One-third of local authorities have no director of children’s services (DCS) or are planning to change the role, according to research published today.
This finding, revealed in a survey conducted by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) and the National College, is an early demonstration of the difficulty the government may find in implementing Eileen Munro’s recommendations about child protection. One of Munro’s strongest recommendations was to maintain the purity of the DCS role.
The ADCS study has revealed that more councils are dividing responsibility for children’s social care and education between separate directorates and merging adults’ and children’s services departments.
Munro’s report said: “The importance, as envisaged in the Children Act 2004, of appointing individuals to positions where they have specific responsibilities for children’s services should not be undermined.”
The alternatives to traditional DCS roles vary.
One DCS survey respondent said: “We are moving to a new operating model where the DCS role will be commissioners in a small core commissioning unit, with no direct line-management responsibilities.”
Another reported in the survey: “There is a separation under way between delivery and commissioning. I will lead all service delivery for people.”
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