South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway child care shows 'change in culture'

Vulnerable child Image copyright Thinkstock

A review of child care services in Dumfries and Galloway has found a "change in culture" after a critical report flagged up major weaknesses.

In April 2014, the Care Inspectorate was "not confident" vulnerable children and young people were being kept safe.

However, a second follow-up review has found action being taken in all areas identified for improvement.

The Care Inspectorate said it was pleased to see the "significant progress" being made in the region.

The 2014 report raised serious concerns about service provision in Dumfries and Galloway.

It called for urgent action to ensure that children were protected and their needs met.

'Significantly improved'

The latest review, carried out in May this year, found major improvement across the board.

"The Dumfries and Galloway partnership had accepted fully the seriousness of the inspection findings published in April 2014," inspectors noted.

"They had worked closely together on an improvement plan and had prioritised actions to protect children and young people from abuse and neglect.

"Governance arrangements had been significantly improved and strategic management strengthened.

"Partners were collectively striving to ensure services were keeping children and young people safe and working to improve their wellbeing."

Across all five areas for improvement identified in the 2014 report, partners had made progress.

In three areas progress was judged to have been "significant". These were:

  • ensuring that children and young people are protected from abuse and neglect
  • delivering a stronger collaborative leadership
  • ensuring that priority areas of need are tackled successfully to improve life chances

Karen Reid, the chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: "The safety and well-being of children and young people is everyone's responsibility and it is vital that partners work well together to ensure services improve the lives of children, young people and their families, and keep them safe from harm.

"We are pleased to note the significant progress made by the Dumfries and Galloway community planning partnership.

"This review has identified a change in culture across services."

She said there was a "much greater sense of joint responsibility" resulting in "greatly improved joint working at all levels".

"We were confident that the conditions were in place for leaders to drive improvement, and so it is important that the changes we have seen are embedded and sustained," she added.

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