The Children Act 2004 requires every top-tier or unitary local authority in England to appoint a Director of Children's Services (DCS) and to designate a Lead Member for children's services (LM). The DCS and LM are responsible for the education and children's social services functions of the local authority. The DCS has professional responsibility for children's services; the LM has political responsibility. They have a key leadership role within the local authority and working alongside local agencies to improve outcomes for children and young people.
Statutory guidance on the roles and responsibilities of the DCS and LM was issued in 2009. The Department is consulting on a revised version of the guidance which is much shorter and less prescriptive, and we would welcome comments by Friday 6 January 2012. In the meantime, the 2009 guidance remains in force.
Guidance on the roles and responsibilities of Directors of Children’s Services and council Lead Members for Corporate Parenting towards looked after children.