Mummy says ‘Four government watchdogs have combined to introduce inspections to protect vulnerable children and young people in England.
The government launched Join Targeted Area Inspections last month to look at services which cater for children and young people.’
‘The inspections are being carried out jointly by the Care Quality Commission, which regulates health and social care in England, English education watchdog Ofsted, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation.
They will look at how health bodies, local authorities, police, youth offending, and probation services in a particular area are working together to identify, support, and protect vulnerable young people and children.
Specific areas of concern will be targeted, and the team will identify areas for improvement and examples of best practice to share with other organisations.
By this summer, each team will have completed its first ‘deep dive’ focus on children who are missing from home or care, or who are at risk of sexual exploitation. Future priorities will be decided based on the input of stakeholder organisations.
The move follows a series of high-profile cases in recent years where children were injured or killed despite being known to a number of local authorities, including the case of Baby P, Peter Connelly, who died at the age of 17 months having suffered more than 50 injuries over an eight-month period.
The roll-out of the inspections follows a successful pilot project in December, and a large-scale consultation of people working in children’s health, social work jobs, the police, probation services, and youth offending teams. You can see the results of the consultation here.
Ofsted is also now able to inspect Local Safeguarding Children Boards and local authorities, and to act where risks are found.
Eleanor Schooling, the National Director for Social Care at Ofsted, stressed the responsibility for safeguarding children can’t rest with one agency, and said the new inspections will allow swift action where problems are identified.
The probes will end in reports which set out clearly what is being done well, and what is not, and what improvements need to be made.
The joint investigations have also been welcomed by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams, Assistant Chief Inspector of Probation Alan MacDonald, and CQC Chief Inspector of General Practice Steve Field.
Mr Field said: “The positive feedback from the pilot endorses this innovation.”
The government has produced guidelines for the ‘deep dive’ inspections to be carried out by August. You can read them here.
Anything that will help protect our children and young people is so important. I welcome these inspections to protect vulnerable children.’