Watchdogs consult on integrated child protection inspections

23 Jun 14

Public service inspectorates are seeking views on how they can work together to assess what local agencies are doing to help children and young people.

Under proposals published today, from April 2015, Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, the Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Inspectorate of Probation and, where appropriate, the Inspectorate of Prisons, will carry out a targeted programme of integrated inspections.

Partner inspectorates will work alongside each other examining the effectiveness of local authorities, health, police, probation and other services in helping to protect and care for children and young people. Each inspectorate will make a separate judgement about the specialist professional contribution of the services they inspect. They will also issue a judgement on the local safeguarding board, which will be a shared judgement among the inspectorates.

The move takes forward recommendations for more integrated inspection made by Professor Eileen Munro in her 2011 review of child protection.

‘The ambition is to encourage a far greater focus – from all agencies involved – on the experiences of children and the quality of the help and care they are given,’ said Debbie Jones, Ofsted’s national director for social care.

‘Ultimately, each inspectorate shares the same important aim – that of driving forward the best professional practice that makes the most positive difference.’

At the CQC, Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice, said: ‘Increasing communication and collaboration between agencies is essential in order to achieve the best outcomes for our vulnerable young people.’

Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said: ‘Children held in custody are among some of the most challenging and vulnerable in the whole country. [We] very much welcome the opportunity to be involved in work which aims to improve the way these young people are cared for and looked after.’

The consultation can be accessed via any of the inspectorate’s website and runs until September 12.

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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