Positive report for East Lothian children’s services

A joint inspection of services for children and young people in East Lothian has highlighted areas of good performance and also made recommendations where further improvement can be made.

The report, published today, follows a joint inspection led by the Care Inspectorate.

It identifies key areas for improvement in planning arrangements for integrated children’s services and in the work of the area Child Protection Committee.

It follows a programme of joint inspections carried out by teams of inspectors from the Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland.

They looked at services across East Lothian in October and November 2013.

Across nine quality indicators, three were found to be ‘very good’, two ‘good,’ three ‘adequate.’ One indicator, “planning and improving services,” was found to be ‘weak’.

The report notes: “Staff across services work very effectively together to identify children and families who are experiencing difficulties and need additional help and support.

“These children, young people and families are benefitting from high quality and flexible support services at an early stage before their difficulties get worse.

“There is a strong, child-centred culture which empowers staff to work together closely in the best interests of children and young people.

“There are consistent, high quality responses to children and young people at risk of abuse. Staff quickly and efficiently share concerns about children and young people.

“They work jointly to make very effective decisions about what they need to do to keep children and young people safe.”

The report also notes: “There are some important weaknesses in the planning arrangements for integrated children’s services and the work of the Child Protection Committee.”

It adds: “Committee members do not have the necessary information from quality assurance and self-evaluation to identify and manage risks relating to services to protect children.

“Robust and systematic joint self-evaluation across children’s services is now needed in order to achieve… sustainable change and improvement.”

The inspection report also highlighted a number of key strengths in important areas.

Annette Bruton, the Care Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, said: “Protecting young people and ensuring that the services they and their families access are of the very highest standard is a crucial part of the work we do as Scotland’s care regulator.

“By working with our partners we can ensure we build up an accurate picture of how services are performing.

“We want to answer the key question ‘how well are these services improving the lives of children, young people and their families?’

“From our inspections of care services for children and young people we know that the vast majority in Scotland are performing well.

“However, where there is room for improvement we do not hesitate to take action to ensure that everyone in Scotland can access services which meet their needs and respect their rights.”

The full report is available here: http://cinsp.in/1i46kjG