Olly Swann

‘Shining a Light’ volume 2: children’s services essay collection

October 12, 2017

We are delighted to launch the second volume of our ‘Shining a Light’ essay collection, highlighting some of the key challenges facing children’s services.  The essays (available to download here) set out some thorny issues, capture important insights, and share valuable experiences from those at the coalface of service delivery across the sector. You will see that our authors include a care leaver, a former Local Authority Chief Executive, three Directors of Children’s Services, a Councillor, and two service providers.

The challenges faced by those working in children’s care are considerable and well documented, matched only by the pace at which new ones appear.  Since our inaugural essay collection,  demand for services has continued to escalate, cuts to preventative spend have increased, a new Minister for Children has been appointed, and Ofsted have demonstrably recognised the role they need to play in driving improvement.

Probably the most concerning headline of all over the last few months was the Local Government Association forecasting a £2 billion shortfall in funding for children’s services by 2020.  This made sobering reading, and was described by their Chairman, Lord Porter, as a bigger pressure than adult social care on council budgets.  There appears to be little urgency in Whitehall to act and address the situation.

The debates surrounding children’s services are not exclusive to the social care community, and this is reflected in the backgrounds of our authors.  Diverse in topic, the essays reveal some interesting links and themes.  Who is best to lead the drive for continuous improvement?  Are local authorities consistent enough in their approach to corporate parenting?  Is the market for child placements really broken?  Are we equipped with the skills and capabilities needed for systems leadership?  Are we creating the right environments for social workers to thrive?

We hope that this essay collection will provide interesting food for thought, and we are very pleased that our essays will be covered by The MJ.  Please do email us with your thoughts and reactions – we always welcome, and are grateful for, your feedback.  Do also feel free to share the collection within your own networks, and share online (#ShiningALight).


Shining a Light Volume 2

Click the button below to download a copy of the report in PDF format


iMPOWER is a values led consultancy dedicated to the reform of the public sector. See what we've helped to achieve.

See Our Work

Sign up for our iMPOWER iNSIGHTS newsletter

  • Jeremy Cooper
  • James Edmondson
  • Martin Cresswell
  • Sarah Atkinson
  • Olly Swann
  • Ebony Hughes
  • Amanda Kelly
  • Alastair Thompson
  • Amy Crowson
  • Ben Evans
  • Branwen Harris
  • Campbell Walker
  • Caroline Lloyd
  • Clare Askew
  • Clare Harding
  • David Colbear
  • Debbie Owen
  • Deborah Crossan
  • Dominic Luscombe
  • Dr Ed Fitzgerald
  • Edward Wallace
  • Emma Ockelford
  • Grace Warman
  • Harrie Palmer
  • Helen Bailey
  • Helena Ball
  • Henrietta Curzon
  • Jason Walton
  • Jenna Collins
  • Jenny McArdle
  • Jon Ainger
  • Kieran Brett
  • Laura Bushell
  • Leo Jones
  • Lia Chelminiak
  • Liam Booth-Smith
  • Maggie Atkinson
  • Mark Methven
  • Matan Czaczkes
  • Michael Whitmore
  • Nigel Guest
  • Olivia Page
  • Ralph Cook
  • Richard Hills
  • Samantha Griffin
  • Stuart Lindsay
  • Thomas Spencer
  • Vanessa Reeve
Latest Tweets