The ADCS Blog

This Tuesday (21 March) was World Social Work Day. There was lots of activity in local authorities and organisations across the country and on Twitter to mark this special day. Here in West Berkshire we celebrated the day with our social workers for adults and for children and families. We marked the...

"She's gone mad," they said. "Completely bonkers," said others. People looked at each other and shook their heads in disbelief. What had I done? Well, I'd volunteered my local authority, in Nottingham City Council, for Ofsted's pilot inspection of local authority children's services. When I told my...

Last week was a "doing things differently" kind of week. On Monday, I attended a Criminal Justice Board event as chairperson of the County Domestic Abuse Executive. On Tuesday, I was at a round table event hosted by the High Sheriff which brought together representatives of the voluntary sector, the...

I am sure that for many of you the highlight of any week is getting out of the office and spending time in a school, on a social work visit or a visit to a children's centre or residential unit, in short anything involving an actual child or young person. It certainly is for me. Not so long ago on a...

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Tackling blame culture

24 February 2017

Who's to blame? The first question posed whenever there is service failure, particularly in children's services. When a child is abused, seriously harmed or murdered it is almost always at the hands of the very same people who have parental responsibility to protect and nurture their kids. I don't ever...

Few would deny the need for shared learning. In the wake of a child's death learning is paramount; the lasting legacy from such tragedy has to be a change for other children. I am sure that we can all remember the learning from high profile cases like Baby P, although it was 10 years ago the findings...

As I sat among the panel at our annual young people's question time a couple of weeks ago, I looked out at a sea of expectant young people and reflected on what I knew about them, their various life experiences and why they wanted to be there. Our youth mayor; a confident and skilled emerging politician,...

Throughout my presidential year, most of my best work has been done in the reception area of the Department for Education. Occasionally this area is crowded with aspiring heads of academies and multi academy trusts - in which case I head a few doors along to the wonderful Abbey Community Centre for coffee...

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Changing the narrative

30 January 2017

Last week's blog from Alison Michalska, ADCS vice president, got me thinking about change within ADCS and our world of children's services. Those of you who read Alison's blog will know that the association turns 10 years old this year. Since its creation, there have been 11 serving presidents including...

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A decade of ADCS

24 January 2017

It's hard to believe, but 2017 marks a decade since the creation of ADCS. It was created when the law changed to create children's services authorities and the role of the director of social services came to an end. It feels like only yesterday that we started out on this shared journey together. There...