The systematic review of case files during the first on-site activity provides a window into the quality of operational practice, particularly about processes such as assessment and planning which underpin safe and effective practice for children and young people in need of care and protection. Inspectors review children’s records over three consecutive days and including the core records (Social Work, Health, Education, Police and SCRA) for cases where children and young people are in need of protection. For children who are not on the CPR, only the social work file is read.

Building on the successful inclusion of local file readers in the previous joint inspection models, inspectors will continue to work collaboratively with community planning partnerships (CPPs), building capacity and bringing added value to the scrutiny process wherever possible. Usually, six local file readers are included in each inspection. Each local file reader is matched with an inspector for the duration of the file reading activity. This is to provide a higher degree of moderation and discussion to promote learning through this process.

We have developed guidance for CPPs about this. Training for local file readers takes place before the file reading activity commences and can be extended to include other staff from the CPP who have a quality assurance role and would benefit from this input, up to a maximum of 15 people in total, including the six local file readers.

 

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