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Child services getting better after 2017 report identified 'important weaknesses'

By Sarah Rollo

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SERVICES for children and young people in Moray are improving although there is still work to be done.

That is the view of inspectors, who recently re-visited the area after a report published in February 2017 identified important weaknesses in how children and young people were supported.

A team, led by the Care Inspectorate, returned to look at how the authority had worked to address six areas that needed improvement.

Moray Council's services for children and young people are improving.
Moray Council's services for children and young people are improving.

In their progress review, published this week, inspectors noted: "Leaders and senior officers had taken the findings from the joint inspection in 2016 very seriously. They had made a firm commitment to work more closely together and raise their collective aspiration for improving services to children and young people.

"They had worked to develop and implement a comprehensive improvement plan to address the six improvement areas identified in the joint inspection report.

"Partners recognised the scale of improvement and culture change required to achieve their aspirations for all children and young people in Moray, and were committed to a five year change programme."

Inspectors said community planning partners should maintain the strong momentum that has been built over the last two years to fully address the improvement actions.

They added: "While acknowledging the challenging financial context facing leaders, it will be important to sustain the resources needed to fully address the improvement actions set out in the joint inspection report in 2016."

They also said that partners should pay particular attention to quality assurance and supervision and find ways to demonstrate the difference services are making to the lives of children, young people and their families.

Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: "This is an encouraging report, and we are pleased to note partners had been working hard to make the changes necessary to improve the lives of children and young people. Through their strengthened approaches to self-evaluation, and willingness to be outward facing and learn from high performing areas, partners were adopting new ways to improve the quality of services being delivered. Senior officers are aware that there is still work to do to fully embed a rights-based child-centred culture across Moray.

“Given the progress made, and our confidence that leaders have the conditions in place for continued improvement, we will not be making any further reviews specifically in relation to the 2016 inspection."

Working with partners, the Care Inspectorate is continuing to carry out joint inspections across the country focussing on the experience and outcomes for children and young people in need of care and protection. An inspection team will visit Moray in due course as part of that programme of inspection.

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