ADCS is a member-led organisation. Our strength and credibility is derived from the involvement of members. We want to ensure the leadership voice of local authority children’s services departments and children's trusts is heard on the national stage.

Policy Committees

All members of ADCS are eligible, and are encouraged, to join and contribute to the work of our six national policy committees. This is where we consider all aspects of children’s services policy and practice. Our national committees also lead on the development of consultation responses and submissions of evidence to inquiries as well as ADCS policy position papers. Each committee meets virtually around 5 times a year, with each meeting lasting between 1.5 and 2 hours. 

Education looks at all aspects of education from the early years to FE, skills and training plus assessment, school improvement and standards. This group is chaired by Heather Sandy, DCS Lincolnshire and supported by Madeline Jackson, Policy and Press Officer.

Families, Communities & Young People covers safeguarding, youth work, youth justice, child poverty, family justice, preventative services and the early years. This group is chaired by Sara Tough, DCS Norfolk and supported by Katy Block, Policy Officer.

Health, Care & Additional Needs looks at all forms of permanence, SEND and the health and wellbeing of children and families. This group is chaired by Nigel Minns, DCS Warwickshire and supported by Sarah Wilson, Policy Officer.

Resources & Strategy covers all aspects of funding for children’s services, commissioning, school place planning, capital and admissions. This group is chaired by Chris Munday, DCS Barnet and supported by Sarah Wilson, Policy and Press Officer.

Standards, Performance & Inspection covers the breadth of inspection activity, Regional Improvement and Innovation Alliances, intervention, data and performance management. This group is chaired by Andy Smith, DCS, Derby City Council and supported by Katy Block, Policy Officer.

Workforce takes in professional standards and registration, training, qualifications and workforce planning. This group is chaired by Nicola Curley, DCS Rotherham and supported by Madeline Jackson, Policy Officer.

We’re particularly keen to diversify regional representation on our national groups so that our engagements with government, and others, accurately reflects what is happening in local areas as they develop new policies and guidance, for example. If you would like to find out more about a specific group, please get in touch with the relevant ADCS policy officer directly

Did You Know…?

The Association is a company limited by guarantee. It provides a collective voice for those leading local authority children’s services, offers practical and professional advice to policymakers highlighting the reality of implementing new initiatives and provides a national forum for developing policy ideas.

Stand for Election

Any Ordinary Member can stand to be an Elected Director on the ADCS Board of Directors. All DCSs are eligible to stand for election as Vice President, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer or Chair of a policy committee.

How Do We Do It?

  • By working with ministers, senior civil servants, Ofsted and other inspectorates, Local Government Association, Solace, ADASS, the community and voluntary sectors and other key national partners to ensure that the voice of professionals in children’s services is heard loud and clear.
  • By giving evidence to parliamentary inquiries and by responding to formal and informal consultations.
  • By being represented on over 100 external national groups.
  • By voicing the perspectives of our members in the trade and in the national press and through policy position papers.