Joint inspection of services for children and young people in need of care and protection in Fife

Inspectors have identified key strengths in the way children and young people in need of care and protection in Fife are supported and cared for.

The Care Inspectorate is leading joint inspections which focus on how well services are working together to improve the lives of children and young people who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and neglect, and those who are, or have been, looked after by the local authority. Inspectors look at how staff across a range of services collaborate, including social work, health and education staff, police officers, and children’s reporters.

Inspectors noted that robust and effective pre-birth planning enabled the early identification, management and response to child protection and wellbeing concerns. This was ensuring vulnerable pregnant women were getting the right help and support at an early stage.

A wide range of flexible and responsive therapeutic services was effectively supporting children and young people in need of care and protection to get timely help and support to recover from abuse and trauma.

Effective, trusting relationships and nurturing care by staff and carers was positively impacting on the quality, stability and continuity of care and support for children and young people in care placements, including those young people in continuing care.

Strong partnership working and a culture of learning was helping to drive forward identified improvements. This was supported by effective leadership and a well-performing child protection committee.

Inspectors said partners should further improve their recognition and response when children and young people experience neglect or repeated instances of harm, for example because of parental substance misuse, mental ill-health or domestic abuse.

Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “The Care Inspectorate and its scrutiny partners are confident that the Fife partnership has the capacity to continue to improve and address the points for action highlighted in this report.

“This is based on the collective leadership, direction and accountability demonstrated by partners to deliver the best possible outcomes for children and young people in need of care and protection in Fife and the strong culture of learning across services underpinned by well embedded approach to self evaluation and continuous improvement to improve performance and practice.

“We were also pleased to note effective partnership working and the culture of mutual support and collaboration at strategic and operational level and the strategic focus and oversight by the child protection committee to improve multi-agency responses to keep children safe and protected.”

The report is available here: http://bit.ly/fife-servicesforcyp