Designated Social Care Officer (DSCO)

The role of the Designated Social Care Officer (DSCO) is to ensure high quality social care input and engagement with the Education, Health and Care needs assessment and planning process with a particular focus on how different roles are supporting coordination of social care input into Education, Health and Care Plans.

Social care is a complex system and Children and Young People with SEND may have many different assessments or plans at any one time, such as:

  • Early help
  • Child in need
  • Child protection
  • Looked-after children
  • Pathway plans, PEPs and others
  • Transition Assessment and Progression to Adulthood

Key Responsibilities of the DSCO:

  1. A strategic role accountable for developing strategies, action plans and processes which support and enable the SEND reforms agenda to become embedded within social care operations and practice across Islington Council.

  2. Contributing to and influencing SEND organisational design, and assisting in the development of Islington’s 0-25 Children and Young People with Disabilities services, eligibility criteria and its policies.

  3. Establishing and leading a network of social care SEND ‘champions’ and linkworkers. Facilitating and overseeing the implementation of the SEND agenda within social care through this network, and gathering insight and intelligence from them and other groups such as the parent carer forum and SEND Co-Production Group to inform future planning.

  4. Responsibility for developing social care aspects of the Islington SEND Local Offer that provide relevant advice and information and meet all legislative requirements.

  5. Analysing complex and varied work strands across functions, services and agencies in order to identify and exploit opportunities for co-production and integrated working between social care, health and education to progress SEND reforms agenda.

  6. Working collaboratively with social care directors, service managers and commissioners to ensure social care meet statutory responsibilities under the Children and Families Act (2014) and Care Act (2014), and to drive forward organisational culture change aligned to the SEND reforms.

  7. Constructively challenging practice, systems, processes and protocols to enhance SEND reform compliance as part of this collaboration.

  8. Responsibility for framing social care elements of the local authority’s self-evaluation process to ensure readiness for SEND Ofsted & CQC Inspections.

  9. Involvement in and initiation of varied multi-stakeholder projects and work streams. Themes include: participation and engagement, person-centred approaches, joint working initiatives, outcomes frameworks, operational function design, IT systems connectivity, EHC processes, quality assurance, joint commissioning, Early Years, Early Help, Preparing for Adulthood and the published Local Offer.

  10. Contributing to social care workforce development by formulating programme of blended learning/training relating to the SEND reforms across varied audience profile and functions.

Designated Social Care Officer:

Melanie Davies

222 Upper Street, N1 1XR

Tel: 0207 527 4071


Alternative Contact:

Emma Brown

Tel: 020 7527 8696


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