Report Praises Improvements in Children’s Services

Inspectors have welcomed significant improvements in services for Stirling’s children and young people.

A number of concerns were raised following an inspection by the Care Inspectorate in 2014, centring on coordination of services to support families in difficulty at an early stage and weaknesses in assessment and planning.

Following a return visit, however, inspectors have now confirmed that progress is being made in all areas, with partners delivering services in the Stirling Community Planning Partnership area responding positively to the call for improvement.

The inspection looked at a range of services for children and young people including social services, education, health, police and the third sector concluding that risk assessment was stronger and children’s plans were of better quality and being reviewed more regularly.

They also found that staff in different services were working more closely together to identify families in need of help and offering that help at an early stage.

Governance and accountability for public protection had also improved they said.

Overall they concluded that partners had taken the findings of last year’s inspection very seriously and that the changes made since then were already beginning to show an improved experience for children, young people and families.

Convener of Stirling Council’s Social Care and Health Committee, Councillor Christine Simpson, said: “We very much welcome this latest inspection and the fact that it shows significant improvements have been made.

“We want nothing but the very best for all our children, young people and families and this report is a useful benchmarker, showing that we are now moving in the right direction.

“All partners are working closely together to ensure that this process of improvement continues.”

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 and the report highlights a number of positive changes relating to health which include a planned increase in the number of health visitors.

“Inspectors also noted the success of a project between health visitors, addiction staff and police to ensure early help was available to children and their families.

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

For further information, please contact: Gregor White, Senior Communications Officer, tel. 01786 233018/ email