Joint inspection of services to protect children and young people in Scottish Borders council area - November 2011

We have published our joint inspection report on the protection of children and young people in the Scottish Borders council area.

The inspection included services provided by health agencies, the police, the local authority and Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, as well as those provided by voluntary and independent organisations.  Joint inspection reports give an evaluation of the effectiveness of services using a published quality indicator framework focusing on 6 key areas:

  1. how well children and young people are listened to, understood and respected;
  2. how children and young people benefit from strategies to minimize harm;
  3. how children and young people are helped by the actions taken in immediate response to concerns;
  4. how well children’s and young people’s needs are met;
  5. service improvements through self-evaluation; and
  6. improvements in performance.

Services in the Scottish Borders Council area were given 2 evaluations of very good, 3 evaluations of good, 1 evaluation of satisfactory.

Inspectors found the following key strengths in how well children were protected and their needs met in the Scottish Borders.

  • Effective communication and trusting relationships with staff.
  • Local police officers working effectively with staff across services to help children keep safe and make positive choices.
  • Prompt, effective and sensitive responses from staff when immediate concerns are raised about children.

Inspectors agreed with services in the council area the following points for improvement.

  • Continue to develop support to vulnerable children and families at an early stage, ensuring they can get appropriate help at times and in ways which meets their needs.
  • Improve support to meet children’s longer-term health, education and care needs.
  • Strengthen approaches to self-evaluation, ensuring a clearer focus on outcomes for children and families.

We are confident that the services will be able to make the necessary improvements in light of the inspection findings.  As a result, we will make no more visits in connection with this inspection.  Our link inspector will maintain contact with services to support improvements.