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There has been some recent national media coverage about local authorities using ‘algorithms' to predict the likelihood of a child being abused. Should the prospect of a ‘Big Brother' approach worry us, or should we be encouraged by the possibility of improving outcomes for children? Algorithms, machine...

I continue to be amazed by the extraordinary efforts of the staff working in local authorities to support their towns, cities and communities. As Alison Michalska perfectly summed it up in her blog earlier this year, ‘the impact of local government on people's lives is difficult to express, we don't...

One of the privileges that come with being the ADCS president is that you get to represent the Association at a range of interesting events. Last week I attended the first Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Mandatory Reporting Seminar to speak on this subject. The government has previously rejected...

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Diversity matters

28 September 2018

Directors of children's services (DCSs) are all kinds of different characters, but if you're at all like me, one of the things you'll cherish is the opportunity to spend time among children, young people and the wider communities in the area you serve. And one of the things you'll enjoy about that is...

The Internet and social media has revolutionised how we can access information and communicate. While some of my generation may find themselves perplexed by this modern phenomenon, children and young people are quite the opposite. Digitally literate from a young age, many primary schools across...

Now that the first few weeks of the school term are behind us, I've taken time to pause and reflect on the challenges and highlights of the summer months. As holidays become a distant memory and we build up to the inevitable budget planning round, I've found myself thinking about the summer experience...

Everyone says, the free offer is great for parents, they love it. It's just greedy providers who refuse to offer it. Well that is not true. According to the findings from the National Centre for Social Research report commissioned by the DfE about the factors associated with the take-up rate of the funded...

Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, I wish, I wish he'd go away… (A short excerpt from "Antigonish" by William Hughes Mearns.) As a child I was always intrigued, and slightly spooked, by this poem. Little did I know that it was preparation for...

Brave, brave, brave! This was the word bounding around my head as I sat beside three care experienced young people during a public meeting of the council's cabinet. They were sitting in a packed cabinet meeting, attended by the leader of the council; the deputy leader of the council; the full complement...

Childcare is too expensive said the Trades Union Congress in their well-timed report. Costs have risen by 50 per cent since 2008 and wages have only increased by 27 per cent. Parents have to top up fees and some cannot afford to return to work - especially those whose children are under two years. ...