A joint inspection of services in the East Dunbartonshire community planning partnership has found clear strengths in ensuring children and young people at risk of harm are safe, protected and supported. Some areas for improvement were also identified.

Inspectors found that initial concerns were being responded to timeously and effective collaborative practice was helping to keep children and young people safe from harm.

Risks to children and young people at risk of harm were being reduced by consistent assessment and care planning, and by the support that services delivered in response.

A range of services and initiatives were supporting children and young people at risk of harm. As some of these were recently introduced, partners were not yet able to evaluate the difference they were making for children and young people.

Children and young people at risk of harm felt valued and supported by staff to contribute to decisions about their lives. Along with their parents and carers, they were also being involved in key processes.

Service improvements had been influenced by the views of children and young people. Hearing directly from those who were at risk of harm was nevertheless an area for development.

The report recognises that the partnership had a clear vision, aims and priorities, and was focussed on delivering effective services for children and young people at risk of harm.

Management information was being effectively scrutinised to identify areas for service improvement.

In terms of areas for improvement, the inspection found that the partnership were not fully benefitting from evaluation of services. They had scope to develop a greater understanding of the difference they were making to the lives of children and young people at risk of harm.

Jackie Irvine, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “Our inspection found a number of important strengths that were having a significant and positive impact on the experiences of children and young people at risk of harm in East Dunbartonshire.

"These strengths clearly outweighed the areas for improvement and we are confident that partners in East Dunbartonshire have the capacity to make changes to service delivery in the areas identified for further development.

“We have requested that a joint action plan is provided that clearly details how the partnership will proceed with this. We will continue to offer support for improvement and monitor progress through our linking arrangements.”

The full report can be read here.