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When parents drop their children off at school or college each day, they are confident that they are entering a safe environment. They understand that the adults in positions of power and authority over their children must not abuse it. They also understand that on the rare occasions where power...

I recently wrote a book with the wonderful Alice Sharpe to celebrate the importance of Dads. With so much negativity about men at the moment its worth bringing some balance to the debate. Getting Dads involved from the start has many benefits. Pleasingly, I am noticing more Dads delivering and collecting...

I recently had the pleasure of attending our Herts Awards, organised by the Virtual School for the children and young people in our care. There were over 600 entries, the highest number since the awards began 15 years ago. I don't think anyone could attend one of these fantastic events without experiencing...

Since becoming a director of children's services in May 2010, I've never known a time when we haven't had to make difficult decisions due to budget cuts and rising need for our help. Working in a relatively low-funded local authority means that we have had to ‘transform' our services on a regular basis,...

Every year we have the LEYF annual debate, named in honour of Margaret Horn, student of Octavia Hill and the first paid director of what was then a local charity Westminster Health Society. The organisation has changed immeasurably since then, but we still retain an ethos of belonging and inclusivity...

The National Children and Adult Services Conference 2018 opened on Wednesday 14 November in Manchester with speeches from ADASS President Glen Garrod, ADCS President Stuart Gallimore and Councillors Anntoinette Bramble and Ian Hudspeth from the LGA. In his opening speech to the conference, Stuart...

Yesterday was Kindness Day, and today we are halfway into Trustee Week, a good reason to thank all trustees and to attract new ones. Being a trustee is an altruistic act that can be both rewarding and challenging. Trustees provide a vital volunteering role helping to provide strategic leadership to...

It's widely reported that there's been an increase in street violence, particularly in London - with the number of knife and gun crimes rising. While the causes are complex and multifaceted, victims and perpetrators of serious youth violence often lack a relationship with a trusted adult. One way...

Listening to reports of yet more serious youth violence in the last few days and feeling sick to my core at the tragic and senseless loss of young life, and the devastation of family, friends and communities, I reflected on the continued challenges we face in trying to make a difference to the lives...

Local authorities are ambitious about improving outcomes for children but our ability to do this is being compromised by a 50 per cent reduction in our budgets since 2010 whilst at the same time more children and families are in need of help with increasingly complex needs. We also estimate that over...