Services for children and young people in Moray

Services for children and young people in Moray are improving though there is still more work to be done.

It follows an inspection report published in February 2017 which identified important weaknesses in how children and young people were supported in the area, with improvements needed in leadership, strategic planning, and how services worked together to improve the lives of children experiencing neglect.

An inspection team, led by the Care Inspectorate, recently re-visited Moray to check on the progress made in addressing the six improvement areas identified in the first inspection.

In their latest progress review, published today, inspectors noted: “Leaders and senior officers had taken the findings from the joint inspection in 2016 very seriously.

“They had made a firm commitment to work more closely together and raise their collective aspiration for improving services to children and young people.

“They had worked to develop and implement a comprehensive improvement plan to address the six improvement areas identified in the joint inspection report.

“Partners recognised the scale of improvement and culture change required to achieve their aspirations for all children and young people in Moray, and were committed to a five year change programme.

“Governance and reporting arrangements had been significantly strengthened and partners had prioritised the development and implementation of quality assurance approaches to improve standards of operational practice.

Staff had developed a greater awareness and understanding of the impact of neglectful parenting on children and young people.

Inspectors said community planning partners should maintain the strong momentum that has been built over the last two years to fully address the improvement actions set out in the report of the joint inspection in 2016.

They added: “While acknowledging the challenging financial context facing leaders, it will be important to sustain the resources needed to fully address the improvement actions set out in the joint inspection report in 2016”.

They also said that partnersshould pay particular attention to quality assurance and supervision and find ways to demonstrate the difference services are making to the lives of children, young people and their families.

Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “This is an encouraging report, and we are pleased to note partners had been working hard to make the changes necessary to improve the lives of children and young people.

Through their strengthened approaches to self-evaluation, and willingness to be outward facing and learn from high performing areas, partners were adopting new ways to improve the quality of services being delivered.  Senior officers are aware that there is still work  to do to fully embed a rights-based child-centred culture across Moray.

“Given the progress made, and our confidence that leaders have the conditions in place for continued improvement, we will not be making any further reviews specifically in relation to the 2016 inspection.

“The Care Inspectorate and scrutiny partners are continuing to collaborate to carry out joint inspections across the country, focussing on the experience and outcomes for children and young people in need of care and protection.

“An inspection team will visit Moray in due course as part of that programme of inspection.”

The review is available here: http://bit.ly/progressreview-moray