Joint inspection of services for children and young people

By bellmannews / January 25, 2023

Joint inspection of services for children and young people at risk of harm rates partnership ‘very good’

A joint inspection of services for children and young people at risk of harm in Aberdeenshire has rated the partnership as ‘very good’.

The findings of the report have been welcomed by partners which includes Aberdeenshire Council, NHS Grampian, Police Scotland Northeast, Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action and Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.

The report states that: “The work of partners was making a positive difference to the lives of children and young people at risk of harm.

“Staff evidenced clear commitment to their roles, and we heard some very good examples from staff, children and family members of how they jointly helped children and young people to have positive outcomes.”

The inspection took place between July and November 2022, with the Care Inspectorate scrutinising the records of children at risk of harm alongside discussions with staff, children, young people and families to share their experiences.

Chair of the Executive Group for Public Protection Jim Savege said: “As a partnership we have an agreed, shared and ambitious vision to make Aberdeenshire the best place in Scotland to grow up.

“We do this by providing children, young people and families with the right support, in the right place at the right time to help them reach individual potential and goals.”

The Care Inspectorate found that staff were using well-established child protection processes effectively to keep children and young people safe and that a wide range of targeted and community-led initiatives provided children, young people and families with support that had made a positive difference to their lives.

The report noted that staff worked hard to build strong relationships with children, young people and their families and that children, young people, parents and carers felt listened to, heard and supported by staff.

The partnership was found to have a collective drive and ambition to constantly improve the delivery of services and that partners were encouraging the active involvement of children, young people and families in service planning and improvement.

Chair of the Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership Cllr Anne Stirling said: “The Getting it Right for Every Child approach is well-embedded, helping staff work together to identify, assess and plan support for children and their families.

“The report highlighted the strength of our community planning partners – working together to achieve positive outcomes – demonstrating how we are improving the lives of children and their families.

“That is at the heart of our aims and the priorities in our children’s services plan ensure we maintain a focus on keeping children and young people safe from harm across the area.”

The report found notable strengths in the range of targeted community-led initiatives helping families and communities in the areas that needed it most.

The initiatives had helped reduce the impact of poverty for children, young people and families who received support and examples included a mobile pantry that provided access to low-cost food; welfare rights workers in local community groups; provision of equipment and support to help families access the internet and provision of grants to combat fuel poverty.

Chief Superintendent Graeme Mackie said: “Police Scotland recognises that we are only one part in the partnership chain which must provide support to our children and young people, and we work closely with other organisations both locally and nationally to respond to their needs.

“Those needs must be shared with the right person, as early as possible and we are committed to playing our part in keeping youngsters safe. I am delighted by the outcome of the inspection, which sets a benchmark for continuous improvement.”

Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action Chief Executive Officer Dan Shaw said: “Aberdeenshire’s community, voluntary and third sector is strong and vibrant; its role in keeping children and young people safe from the risk of harm is a crucial one and AVA is delighted to see that this report recognises that.

“The sector is viewed as an equal partner at strategic level, and individual organisations are afforded professional respect for what they provide for children and young people at operational levels.

“This report also identifies that those cross-sector and inter-level partnerships are significant for the delivery of better outcomes for children and young people, not only as a collective across Aberdeenshire, but also for the individuals that they are.”

NHS Grampian Chief Executive Prof Caroline Hiscox said: “I welcome publication of this report, which notes the hard work of teams such as health visitors and family nurse partnerships in building positive relationships with families.

“The impact of positive partnership working is evident in this report. Getting it right for our children and young people is a key priority and NHS Grampian is committed to working closely with all partners to achieve this.”