Joint Inspection For Children In The Falkirk Council Area

A report has been published today (14/6/16) following a Joint Inspection for Services for Children in the Falkirk Council area.

The Care Inspectorate took a close look at services for children, including health, education and safety, at the end of last year.

The inspection covered a range of community planning partners in the Falkirk Council area who have a role in providing services for children, young people and their families and focussed on how well services are working together to improve their lives. This included Falkirk Council, Police Scotland, NHS Forth Valley and the third sector.

Overall the Inspectors are ‘confident that the experienced and dedicated workforce is having a positive impact on the experiences of children, young people and families in Falkirk’.

Out of the nine quality indicators, all were rated good or adequate, five areas highlighted for praise include:

  • The impact on children and young people
  • The impact on families
  • Providing help and support at an early stage
  • Assessing  and responding to risks and needs
  • Planning for individual children.

Within the areas considered to be ‘Good’, significant areas of strength were identified – specifically, the partnership was praised for having staff who were seen to be committed to working collaboratively to keep children safe from harm and the response to concerns about children’s safety were viewed to be prompt and effective.  The report also highlights that Falkirk has ‘strong collective ownership of the values and principles of the Getting It Right for Every Child approach and this is continuing to support practice and develop the systems necessary to underpin early intervention.

Council Leader Craig Martin, Chair of the Community Planning Partnership said: “The inspection has highlighted areas of good practice which relate to some of the most important areas of service delivery, keeping children safe and providing support at an early stage.

“The recognition that Falkirk has a collective ownership of Getting It Right for Every Child is also very welcome. We will, however, now focus our attention on the indicators assessed as being ‘Adequate’ and ensure that we raise the bar and progress improvement actions in these areas.”

The Care Inspectorate also identified a number of areas which required further improvement. This included the need to improve the use of information and data to inform service planning and to establish a collective vision for corporate parenting at the highest level. The partnership will continue to work closely to make improvements in these areas.

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Nursing, Professor Angela Wallace said:  “The findings are encouraging and reflect the hard work and commitment which has been made to raise the profile of children’s services across the area.

“The inspectors also highlighted that joint working is providing an effective early response to protect youngsters at risk of immediate harm and we have seen increased rates of early ante-natal bookings which helps us to provide advice and support to women at an early stage. However, I recognise that we need to continue to work with our partners to drive forward further improvements in child health and local breastfeeding rates”

A number of initiatives by community planning partners are highlighted in the report as having a positive impact on children and young people, they include:

  • Children and young  people helped to stay safe online as a result of the Stay Safe Online campaign
  • Real improvements to increase the number of pupils entering positive destinations from 84.6% 2009/10 to 92.9% in 2013/14
  • Preventative health measures for childhood immunisations and smoking rates at ante-natal booking
  • 100% of primary schools met the target of delivering two hours PE per week

 Detective Superintendent Wilson Gill said: “I’m very pleased that multi-agency child protection work carried out in Falkirk has been positively commented upon within this report – we work closely with all our partners in Forth Valley to carry out risk assessments and take any necessary action to keep children safe.

“However, we will not be complacent and we will take forward the findings of the inspection to ensure those who are most vulnerable in our society continue to get the high level of service they deserve.”

The findings of the Joint Inspection of Services for Children will inform improvement planning for the Partnership and a robust action plan for improvement will be progressed through the Children’s Commission and reflected in the Integrated Children’s Services Plan.

You can read the full report here –