A joint inspection of services in the North Ayrshire community planning partnership area has found strengths in ensuring children and young people at risk of harm are safe, protected and supported.

At the request of Scottish Ministers, the Care Inspectorate leads joint inspections of services for children and young people at risk of harm. Inspectors looked at how staff were working together across a range of services in the North Ayrshire community planning partnership area, including social work, health and education staff, police officers, and children’s reporters.

The regulator noted that the partnership’s recognition and initial response to risk was a strength, saying staff took timely and appropriate action to keep children safe.

Overall, key processes for assessing and managing risk were established and working well. 

Effective oversight and scrutiny of child protection performance was provided by the chief officers’ group and child protection committee.

The partners involved in community planning had a well-established approach to gathering and using performance data to inform and support improvement activity. 

However, inspectors also noted a need for improvement in some areas.

The partnership has been asked to further develop how it uses outcome data to demonstrate the difference services are making in keeping children safe. 

Continued attention was also needed to ensure all children and young people are meaningfully involved in decisions about their lives and in the development of future service provision. 

Edith Macintosh, interim Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “The Care Inspectorate and our scrutiny partners are confident that the partnership in North Ayrshire has the capacity to continue to improve and to address the points highlighted in this report.

“The partnership will need to maintain its strong focus on developing its systematic use of data, quality assurance and joint self-evaluation to help understand what differences services are making and what needs to change. Partners should continue with their improvement plans to ensure all children and young people are meaningfully involved in decisions affecting them and in further improving services.

“Based on our confidence in the partnership’s strengths and commitment to continuous improvement, this joint inspection is now concluded.”

The Care Inspectorate will ask North Ayrshire community planning partners for evidence that the areas for improvement identified in this report are included in appropriate action plans, which should clearly detail how the partnership will make improvements in the key areas identified. The Care Inspectorate will monitor the partnership’s progress and continue to offer improvement support through their link inspector arrangements and coordinate further support from scrutiny partners as necessary.

The full report can be read here.

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