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Continuing Professional Development for Children's Services Managers: What Works?

This paper looks at emerging evidence and good practice in the area of continuing professional development for managers of children’s services, and takes an overview about how managers can be best supported in developing their skills and knowledge.

The paper focuses particularly on ‘middle managers’, by which we mean those managers who’s role in children’s services is to manage professionals’ practice, and to translate strategic direction into operational practice. These people, variously known as ‘service managers’, ‘team managers’, ‘centre managers’, ‘practice managers’ and ‘operational managers’ play a key role in children’s services, and their skills are crucial to the safe, effective and cost-effective delivery of high quality health, education and social care.

The paper considers the activities and skills required by middle managers, and the type of support needed to develop them. The terms leadership and management development are used interchangeably as for most managers, in most situations, these themes overlap and are offered in a single programme.