Watchdogs tell council its service to protect children can improve

Child protection services in Falkirk have been reviewed and pointers given  for improvement
Child protection services in Falkirk have been reviewed and pointers given for improvement

Children services watchdogs have told Falkirk Council and its community planning partners how they can improve their performance.

A report from the Care Inspectorate makes five recommendations to be taken on board.

It follows a joint inspection of services for children and young people in the Falkirk Council area by the Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland.

Over the nine key areas of performance it rated five as “good” and four “adequate”.

Inspectorate chief executive Karen Reid said: “Protecting young people and ensuring that the services they and their families use are of the very highest standard is crucial.

“Overall, there are several positive findings from this inspection. We saw that managers work well together to find solutions and respond to challenges. Partnership working is providing an early effective response.

“However going forward, strong collective leadership will be required to challenge traditional ways of working to enable partners to build on their successes and deliver sustainable improvement and change.”

The council works with NHS Forth Valley, Police Scotland and the voluntary sector to deliver a package of support and advice to protect youngsters most at risk.

Council leader Craig Martin, chair of the Community Planning Partnership admitted: “The inspection has highlighted areas of good practice which relate to some of the most important areas of service delivery, keeping children safe and providing support at an early age.

“This recognition is very welcome but we will, however, now focus on the indicators assessed as being ‘adequate’ and ensure we raise the bar and progress improvement in these areas.”

NHS Forth Valley’s director of nursing Professor Angela Wallace said: “The findings are encouraging and reflect the hard work and commitment that has been made to raise the profile of children’s services across the area.

“The inspectors also highlighted joint working is providing an effective early response to protect youngsters at risk of immediate harm, however I recognise we need to continue to work with our partners to drive forward further improvements.”