Care Inspectorate Praise Progress on Children’s Services in Clackmannanshire

Significant improvements have resulted in positive changes for children and young people across Clackmannanshire according to the findings of a joint inspection report.

The report, published by the Care Inspectorate, contains a progress review of a previous inspection carried out on services in the Clackmannanshire Community Planning Partnership area.  The inspection covered a range of services for children and young people including education, health, social services and those provided by the police and the voluntary sector.

In the review, inspectors noted that the partners had undertaken an enormous amount of improvement activity in a relatively short period of time, which had resulted in positive changes in practice.  A comprehensive integrated improvement plan has been developed, which prioritises short, medium and long term actions to protect children and young people from abuse and neglect and improve their overall wellbeing.  Effective collaborative leadership was motivating staff across services well and together they had created a positive energy to achieve goals which was clearly evident during the review.

The review found good practice and progress in many areas, with improvements made in processes and practices, training, joint working and planning processes.  They reported that staff were enthusiastic and motivated to improve the quality of their work and in turn improve outcomes for children and their families. The inspectors were confident that the community planning partners have the capacity to maintain their present rate of progress and will in the future achieve the goal of sustained improvement and change.

Cllr Les Sharp, Chair of the Clackmannanshire Alliance said: “I welcome the publication of this report, and the inspector’s acknowledgement of the significant progress made to ensure that all partners are working together to provide services that protect and support children, young people and their families in Clackmannanshire.  Inspectors have noted significant improvements in all of the five areas outlines in the inspection, clearer and stronger leadership has been established and inspectors are confident in our plans for the future,  and all of the partner organisations will be working hard together to continue to keep the pace of improvements.

“An Integrated Children’s Services Plan has been developed as part of the comprehensive improvement to ensure that all services build on the foundations for continuing improvement and the sense of renewed confidence in the services to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect children and young people from abuse and neglect and improve their wellbeing. ”

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Nursing, Professor Angela Wallace said:  “The findings are extremely encouraging and reflect the hard work and commitment which has been made to raise the profile of children’s services across the NHS. Partners are working more closely together to help children and young people with mental health difficulties and extra support is also in place for vulnerable pregnant women to develop parenting skills. Inspectors also highlighted the success of a project between health visitors, addiction staff and police to help safeguard young people and welcomed increased involvement of young people at key meetings. A planned increase in the number of health visitors was also noted.

“It is important that the current pace of improvements continue to provide the best outcomes for our children and young people.”

DCI Wilson Gill of the Public Protection Unit said: “Extensive work was undertaken by Police Scotland and our partners to implement the improvements recommended by the Care Inspectorate and we welcome the findings of this review.

“Through our partnership we have ensured holistic developments to the services for children and young people, and we continue to work with our partners to provide the best possible support to the families of Clackmannanshire.”