‘Councils should get central advice cash’

Councils should be given ring-fenced funding to commission advice and expertise on children’s services if and when they need it, a leading think-tank will propose.

The research from Demos, out next month, will argue that government budgets for advisers should be devolved to councils to allow them to commission advice from government or other organisations.

The report will say that advisers are currently assigned according to the “organisational logic” of the Department for Education and Skills and other departments rather than the needs of local authorities.

Ian Johnston, director of the British Association of Social Workers, welcomed the idea, saying it would allow councils to receive tailored advice. “While they [the government] talk about celebrating diversity, in actual fact they don’t,” he said.

The study also proposes that at least one member of every children’s services inspection team should be someone who currently works in a different local authority.

  • The Leadership Imperative from www.demos.co.uk

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