To open a pdf of the programme click here. (as at 3 November 2020)


Wednesday 4 November

10:00am – 11:30am | Double Session

Plenary 1: Official Conference Opening

James Bullion, ADASS President; Jenny Coles, ADCS President; and, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman LGA

Plenary 2: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – Inclusive Leadership in Social Care

We know that a workforce which is representative of the community it serves leads to better outcomes for people. As sector leaders this session will challenge delegates to consider how they exercise inclusive leadership and address the underrepresentation of diverse groups at senior levels in adult and children services and how we nurture, recruit and develop more diverse leaders of the future. We will hear from Cedi Frederick, Chair of North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust and Co-Chair of the ASC COVID Task Force, BAME Communities Advisory Group as well as representatives from both ADCS and ADASS who will share the work happening in this area of work across both organisations.

Cedi Frederick, Chair of North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust and Co-Chair of the ASC COVID Task Force, BAME Communities Advisory Group & Peter Molyneux, Chair of the Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network and chair of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


Tricia Pereira, Head of Operations Adults Social Care & Adult Safeguarding, Merton London Borough Council and Co-Chair of the ASC COVID Task Force, BAME Communities Advisory Group; Cath Roff Director of Adults and Health, Leeds City Council; Martin Pratt, ADCS Greater London Region Chair & Executive Director Supporting People, Camden Council; Rachael Wardell, Chair ADCS Workforce Development Policy Committee & Director of Children’s Services, Merton Council 

Chair: Cllr Paulette Hamilton, LGA

12:30pm – 1:30pm | Concurrent Webinars

WW1: Safeguarding infants, children & young people

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people is arguably the single most important statutory duty placed upon councils and their local Safeguarding Partners. This session provides an opportunity to reflect on safeguarding in relation to the pandemic and developments in practice, as well as the challenges facing partners in making sure children and young people are safe in a rapidly changing world.  We will hear from the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel on the safeguarding of babies and infants; the National Co-ordinator for local authority children’s social care on some of the challenges facing local safeguarding partnerships; and Dez Holmes, Director of Research in Practice, on safeguarding adolescents.

Dez Holmes – Director Research in Practice; Debbie Jones – national lead LA multi-agency safeguarding coordinator;  Sarah Elliott – member of the National Panel

Chair: Charlotte Ramsden ADCS Vice President and Director of People, Salford City Council

WW2: ADASS, LGA, Social Care Futures and Think Local Act Personal –  From a vision to a better future

The session will seek to connect recent initiatives setting out what leadership groups and organisations in social care want to see from reformed social care, key issues to be tackled in achieving big change and to explore how these could be taken forward, including via learning from a successful national change effort.

Anna Severwright, Co-chair, Coalition for Collaborative Care and Convener of Social Care Future;  Clenton Farquharson MBE, Chair, Think Local Act Personal Partnership Board; Neil Crowther, Convener of Social Care Future; Kathryn Smith, Chief Executive, Social Care Institute for Excellence; Stephen Chandler, ADASS Vice-President; Simon Williams, LGA Director of Social Care Improvement, Care and Health Improvement Programme; Martin Routledge, Social Care Future, Community Circles and In Control

Social Care Future is a movement for big change in social care convened by volunteers. It’s a diverse movement with people who use social care and their families at its heart, alongside professionals, support providers, commissioners, politicians, academics and more. The Social Care Future “Towards a Brighter Future” Festival is running alongside and in support of NCASC20. If you are signed up for NCASC20 you have access to this additional three days of presentations, interviews and debates – all with a strong focus on solution focussed approaches to achieving big change. Have a look at the programme and if you want to join a session just use the link! No charge but if you are minded to make a small donation you can do this via

2:30pm – 3:30pm | Concurrent Webinars

WW3: Children’s Services – Funding Issues

Funding for local government children’s services was under enormous pressure prior to the pandemic, with 8 in ten councils overspending despite increasing their budgets year on year. COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation, with lost income for councils, pandemic-related costs and increasing demand creating a perfect storm. In this session we will hear from the Children’s Commissioner for England, DfE and ADCS as to their respective priorities for children’s services in the forthcoming CSR.

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England; Jenny Coles,  ADCS President; Fran Oram, Director, Children’s Social Care – Practice and Workforce, DfE; Patrick Flack, MHCLG

Chair: Cllr Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Hertfordshire County Council

WW4:  The role of digital innovation in achieving better outcomes for residents at a more sustainable cost

In the context of the challenges currently faced by adult social care, this session will look at the opportunities to leverage the power of digital and embrace digital innovation to achieve better outcomes for residents at a more sustainable cost. We’ll explore recent examples from two councils.

We’ll hear from Cornwall Council on how they have fast-tracked the creation of a new integrated single referral system and performance dashboard as part of the Cornwall health and care system’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. These are transforming the way that people at all levels of the system are able to work towards an integrated, place-based response and improve outcomes for the people of Cornwall. We’ll also hear from the Royal Borough of Greenwich who are using the power of information to support practitioners make decisions, which is resulting in better outcomes for residents at a lower cost for the council.

Anita Cornelius,Area Director for Adult Community Services and Senior Responsible Officer for Community Intervention Offer, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Nick Davies, Assistant Director, Royal Borough of Greenwich; Jonathan Price, Joint Director, Health and Adult Care, NHS Kernow & Cornwall Council

Chair: Stephen Knight, Newton 

Glen Garrod, Executive Director of Adult Care and Community Wellbeing, Lincolnshire County Council  and ADASS Honorary Secretary.

* Time Change: 4:30pm -5:00pm

Plenary: Vicky Ford MP – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families

Jenny Coles, ADCS President and Cllr Judith Blake, Chair, Children & Young People’s Board, LGA

*Time Change: 5:10pm – 6:10pm

LGA Children and Young People Board Lead Member meeting (closed session)

Thursday 5 November

10:00am – 11:00am | Concurrent Webinars

TW1: Every decision about care is a decision about housing

The future models of care are likely to look very different, with a much stronger emphasis on the importance of home and of personalised care.  This session will explore what we collectively need to do to ensure that housing-based solutions are the default by the end of the decade?’  It will examine issues relating to people’s experience of care in different setting, reform, the role of planning and the case for significant capital investment over the coming decade.

Jeremy Porteus  Chief Executive Housing Learning Improvement Network (Housing LIN) ; Michael Voges  Executive Director ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators); Phil Crumb, Extra Care Charitable Trust; and, Alan Millward, MHCLG

Chair: Julie Ogley, Immediate Past President, ADASS

TW2: Supporting unaccompanied asylum seeking children: current challenges and long term solutions

Councils play a crucial role supporting unaccompanied children and young people and have been pushing for sustainable solutions to national challenge of caring for UASC and care leavers.  The recent consultation on the national transfer scheme looks to identified widespread agreement on the need to address parallel challenges around funding, age assessment, operational and data issues and the pressures across the whole asylum system. This interactive session will include senior government officials providing both initial findings from the consultation and their response to the recent crisis on the south coast, with Council representatives outlining their involvement in this. This is a key opportunity for attendees to inform implementation of the review by sharing views on long term, creative and collective solutions to this live and ongoing issue.

Abi Tierney Director General , Her Majesty’s Passport Office and UK Visas and Immigration, Home Office; Sophie Langdale Director, Children’s Social Care – Practice and Workforce, DfE;  & Kate Dexter Assistant Director Social Care (Corporate parenting), Norfolk

With panel including: Matt Dunkley, DCS Kent and Jenny Coles, ADCS President 

Chair: Cllr Nick Forbes, Chair, LGA Asylum, Refugee and Migration Task Group

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Plenary 4: Minding the mental health gap – leading the mental health recovery for individuals, families and communities

Local government’s role in improving and maintaining our residents’ mental wellness across the life course – from childhood to old age – has always been significant, but its importance has been further highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Aimed at delegates across children and adults services, this session will look at how councils’ leadership roles in relation to both statutory mental health services and wider wellbeing responsibilities can embed a whole family approach to improving mental health, including exploring the interdependencies between different family members’ mental wellbeing and the factors that underpin it. High profile, expert speakers will look at how councils can work with their partners to tackle immediate mental health challenges and to rebuild resilience and wellbeing amongst individuals, families and communities.

Sarah Hughes Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health; Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive, Association of Mental Health Providers  & Chair of The Care Provider Alliance.

Chair: Stephen Chandler, ADASS Vice President

1:00pm – 1:30pm 

Closed LGA meeting for adult social care lead members with Helen Whately MP, Minister for Care at the Department of Health and Social Care

 This invite only session for Councillors booked onto the conference provides a unique opportunity for members to ask questions of the Minister and share their local innovations and experiences. A link will be sent separately

2:00pm – 3:00pm | Concurrent Webinars

TW3: Return to Education 

Schools, early years settings and further education providers have worked throughout the pandemic to support children and young people both with their education and their wellbeing, while the relationships between schools and councils have flourished. As pupils return to the classroom education settings are under significant pressure as they work to put children’s mental wellbeing at the forefront while helping them to get their learning back on track. They are likely to face challenges ensuring young people return to school, settling children back into routines, supporting children through pandemic-related anxieties, managing behaviour and re-establishing the relationships that enable children to flourish. This session will allow delegates to discuss both how the return to education is progressing and the vital work being undertaken by councils in ensuring it is a success.

Prof Becky Francis, Chief Executive, Education Endowment Foundation; Gail Tolley, DCS Brent and Chair of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee; Donna Molloy, Director of Policy & Practice, Early Intervention Foundation, and, Eleanor Briggs, Director of Policy, What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.

Chair: Jenny Coles ADCS President

TW4: The Perfect Storm? Winter, Workforce, Care Markets and EU Exit

The forthcoming winter presents one of the most challenging, if not the most challenging, in the recent history of health and social care. The sector faces unprecedented challenges in terms of the sufficiency of care markets, the availability of a skilled workforce and the potential impacts of exiting the European Union on 1st January 2021. These challenges have only been further magnified by the onset of Covid-19. This session will debate these issues and what can be done to mitigate them nationally, regionally and locally.

Michelle Dyson, Director General, Department of Health and Social Care

Aileen Murphie, Director, MHCLG & Local Government VFM, National Audit Office

Matthew Winn, Director of Community Health, NHSE

Phil Holmes, ADASS Regional Chair- Yorkshire and Humber & Director of Adults, Health and Wellbeing, Doncaster Council

Chair: Councillor Richard Kemp CBE, Deputy Chair, LGA Community Wellbeing Board

4:00pm – 4:30pm

Helen Whately MP, Minister of State for Care

Chair: James Bullion, ADASS President

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA Community Wellbeing Team

4:45pm – 5:45pm | Newton session:

NCASC 2020 Leadership Speaker: in partnership with Newton – Creating a high performance culture through growth mindset and cognitive diversity

Matthew Syed, best-selling author and Sunday Times columnist, provides a fast-paced analysis of how the best organisations innovate and sustain change, even in a world that is being disrupted faster than ever before. Building upon examples in sport, business and beyond, Syed explains why and how diversity matters, and why learning from mistakes is more important than ever.

Chairs: Glen Garrod, ADASS Honorary Secretary

Friday 6 November

10:00am – 11:00am | Concurrent Webinars

FW1: Ofsted

Amanda Spielman, HMCI & Yvette Stanley, National Director, Social Care

Chair: Steve Crocker, DCS Hants & IOW and Chair, ADCS Standards, Performance & Inspection Policy Committee

FW2: An update from CQC: State of Health and Social Care in England

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care & Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive, CQC, and, Alexis Ritchie, person with lived experience and Author

Chair:  James Bullion, ADASS President

11:45am – 12:45pm | Concurrent Webinars

FW3: Funding and reform – what next for adult social care?

Covid-19 has revealed to the public at large the many strengths of adult social care, its value and its potential for supporting people to live their best life. It has also laid bare the numerous challenges it faces. With the spotlight firmly on the sector, social care is at another crucial crossroads. The decisions that are made by Government on reform and on funding will shape the size, shape and ambition for adult social care for years to come. This session will debate what lessons need to be learned from the pandemic, how they should shape the future if we are to enable people, carers and their families to live the lives they want to lead, and what barriers we need to be overcome if we are to achieve this vision.

Iain MacBeath, ADASS; Charles Tallack, Assistant Director for the REAL Centre, The Health Foundation & Anna Severwright, Convener of Social Care Future; Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman, Community Wellbeing Board & Kathy Roberts, Chair of The Care Provider Alliance

Chair: David Brindle, The Guardian

FW4: The Care Review

Earlier this year, the government announced its intention to undertake a review of the children’s care system to help ensure children in care, or those at risk of becoming looked-after, get the best care and support to overcome past experiences and live the lives they deserve. Bold and broad in scope and independently-led, the commencement of the review has been delayed due to Covid but is still high on the agenda for the entire sector. In this session we will hear from the Chief Social Worker for Children & Families, and ADCS on what a meaningful review might look like. We will also hear from a care-experienced person reflecting their hopes and suggestions for the review.

Isabelle Trowler – Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, DfE; Charlotte Ramsden – Director of People, Salford and ADCS Vice President; Yusuf Paul McCormack – Artist, Poet, Writer/Author and Trainer; and, member of Our Care, Our Say

Chair: Jenny Coles ADCS President

1:30pm – 3:00pm |

Plenary 6: The role of local government in responding to a pandemic 

There is not a single area of local government that is not affected by COVID-19. Councils and their partners have and continue to do remarkable work in addressing the challenges brought by the pandemic. Councils will have to continue to support their communities to address its impacts, respond to new problems and innovate solutions, all in the face of ongoing complexity, capacity and resource challenges. Those leading Children’s and Adult Services will have key roles both in preparing for and managing local restrictions and supporting people, particularly the most vulnerable. This closing panel session will look back on local government’s key role in responding to a global pandemic and how it has responded to some key challenges. It will also look forward to what this may mean for adult and children’s services in what is now the ‘new normal’ and the opportunities it may present for a more effective connections between central and local government and local systems.

Panel discussion Chaired by Cllr James Jamieson to include  James Bullion,  ADASS President; Jenny Coles, ADCS President;  Dr Jeanelle De Gruchy, ADPH President and Paul Najsarek Solace spokesperson for community wellbeing and Chief Executive, Ealing Council