The Association of Directors of Social Services is to go ahead with plans to split its adult and children’s services functions into new organisations to reflect changes in council structures.
Subject to members’ approval it will team up with the Confederation of Children’s Services Managers (Confed) to set up the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, while a new Association of Directors of Adult Services will take on the ADSS’s adult care work.
The new bodies will be “closely associated” to ensure they work together on issues affecting both adult and children’s services.
The changes, which have been discussed since last year and apply to services in England, will be voted on by members of the organisations.
In Wales there will be an ADSS Cymru to reflect social services directors’ retention of adults’ and children’s services responsibility.
Further talks are scheduled over future structures in Northern Ireland.
The ADCS will have a broader membership than the ADSS, which only accepts directors of statutory services in local authorities, and will more closely mirror Confed’s structure by accepting other local authority children’s services managers.
Confed currently has more than 1,100 members.
Confed executive director Chris Waterman said ADCS would “formalise the good work” done by the inter-agency group on children’s services, which was formed in 2002 and counts Confed and the ADSS among its members.
ADSS president Julie Jones said some people would “inevitably regret the passing of the ADSS and all it has achieved and stood for”.
However, she said the new organisations would represent the interests of children and adults “with a vigour and determination no less targeted and influential than their predecessors’.”
The new organisations are due to come into being from January 2007.