About Us

ADCS Annual Report

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services Ltd (ADCS) is the national leadership association in England for statutory directors of children’s services and their senior management teams.

Our members hold leadership roles in children’s services departments in local authorities in England. They specialise in developing, commissioning and leading the delivery of services to children, young people and their families, including education, health, youth, early years and social care services. Working in partnership with other public agencies and through the Children’s Trust, our members work to achieve tailored and joined-up services for children, whatever their identified needs.

Our Values

ADCS and its members are committed to:

  • a national framework for children’s services with clear lines of accountability and responsibility;
  • local delivery of children’s services, accountable to local communities through the democratic process;
  • the promotion of research, innovation and learning across children’s services;
  • the promotion of equality and diversity in service delivery and in the children’s workforce;
  • securing adequate and equitable funding to deliver and support the work of children’s services in every local authority;
  • to promote improved outcomes for all children, young people and their families and carers so that they are healthy and safe, can enjoy and achieve in their education, make a positive contribution to society and achieve economic well-being.

What We Do

The Association is led by its members in all areas of policy and practice. Through the contributions of its members, ADCS provides the collective voice of professionals in children’s services leadership roles on policy, practice and resourcing of the wide variety of services available to children, young people and their families, across all five Every Child Matters outcomes.

Within local government, ADCS is the professional contact point on children’s services issues with central government. The Association works closely with Ministers, government officials, the community and voluntary sectors, local government organisations and other professional bodies on designing and delivering integrated services for children and young people, inspection and developing the children’s workforce, among other issues.

ADCS’s work is undertaken through a comprehensive policy committee structure that spans the full remit of the statutory director of children’s services and through a welcoming regional branch structure. Through its national network of expert professional leaders, ADCS provides invaluable support and advice to colleagues.


The current President of the Association is Alison O'Sullivan, Director of Children's Services at Kirklees Council.

Past Presidents:

2014 - 15: Alan Wood, Hackney Council

2013 - 14: Andrew Webb, Stockport Council

2012 - 13: Debbie Jones, Lambeth Council

2011 - 12: Matt Dunkley, East Sussex County Council

2010 - 11: Marion Davis, Warwickshire County Council

2009 - 10: Kim Bromley-Derry, Newham Council

2008 - 09: Maggie Atkinson, Gateshead Council

2007 - 08: John Coughlan, Hampshire County Council & John Freeman, Dudley Council


Statutory Guidance on the Roles and Responsibilities of the Director of Children’s Services and Lead Member for Children’s Services

Revised April 2012

Further information
(DfE website)


Ordinary Membership of ADCS is open to senior colleagues in local authority Children's Services departments. For more information on Ordinary Membership and for details of Associate Membership visit our Membership Page.


Our publications section includes our annual report, the ADCS constitution and further information regarding the Association. More...