The ADCS Blog

Dave Hill, ADCS immediate past president, talks persuasively about changing the narrative for children in care. The lazy stereotype that these children are more likely to experience negative outcomes does a disservice to them and the dedicated people working with, and caring for, them. Dave raised this...

This is my first blog as president of the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS). On Thursday 6 April, I was joined by my family and friends, colleagues and others at the British Medical Association for my presidential inauguration. I am honored to have the opportunity to represent...

Thursday heralded the inauguration of the new ADCS president Alison Michalska. It was a grand occasion - as always many external friends and officials joined ADCS for the event. Be in no doubt my successor will be awesome! She spoke passionately from the stage in her presidential address about improving...

The fall out following the announcement of a new national funding formula (NFF) for schools has been very public and therefore hard to miss. Professional associations, teachers, parents and others have voiced their deep concerns about the impact the planned reforms will have on school budgets (the NAO...

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...