The Care Inspectorate has today published a progress review on services for children and young people in the Dumfries and Galloway community planning partnership area.

It comes just over a year after a joint inspection of services in the area highlighted concerns with how well some services in the area were safeguarding children.

Now, inspectors say they have found that very encouraging progress has been made on five priorities for improvement identified in April 2014.

The progress review was carried out by inspectors from the Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary in Scotland.

Their report notes: “Partners accepted fully the gravity of the inspection findings published in April 2014.

“In response to verbal feedback, they responded quickly and constructively. They demonstrated a preparedness to work more closely together and collectively raise their aspirations for children and young people.

“They developed a comprehensive improvement plan and prioritised actions to protect children and young people from abuse and neglect.”

They conclude: “We will continue to monitor progress as agreed with scrutiny partners and the Community Planning Partnership in Dumfries and Galloway.

“We would expect that improvements in processes soon begin to have a positive impact on the experience of, and outcomes for, children and we will make opportunities to gain the views of children, young people and their families as part of our on-going monitoring work.

“We will conduct a second progress review within 18 months of publication to provide assurance that change and improvement has been sustained.”

Karen Anderson, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “Chief officers have taken the findings of the first inspection very seriously and have taken concerted action to secure improvements.

“We are pleased to see them prioritising improvements in the immediate response to children and young people in need of protection.

“Partners were conducting their business through more open debate and challenge and a more cooperative approach to problem solving was evident.

“There was also stronger leadership for child protection and the work of the child protection committee.

“However, there remains a need for continued investment and focus if improvements are to be sustained, and to have a positive impact on vulnerable children and families.

“The Care Inspectorate will continue to support improvement and monitor progress and we will publish another review report within 18 months.”

Notes to editors

The progress review report is available here: