New adults’ directors told: Be leaders, not managers

    New directors of adult services are being urged to be leaders, not managers, in a groundbreaking training programme launching this week.

    The National Skills Academy for Social Care is running the 12-month scheme for directors in England with a view to strengthening leadership at a time of unprecedented funding cuts.

    The programme, launched with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, will focus on building relationships with service users and communities and equipping directors for the demands of the job.

    It will involve a combination of residential training courses, peer-group learning, one-to-one coaching sessions and mentoring with experienced directors and council members. A total of 11 newly-appointed directors are taking part in the programme’s first year.

    Adass president Richard Jones said the initiative would help prepare new directors for the challenges of “the wider corporate and political world” of councils.

    “Managing and providing leadership to adult social services departments – which can often embrace functions ranging from libraries to housing to community safety – is an increasingly complex task,” he said.

    “Ensuring that directors are supported to rise to these challenges was the key driver in setting up this new programme.”

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