Children and young people’s services in the Borders are generally in good shape, but there is room for improvement, according to a recent joint inspection.
The Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland joined forces to look at the region’s children and young people’s services and concluded that, of its nine key indicators, four were adequate, four were good and one was very good.
Partnership working was seen as a real strength, and inspectors reported that the joint efforts of Scottish Borders Council’s community, learning and development team and third-sector organisations to deliver more effective youth work ought to be highlighted as a good practice example that showed “particular strength” and which “would be useful to community planning partnerships across Scotland”.
The impact that children’s services have on youngsters and their families was assessed as good, as was its ability to improve the wellbeing of children and young people and the provision of help and support at an early stage.
Aspects of the service that were adequate included leadership of improvement and change, assessment and responding to needs and risks, planning for individual children and planning and improving services.
Leaderdale and Melrose councillor David Parker, chairman of the Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership, said: “An inspection like this is always an opportunity to receive feedback on what could be done better.
“It is part of our commitment to the children and young people of the Borders to continually look at ways we can improve the services we provide for them, so implementing the recommendations that the Care Inspectorate have set out in their report is now a priority for us.”
NHS Borders chairman John Raine added: “This report provides us with an independent view to help us identify areas for improvement within our children and young people services while equally commending the positive work happening in the Borders.”
The inspectors noted several areas for improvement, and they are now being addressed by the partnership as a matter of priority – developing a quality assurance framework, reviewing some child protection processes, further developing performance management information and progressing self-directed support.