An inspection of services for children and young people in Dundee has identified areas of good performance but also made important recommendations for improvement.

The inspection was led by the Care Inspectorate working in partnership with Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland.

The joint inspection of services for children and young people in the Dundee Community Planning Partnership area took place between 31 August 2015 and 30 October 2015. It covered the range of partners in the area that have a role in providing services for children, young people and families.

Across nine key indicators of performance, inspectors rated three as “good”, including the impact services were having on children and young people and assessing and responding to risks and needs.

Five indicators were evaluated as “adequate” and one, “planning and improving services” as “weak.”

The report of the inspection notes: “Our inspection took place shortly after a significant organisational change in Dundee City Council to establish a children and families service to deliver education and children’s social work services. There had been recent changes in senior staff and integrated children’s service planning arrangements were still bedding in.”

Inspectors reported that children in need of protection were being helped by the prompt intervention of staff who recognised and acted jointly to assess and respond to risks.

Arrangements for integrated children’s services planning across partners were not yet delivering on the potential to improve significantly on children and young people’s outcomes through more joined up working and shared resourcing.

Karen Reid, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “Protecting young people and ensuring that the services they and their families use are of the very highest standard is crucial.

“Overall, there are positives in this report but there are number of important areas for further development.

“Partners need to develop a strategic approach to providing parenting and family support to ensure families get the appropriate help and support at the right time.

“They should also strengthen systematic quality assurance and self-evaluation arrangements to indicate what is working well and what needs to improve, and to drive up standards of consistency and quality.

“We want to see improvement in collaborative leadership for integrated children’s services planning to identify and agree priorities to drive progress, and are confident that the current leadership will be able to build on strengths and take forward the improvements identified in the report to make the most effective use of partnership resources.”

Key strengths identified in the report included the range of health-related advice and services to children and young people, including those from seldom heard groups, being provided by The Corner,

Early help and support provided to pregnant women and the early identification and specialist support provided to those whose circumstances made them more vulnerable was also noted.

Inspectors found the Child Care and Protection Committee’s and the Vulnerable Adolescent Partnership’s work in relation to child sexual exploitation based on learning from applying the University of Bedfordshire Self-Assessment tool was working well.

The full report can be found here:
http://cinsp.in/21JMYZQ