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The Department of Community and Children's Services (DCCS) has a wide remit to provide care and support to the residential and worker population of the City of London. It is responsible for:

  • all the people, housing, education, social care and community services for the 7,600-strong residential community within the Square Mile
  • public health, leisure and adult education for both residents and the 400,000 people working in the City
  • building new affordable homes and for the maintenance and repairs programme of our existing properties including the Barbican Estate and 11 other estates situated in six London boroughs.

Policy and strategy

Department of Community and Children's Services (DCCS) Business Plan

A new DCCS Business Plan was approved in May 2017. This continues on from the Roadmap to Outstanding Services Business Plan that covered the period 2015-17.

Our journey continues to deliver outstanding services and to focus on improving outcomes for the users of our services.

Our new business sets out five new departmental priority objectives:

  1. Safe – People of all ages live in safe communities, our homes are safe and well maintained and our estates are protected from harm.
  2. Potential – People of all ages can achieve their ambitions through education, training and lifelong-learning.
  3. Independence, involvement and choice – People of all ages can live independently, be active in their communities and exercise choice over their services.
  4. Health and wellbeing – People of all ages enjoy good health and wellbeing.
  5. Community – People of all ages feel part of, engaged with and able to shape their community.

Under each of the above priority objectives we have set out the outcomes we aim to deliver for users of our services. Each division within DCCS will be able to identify outcomes under one or a number of the above priority objectives that will inform service, team and individual work plans.

Early Years Strategy 2015-2018

The primary aim of the Early Years strategy is to improve outcomes for children in the City of London aged zero to five years. It also includes objectives for children aged up to ten and their families who use out-of-school childcare, and children and young people aged up to 25 who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The Early Years Strategy 2015-2018 (445KB) contains an action plan that sets out tasks through which the seven objectives of the strategy will be achieved.

City of London Corporation Education Strategy 2016-2019

We are committed to providing access to excellent education and learning opportunities within and beyond the Square Mile. We want to educate and inspire children and young people to achieve their full potential.

Our strategy (300KB) outlines how we will achieve this though five strategic objectives

  1. To promote and support excellent education and access to higher education
  2. To strive for excellence in the City schools
  3. To inspire children through an enriched education and outreach opportunities
  4. To promote an effective transition from education to employment
  5. To explore opportunities to expand the City's education portfolio and influence on education throughout London

The Children and Young People's Plan

This is a single, strategic, overarching plan for all services provided for children and young people (2MB) across the City. It is focused on a number of shared strategic priorities that will drive the continued improvement in outcomes for children and young people.

See also: The Childcare Act 2004

The Early Help Strategy​

The Early Help Strategy 2015 (235KB) describes how the City's Early Help service is delivered. This is a multi-agency approach to safeguarding children. It ensures that families causing concern are referred for support before their needs worsen to the point where social care is required.


How we are governed

The work of Children and Families Services is governed by the wider City of London Corporation and various partner organisations.

Children's Partnership Board

The Children’s Partnership Board (CPB) will provide a focus and forum for partnership work to improve outcomes for children and young people by championing, developing and delivering the Children and Young People’s Plan.

Key Responsibilities

  • Championing our local vision for children, young people and their families
  • Overseeing and supporting delivery of our Children and Young People’s Plan by initiating, developing and monitoring partnership work
  • Providing a forum for shared learning and development and ‘join up’ of services, strategies and systems
  • Championing engagement and co-production, including with the City Youth Forum, Children in Care Council and SEND Parents Forum
  • Providing a vehicle for oversight and implementation of the CYPP linking to the Health and Wellbeing Board, City and Hackney Children’s Safeguarding Board, Integrated Commissioning Programme (Children and Maternity), Safer City Partnership and City Corporation CCS Grand Committee.

Members of the CPB will be expected to support partnership work to improve outcomes for children and young people and provide leadership on the CYPP within their organisations.

Partner organisations

City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board​

The City of London jointly leads the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board (CHSCB) along with the London Borough of Hackney. The Board is made up of senior representatives from its member groups and sub-committees, which carry out the Board's responsibilities. All sub-committees report back to the Board which meets quarterly. The City of London has a sub-committee which reports to the CHSCB and to the City's Corporate Parenting Task group.

NHS East London and the City

The three primary care trusts serving the City and Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets are working together as NHS East London and the City.

These trusts have joined forces to improve health services for local people, and they will also be working in partnership with local authorities to support the development of GP commissioning consortia. A single board is accountable for ensuring the responsibilities of the three primary care trusts are carried out.


​The Department of Community and Children's Services (DCCS) Commissioning team's portfolio includes Housing, Adults Services, Children and Families, Education and Early Years, Adult learning, and Public Health services.

We have a combination of in-house, spot purchased and commissioned services.

Our services may be commissioned jointly with other local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, voluntary and private sector organisations, and consortiums.

Our commissioning approach is to:

  • be collaborative
  • be outcome-focused
  • encourage innovation
  • have a strong focus on personalisation
  • incorporate continuous improvement
  • have our communities at the heart of all we do
  • make the City of London a place where the voluntary sector, SMEs and social enterprises want to do business.

Take a look at our commissioning prospectuses for Children and Young People’s Services: commissioning prospectus (800KB) and Adults' Services: commissioning prospectus (662KB).


Our tenders are advertised via Capital E-sourcing and, where appropriate, we undertake market involvement in the development of our service specifications.

Joint local area SEND inspection 2018

Between 12-16 March 2018, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted a joint inspection of the local area of the City of London to judge the effectiveness of the area in implementing the disability and special educational needs (SEN) reforms, as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.

Inspectors spoke with children and young people who have SEN and/or disabilities, parents and carers, local authority and National Health Service (NHS) officers. They visited a range of providers and spoke to leaders, staff and governors about how they were implementing the special educational needs reforms.

Our inspection letter outlines findings from the inspection, including some areas of strengths and areas for further improvement.

Find out more Joint local area SEND inspection letter (345KB)

Ofsted inspection 2016

In July 2016, Ofsted inspected the Department of Community and Children's Services to assess the quality and effectiveness of its services for children and young people in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers.

The inspection report (600KB) was published on 20 September. The report gave the City of London an overall judgement of Good, with some features found to be Outstanding. The City is the sixth local authority in London to be judged Good, out of 22 so far inspected.

Judgements of Outstanding were received for:

  • Leadership, Management and Governance. The City is only the sixth authority in the country to achieve this.
  • The City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board, making it the first local safeguarding children's board (LSCB) in the country to be judged as Outstanding in the effectiveness of its services.

Other key findings:

  • The senior leadership team for children's services takes an ambitious and child-focused approach to continuous service improvement. Governance arrangements offer firm challenge.
  • City of London colleagues and external partners have taken considerable steps to ensure they know the needs of children, young people, carers and their families.
  • City of London colleagues and partners have a clear understanding of local thresholds of need and support.
  • Early Help services are effective and underpinned by a solid strategy.
  • Social work services respond swiftly when appropriate.
  • The City of London is a caring and inspirational corporate parent. All children looked after experience good outcomes, and some are doing exceptionally well in the context of their life experiences.
  • The City of London is committed to its care leavers and continues support until, and sometimes beyond, the age of 25.
  • Social workers stay in touch with care leavers and work closely with other services to ensure that young people reach their potential.
  • The City of London encourages young people to share their views to ensure young voices are heard in the City.
  • The City of London's approach to increasing the skills and abilities of childcare professionals to provide outstanding services is exemplary.
  • Thorough quality assurance processes and excellent performance information enable leaders to routinely identify where services for children need to be improved in order to be consistently good or better than good.