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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Inspectors find children's services in West Dunbartonshire performing well

Written by The Editorial Team

Services for children and young people in West Dunbartonshire are improving outcomes for children and having a positive impact on their lives, inspectors have said, while noting that some services could further improve.

These are the key findings of a joint inspection of services for children and young people in the West Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership.

Inspectors looked at a wide range of services to assess how well they are working together to make a positive difference to the lives of children, young people and their families. They looked at how services are delivered by staff and assessed how well they are led, planned and organised.

Specially-trained young inspectors aged 18-24, who have personal experience of using care, met young people in the area, listening to what matters to them, and probed agencies about what they were doing to improve the quality of care for other young people.

Across nine quality indicators, inspectors found three to be ‘very good,’ four were ‘good,’ while two were ‘adequate.’

In their report, inspectors said: “Performance in improving outcomes for children and young people was good. We recognised the clear challenges partners faced in advancing the life chances of children given the high levels of enduring poverty and inequality across communities.

“Partners had a strong commitment to early intervention and had invested in approaches and services to prevent problems escalating.”

Karen Reid, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “This inspection identified a number of particular strengths that are making a positive difference for children and young people in the West Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership area. “The impact of services on the wellbeing of children and young people was very good.

“Children benefitted from positive and respectful relationships with highly committed and motivated staff.

“A wide range of innovative programmes raised awareness of risk and enabled children and young people to make informed decisions to ensure their personal safety at home, online and in the community.

“Children and young people took part in volunteering and mentoring opportunities, helping them become effective contributors in their communities.  Physical and emotional wellbeing was supported through access to universal and specialist health provision.

“However, we have also clearly laid out areas which can improve so that the lives of all children and young people across the area improve further, and continue to do so.

“For some of the most vulnerable children and young people, there was a need for greater consistency  and quality of assessment of risks and needs and in the plans to meet their needs.

“Several areas of strategic importance lacked identified measures of success. This limited the ability of partners to demonstrate how investments in early intervention, and the commitment to corporate parenting, were delivering improvements in the lives of children and young people, particularly the most vulnerable.”

The inspection was carried out by the Care Inspectorate with Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland between 29 August and 14 October 2016.

The full inspection report is available here: