South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway child care weakness action plan endorsed

Child Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption A report called for urgent action to ensure the needs of vulnerable children were being met

A new plan of action to tackle major weaknesses in child care services in Dumfries and Galloway has been endorsed by councillors.

The strategy has been developed following a critical report from the Care Inspectorate.

It concluded that youngsters were not being adequately protected.

Former chief constable, Pat Shearer, who is interim chairman of the child protection committee, said no time was being wasted in making improvements.

Inspectors warned earlier this year that they were "not confident" that vulnerable children and young people in Dumfries and Galloway were being kept safe.

Their report called for urgent action to ensure that they were protected and their needs met.

'Key issues'

Mr Shearer said: "We have reviewed every plan for every child on the child protection register and we are going deeper than that.

"Modifications are taking place every day in that respect.

"We are clear about the key issues."

He said it was important that the initial process when a concern came in worked as well as possible.

Mr Shearer said the NHS, police and social services had to work together to ensure they had a "proper picture" of each situation.

He said that process was now working.

"That said, we have got to continually focus it and make sure it is working right," he said.

"Because if you don't start off properly then you are always challenged in the future."

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