Childrens services

  • Youth justice is in need of a redesign

    01 December 2021

    Shocking television exposure of aggressive staff behaviour towards children at the Medway Secure Training Centre should have been a watershed moment, but five years on this is still not the case, says Charlotte Ramsden


  • Selling Stoke’s narrative

    24 November 2021

    Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Cllr Abi Brown, talks to Heather Jameson about her journey to the top and what she has learned about winning red wall seats.


  • Spinning plates to balance budgets

    24 November 2021

    How do we reduce budgets that have been baked into service provision forever to pay for a step change in direction, asks Tracie Langley.


  • Boosting children’s chances

    23 November 2021

    Chair of the independent review of children’s social care Josh MacAlister speaks to Ann McGauran about the inquiry’s progress so far and his hopes for a simpler system built on firmer foundations.


  • CCN conference: MacAlister moots national children's care service

    22 November 2021

    Some parts of children’s social services may be better provided at a national level, the chair of an independent review has told the County Councils' Network conference.


  • Caring for care leavers: The Covenant Employers’ Charter

    17 November 2021

    A helping hand in the form of a well-meaning mentor, some CV advice, interview preparation… everything can make a difference to young care leavers. And as Julie Towers explains, a new charter has been launched to help them flourish.


  • Let’s take a deep breath and try something different

    26 October 2021

    Tackling the worsening children's placement capacity crisis requires councils and the private and voluntary sectors to stop seeing each other as the enemy, says Léonie Cowen.


  • ‘It’s about levelling up’

    06 October 2021

    Pam Smith, Karen James and Andrea Green talk to Ann McGauran about how their strong relationship as leaders has helped their teams provide a system of support for health and social care in Stockport.


  • Putting it right

    05 October 2021

    What does the future hold for children’s social care and what are the priorities for reform? Ann McGauran reports from a Westminster Education Forum conference.


  • Domestic violence and its betrayal

    29 September 2021

    The Domestic Abuse Act could and should have gone further ‘particularly and most notably around funding, state support and restitution’ argues Stephen Young.


  • Another route to reform?

    19 September 2021

    Dealing with multiple emergencies, and a funding crisis with nothing but challenging times ahead, local government needs reform more than ever. Paul Abraham explores what a practical evolution of public services could look like and what steps we can take in the short-term to get us there


  • Three priorities for the new education secretary  

    17 September 2021

    Donna Molloy of the Early Intervention Foundation outlines three priorities for the new secretary of state for education Nadhim Zahawi and says there’s a ‘window of opportunity’ for positive change.


  • Keeping the safety net

    06 September 2021

    Local authority leadership is invaluable to Transitional Safeguarding and councils are ideally placed to enable complexity-attuned commissioning, says Dez Holmes.


  • Avoiding another Lambeth

    31 August 2021

    Richard Scorer says the obvious question hanging over the report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse on the experiences of children in Lambeth’s care is are children safe in local authority care today?


  • Integrated early years services – the benefits are clear

    31 August 2021

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies’ report on the long-term benefits of Sure Start offers a rare opportunity to build on a strong evidence base to design the new Family Hubs programme, say Sarah Cattan and Christine Farquharson.


  • Peers call for joined up funding for children and families

    10 August 2021

    Peers have urged Cabinet ministers to produce a cross-Whitehall bid for funding for vulnerable children and their families in the next Spending Review.


  • Children 'still at risk'

    04 August 2021

    Young people are still being put at risk by an ineffective child safeguarding process, experts have claimed.


  • Birmingham faces intervention on SEND

    27 July 2021

    Birmingham City Council faces a further intervention after a damning Ofsted report revealed it was not making progress.


  • Catching up with lost learning

    21 July 2021

    There is no national strategy to help children recover lost learning and promote emotional health and wellbeing, writes Charlotte Ramsden from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.


  • How digital disruption can deliver better futures

    21 July 2021

    Disrupting youth crime and exploitation through technology provides a chance to find and support the vulnerable and achieve radical change, say Dr Carol Homden, Amanda Kelly and Tim Aldridge.