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Second phase of government backed DCS retention scheme launched

The second phase of a government backed scheme intended to address issues around recruitment and retention of Directors of Children’s Services (DCS) has been launched.

The scheme, called Upon, was launched in response to high DCS turnover levels as highlighted by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS).

The first Upon Programme, launched in November 2020, has been working with 20 aspirant directors and the second phase is now looking to recruit 35 candidates for the second phase, which will begin in September and run until March 2022.

The programme, led by a consortium formed between The Staff College, Institute of Public Care, Skills for Care and Gatenby Sanderson, is a blend of virtual and face-to-face learning. As well as eight “taught” days, candidates take part in learning visits, action learning and leadership challenge activities. Content is tailored around the needs of the cohort, using the skills and experience of participants as well as the expertise of facilitators and contributors.

Jo Davidson, principal of The Staff College, said “We are extremely pleased that we are able to increase the number of participants on our programme. We are confident the benefits will be far reaching long after the course completion for all those who rely upon our work”.