Mentor Plus scheme for new directors of children’s services

ADCS has commissioned the Staff College to provide each newly appointed DCS with a mentor who is an experienced DCS.

Mentoring is particularly suited to new appointments where the mentor can offer advice and guidance based on their own experience and provide examples of dealing with similar situations, issues and challenges whilst supporting the mentee in analysis, reflection and determining appropriate action.

Beyond the core mentoring scheme for new DCSs, the Staff College can also offer enhanced or further mentoring support particularly where an authority has gone into intervention or there has been a significant shift in roles (all decisions are at the discretion of the Staff College) Additional mentoring is chargeable – you can download the Staff College prospectus from

More information on Mentor Plus can be found in the Mentor Plus Handbook.

Key facts

The Mentor Plus scheme aims to:

  • Provide mentors for newly appointed DCSs, creating an effective and highly personalised professional support network during the critical early months of taking up the post
  • Give new DCSs access to experience and knowledge that they may judge to be limited in their own career to date
  • Accrue benefits to both the mentor and mentee.

Who can apply?

  • All DCSs who are newly appointed to the role will be offered a mentor
  • Directors with experience of leading other services within the local authority, most commonly adult social services, but who have the statutory remit of the director of children’s services added to their portfolio
  • Colleagues who are ‘acting-up’ in the DCSs role for a period of 6 months or more
  • Newly appointed chief executives of children’s services trusts, or other alternative delivery arrangements.


12 months

Delivery method

Newly appointed DCSs who participate in Mentor Plus will receive four mentoring sessions over a 12 month period, ideally, focused on their identified priorities for development. ADCS and the Staff College strongly urge all new DCSs to undertake a period of mentoring.

Experienced serving DCSs are invited to register as mentors with the Staff College. They are asked to complete a short pen portrait to help potential mentees choose an appropriate Mentor. Mentors also participate in an induction seminar.