Inspection of Children's Services
Children's Services Inspection 2016
Fife Partnership’s services for children and young people were the subject of a joint inspection between August and October last year, involving all of the key inspection agencies (the Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland). The process involved the inspection team talking to a large number of staff and over 200 children, young people, parents and carers, as well as reviewing the records for a sample of 110 of our most vulnerable children and young people.
The report of the joint inspection is being published today and reflects a strong, positive message about the vision, values, hard work and dedication of staff across the partnership, as well as the positive impact that our work is having on the lives of Fife’s children and young people. You can access the report at the link below.
The inspection team were particularly positive about our strong focus on reducing inequality and the positive impact that this having on the lives of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. They “found an admirable focus on addressing poverty and disadvantage and ensuring that children get the best possible start in life” and noted that “… partners were able to demonstrate the impact of important work to tackle inequality and close outcome gaps”.
Overall, the report shows a “good” to “very good” profile across each of the three key areas of self-evaluation, with 8 of the 9 reported quality indicators evaluated as good or better – placing Fife in the top performing authorities in Scotland for improving services to children and young people.
Overview of the inspection findings
In all three key areas of evaluation covered by the joint inspection, the inspection team found:
(i) Our Children’ Services have a clear vision with a strong focus on reducing inequality
“The partnership in Fife had developed a clear vision that was well understood and received by the workforce. The overwhelming majority (97%) of respondents … were clear about their service’s vision for children, young people and families.”
(ii) The work of our staff is helping to improve significantly the lives of our children and young people, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.
“Partners were able to demonstrate the impact of important work to tackle inequality and close outcome gaps.”
“The Partnership’s impact on families was very good. Families were benefiting from responsive, supportive help and guidance from a very broad and varied range of quality and accessible services that worked well together”
(iii) Effective planning and partnership working is key to this improvement.
Our planning is: “underpinned by the principles of Getting it right for every child”, with a clear focus on “reducing inequality by improving the life chances of young people and prevention and early intervention with an emphasis on early years.”
Our approach to partnership is: “successfully overseeing the implementation of a Getting it right for every child approach, which had been well received by staff at all levels across the partnership and which was clearly enhancing joint working.”
We listen carefully to the child’s voice: “The extent of participation by children, young people, families and other stakeholders was very good … providing very positive leadership to children’s services….”
We have achieved significant improvements since the last inspection of children’s services in Fife. This reflects well on the positive and professional approach taken by staff across the partnership.
The report also reflects a number of areas for continued improvement. These have already been recognised in our children’s services planning and will continue to be a key focus for us, as we continue our improvement journey from good to great.
Further information on inspections is available on the Care Inspectorate web pages.
The Care Inspectorate have introduced The Hub – a new website providing ‘one-stop-shop’ access to a range of resources aimed at supporting improvement in the services we regulate and inspect.
Features on the site include:
- a visual library of good practice and policy documents;
- dedicated portals on the main policy developments impacting on services;
- weekly news bulletins with updates from the social care and social work sectors;
- video-based examples of innovative practice;
- event listings; and
- access to research resources and toolkits professionals can use to improve the way they work