Scots childrens care services must improve

29 May 08
More than half of residential care services for young people need to improve, Scotland's care regulator has found.

30 May 2008

More than half of residential care services for young people need to improve, Scotland's care regulator has found.

In a report published on May 28, the Care Commission says that a number of services use good practice in protecting children, planning for their care and using physical restraint.

It adds: 'However, we found that over 50% of services need to improve aspects of their practice in one or more of these areas. The challenge is for all services to achieve consistently good practice in all these areas.'

The report, Protecting children and young people in residential care: are we doing enough?, recommends that organisations and staff running young people's care services need to improve their training and assessment methods.

This was particularly the case regarding child protection, planning for young people's care and the use and recording of physical restraint. No accurate national picture exists of the use of physical restraint, the report states.

The commission said the people who provide services, together with the senior managers of the organisations running the services, have a vital role in setting the tone and culture of residential care services.

Ronnie Hill, director of children's services, said looking after children and young people in residential settings was one of the most difficult jobs in social care.

He added: 'Many of the young people will have significant social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

'The challenges facing residential care staff should not be underestimated and they need good support to do their job well.'

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