Record number of female child care directors, report says

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Almost two-thirds of child care directors in England are women, the highest since records began, according to a new report.

Annual analysis by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) found that 97 of 152 upper tier local authorities in England (64%) had female directors as of 31 March 2022.

This is the highest number since the ADCS began reporting the numbers in 2008, with the proportions of female and male DCS diverging steadily since 2018, when the split was last around 50/50.

But it is still lower than the proportion of women in the total staff of social work for children (87%, according to figures from the Ministry of Education).

Steve Crocker, President of ADCS, said, “The DCS community is now much more diverse in terms of gender compared to other areas of diversity and reflects the good succession planning that has been put in place by many many tips.

Persistent lack of ethnic diversity among DCS

The ADCS figures also highlighted the continuing disparity between the representation of blacks and other ethnic minorities among administrators (5%) and among the overall workforce (23%).

Of the 94 directors who shared their ethnicity, 1% identified as black African; 1% as Black Caribbean; 1% as white and black Caribbean and 2% as white and Asian. Meanwhile, 82% identified as white British; 4% as White Irish; 8% as “other” white, while one director preferred not to state his ethnicity.

These percentages remain essentially unchanged since 2020, the first time ADCS analysis reported on ethnicity among DCS.

Crocker said in a statement“There aren’t enough black and other ethnic directors left across the country, however, we know leadership programs within the industry directly address this issue.

“It is vitally important that our workforce reflects our communities, a person’s ethnicity, gender or disability is irrelevant to their ability to do the job,” he said. -he adds.

Crocker added that ADCS wants children receiving services “to see themselves reflected in our workforce and to know that they too can aspire to a future career in child services.”

Fewer permanent directors appointed than average

47 director changes took place in 36 local authorities over the year to March 31, 2022, a turnover higher than that of 2020/21 but lower than the three previous years.

Boards appointed relatively few permanent directors (18) in 2021/22, compared to an average of 20 since 2007/08. That’s significantly higher than last year’s record 12 permanent appointments, but well below the peak of 27 in 2017-18.

As of March 31, 2022, there were 12 acting incumbents, nine of whom had been in their positions for six months or less.

“Succession planning is increasingly important in the complex world of children’s services, and all departments of children’s services are considering how they can develop and nurture the talent of future senior leaders,” said Crocker in his press release.

“It is positive to see the experience and expertise remaining in the sector and the data shows that almost all (17) of those who were appointed as permanent DCS in 2021/2022 have moved up from the level of deputy director / second level.

“Due to the statutory nature of the role, there must be a single and ultimate line of responsibility for outcomes for children and young people in one locality at any one time and the use of short-term interim arrangements before a permanent appointment is commonplace.”

“Two-Headed” Directors Continue to Decline

According to ADCS figures, there are fewer directors of children’s services who also hold legal responsibility for adult services (22) than at any time since 2010.

Since a peak of 61 “two-hatted” directors with responsibilities for both departments in 2015, there has been a steady decline year on year.

“Local authorities continue to combine and disaggregate services to meet local needs and since ADCS began recording DCS changes, more than two-thirds (108 out of 152) of local authorities have had a director” at two hats “at one point,” Crocker said in his statement. .

“It is likely that this picture will change as local authorities consider what arrangements are best for them. What remains important is that there is still a DCS in place who remains accountable for children’s outcomes at the local level.

Directors remaining in office for three years

The average duration of the mandate of the current directors is 34 months, including 36 months for the permanent holders and 6 months for the interims.

This is similar to longer-term averages of 31 months overall, with 39 months for permanent appointments and seven months for acting appointments.

A program to increase the pool of in-demand child care directors opened in 2020, funded by the Department of Education and run by the Staff College, Institute of Public Care, Skills for Care and GatenbySanderson.

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