Follow-up review of children’s services in South Ayrshire shows improving picture

A follow-up review of services for children and young people in South Ayrshire has said ‘encouraging progress’ is being made across the region.

In the review published today, the Care Inspectorate said they were confident the findings of the earlier inspection were taken “very seriously” and that the South Ayrshire community planning partnership was working hard to deliver change and improvement.

Today’s update follows an October 2017 inspection which identified weaknesses in leadership, strategic planning, and how services worked together to improve the lives of children experiencing neglect.

Inspectors say encouraging progress was now being made across most of the recommendations made in October 2017.

Karen Reid, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “Chief officers are beginning to deliver clearer leadership and direction for services for children and young people in South Ayrshire.

“They have prioritised strengthening their collaborative leadership and strategic planning arrangements. Partners now need to build on this work and use it to evidence real improvements to ensure that services keep children and young people safe and work to improve their wellbeing. The children’s services planning group  is well placed to drive further improvements.
“Staff are confident that they are making a difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people. While there had been good progress in gathering performance data, it will be important for the partnership to include more qualitative data to be able to better show  the difference that is being made, in terms of improved outcomes for children and young people.

“Overall, encouraging progress is being made to reduce the numbers of children who need to be looked after away from home. The needs of children and young people who are looked after away from home are being given appropriate focus in the children’s services plan and we are encouraged that resources are being re-directed to support more coordinated, flexible and responsive community-based alternatives.
“Partners recognise they need to maintain the current momentum and energy levels if they are going to achieve sustained improvement and change. Nonetheless, we are encouraged by the clear cultural shift in the refocusing of priorities.  Staff are more confident and there are stronger signs of joint responsibility, respectful, professional and focused multi-agency approaches at all levels.”
The progress review is available here: