Inspectors report significant improvement in Dumfries and Galloway children’s services

Significant progress has been made in improving services for children and young people in Dumfries and Galloway, inspectors have said.

Inspectors returned for a second follow-up review of services in the area after an initial inspection in February 2014 raised concerns and identified five priority areas for urgent improvement.

Inspectors from the Care Inspectorate, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland and staff from across the Dumfries and Galloway community planning partnership area undertook the latest review in May 2016.

Their report noted: “The Dumfries and Galloway partnership had accepted fully the seriousness of the inspection findings published in April 2014.

“They had worked closely together on an improvement plan and had prioritised actions to protect children and young people from abuse and neglect.

“Governance arrangements had been significantly improved and strategic management strengthened. Partners were collectively striving to ensure services were keeping children and young people safe and working to improve their wellbeing.”

Across all five areas for improvement identified in the 2014 report, partners had made progress.

In three areas progress was judged to have been “significant.” These were:

  • Ensuring that children and young people are protected from abuse and neglect by appropriate and timely actions including assessment of risks.
  • Ensuring that priority areas of need are tackled successfully to improve the life chances of looked after children, young people and care leavers.
  • Ensuring that stronger collaborative leadership to plan and direct the delivery of integrated children’s services results in measurable improvements in outcomes for children, young people and families.

Karen Reid, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “The safety and well-being of children and young people is everyone’s responsibility and it is vital that partners work well together to ensure services improve the lives of children, young people and their families, and keep them safe from harm.

“We are pleased to note the significant progress made by the Dumfries and Galloway community planning partnership. This reveiw has identified a change in culture across services. There was a much greater sense of joint responsibility resulting in greatly improved joint working at all levels.

“We were confident that the conditions were in place for leaders to drive improvement, and so it is important that the changes we have seen are embedded and sustained.”

The full report is available here: