WM ADCS Conference 2015

Thank you to all attendees 


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Morning Keynote addresses

Paul Matthews, Chief Executive and Tracy Jelfs, Head of Children’s Services, Monmouthshire County Council



Nick Whitfield, Chief Executive, Achieving for Children


Workshops: What are the big ideas

1.Transforming/ Redesigning systems around Early Help

Dawn Roberts, Assistant Director – Early Help, Birmingham City Council, Emma Bennett, Service Director at Wolverhampton City Council and Tina McGrath, Interim Assistant Director at Solihull MBC

2.What roles do schools have in contributing to early help?

Isabel Vanderheeren, Strategic Lead – Early Help, Walsall MBC

3.What is the future for school improvement and the roles of schools?

Jim Collins, Assistant Director – Education and Corporate Parenting and Laura Johnston, Director of Children and Family Services, Telford and Wrekin Council

4.Children’s Mental Wellbeing services

Tony Oakman, Strategic Director – People Services, Dudley MBC

5.Future of Social Work Services

Richard Hancock, Head of Families First, Lee Pardy-McLaughlin, Principal Social Worker, Staffordshire County Council

6.How do we join up or work together in a Combined Authority context?

John Dixon, Interim Strategic Director – People and Beate Wagner, Head of Service for Children’s Social Care and Safeguarding, Warwickshire County Council


Ideas and actions arising from discussions on the day

  • Think collectively about what our purpose is. We can then understand who our partners and what our priorities are.
  • Scope out a proposition to create a regional head principal social worker; linking with universities; quality of practice links with universities.
  • Looking for resources as a region – commissioning services jointly.
  • Scoping out and producing an evidence based practice regional toolkit.
  • Looking at issues together, where there are similarities demographically, e.g. in early help
  • Capitalising on similarities across the region to develop win-wins (e.g. in adoption) but also recognising differences and hence limitations to working together.
  • Looking beyond the West Midlands for examples of effective innovation and good practice.
  • Investigate relationships between networks (e.g. early help and social care ADs) and think about how we link them up better.
  • Sharing a regional legal team services/commissioning services better to get better value for money.
  • Explore opportunities to work with communities more and looking into mixed regional partnerships (e.g. with Health, Police)
  • Better and consistent communication about what is happening in the region.