director level ensures that leadership positions are held by experienced and knowledgeable individuals.

“Since 2007, around two thirds of local authorities have at some point had a combined children and adult services directorate led by a ‘twin hat’ director. In the past 12 months, 17 local authorities have disaggregated services, six local authorities have combined services in the same period. There appears to be an increasing trend in local authorities to move away from combined arrangements, however, little can be inferred from this – it is up to local authorities how they design their local systems for the benefit of local communities.”


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