• Councils looking after record 576,000 children with SEND

    13 June 2024

    Councils are looking after record numbers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

  • ‘The best job in the sector’

    04 June 2024

    Andy Smith says it is a huge privilege to be an director of children’s services – despite the challenges those in the role face 20 years after the job was created.

  • A transformative approach to fostering

    20 May 2024

    To coincide with Foster Care Fortnight Hillingdon LBC has launched an unrivalled payment and benefits package for foster carers, says Julie Kelly.

  • Children and childhood must get the priority they deserve

    03 May 2024

    A plan for childhood should have a focus on developing the workforce, as well as a national emphasis on improving children’s outcomes in a systematic way, says Andy Smith.

  • Fighting for the children

    16 April 2024

    Incoming president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Andy Smith, talks to Ann McGauran about the optimism and opportunities he sees as the organisation tackles the challenges ahead for children and young people.

  • Wanted: A cross-party view on SEND

    16 April 2024

    The unwillingness of either of the Government contenders to make future SEND spending commitments risks the problem not getting the pre-election focus it requires, says Greg Clark

  • Learning from tragedy

    26 March 2024

    Debbie Jones looks at the lessons emerging from an independent review focused on the children found guilty of the deaths of three young people in Croydon.

  • Sticking plasters for a wound

    20 March 2024

    Short-term funding and decision-making does not solve the underlying issues surrounding children’s services. It only stores up more pressure for the future says John Pearce.

  • Meeting the needs of London’s care leavers

    20 March 2024

    The Pan London Care Leavers’ Compact is only the start of the journey to better support care-experienced young people in the capital, says Matt Raleigh.

  • A first step in tackling abuse

    20 March 2024

    As the Government finally moves to introduce mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse, councils are warning a complete programme of action is needed to significantly reduce the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people. Mark Conrad reports.

  • Government 'may have underestimated' mandatory reporting impact

    19 March 2024

    The Home Office may have underestimated the additional number of child sexual abuse (CSA) cases when mandatory reporting is introduced, experts have warned.

  • Judgment day

    13 March 2024

    Kent and Home Office face growing pressure over asylum-seeking children.

  • Reducing infant mortality in Sheffield

    06 March 2024

    No one element made the difference when it came to reducing Sheffield’s disproportionately high infant mortality rates, says Greg Fell – instead a 20-year commitment reaped incredible rewards.

  • Children’s needs not prioritised, service leaders warn

    21 February 2024

    Children’s services directors have raised concerns that Government policy does not prioritise children.

  • Warwickshire probe over councillor SEND comments

    07 February 2024

    Warwickshire CC has launched an investigation after a video showed councillors making disparaging remarks about children with special educational needs.

  • This is not a slow burning threat

    05 February 2024

    We urgently need the Government to develop a national strategy to tackle the root causes of poverty, not just the symptoms, says John Pearce.

  • Plan to fight poverty

    05 February 2024

    Adrian Dougherty sets out lessons from a joined-up approach to addressing child poverty at North of Tyne Combined Authority.

  • What Choice? Your Choice

    14 December 2023

    Director of practice at the London Innovation and Improvement Alliance Dr Karla Goodman says the Your Choice programme aimed at supporting change in young people at greatest risk of involvement in violence represents a promising development.

  • National children's placement strategy required to remove 'profiteering'

    13 December 2023

    The president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services has called for a national placement strategy to remove the risks posed by some ‘clearly profiteering’ large providers.

  • Remove the risk from large private providers

    11 December 2023

    Local authorities are the sole purchasers of children’s care placements, yet are often held to ransom by private providers. John Pearce examines the case for a comprehensive national placement strategy.