Putting young people and their families first

The Edinburgh Children’s Partnership has become the first in Scotland to receive a ‘very good’ rating from the Care Inspectorate following a recent inspection.

The partnership, which consists of the City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian, Police Scotland and the voluntary sector, is responsible for providing services for children in need of care and protection.

The joint inspection, led by the Care Inspectorate, spent five weeks earlier this year evaluating the services provided and today (Tuesday 25 June) published their findings.

The very positive report, which includes a ‘very good’ rating for the impact on young people when meeting the needs of stakeholders, recognises many strengths and praises the Partnership in areas which include:

  • Recognising and responding well when children and young people are at immediate risk of significant harm.
  • The use of strengths-based approaches has led to increased wellbeing for children and young people and is helping to increase families’ resilience.
  • More children and now being looked after in community settings as a result of planned initiatives to strengthen kinship care and keep children at home.
  • Multi-disciplinary throughcare and aftercare services were successfully providing support to young people, with promotion of their independence.

Areas for development were identified around strategic arrangements for corporate parenting and evaluating the effectiveness of all services by using quality assurance information, data and feedback to inform future priorities.  

These were identified as part the Partnership’s ongoing self-evaluation and improvement plans will be implemented to address these. 

Cllr Ian Perry, Convener for Education, Children and Families at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I am pleased to see the report highlights the positive work taking place across the city to support our children and young people and I would like to thank staff for their hard work. Strategic Inspections like this provide an excellent opportunity for us to further our knowledge of how well we are meeting children, young people and their family’s needs.

“It is encouraging the inspectors recognised the commitment shown by the council and our colleagues at NHS Lothian, Police Scotland and the voluntary sector to improve the lives of children and young people.”

Cllr Alison Dickie, Vice Convener for Education, Children and Families, said: “As a Council we have been at the forefront of listening to our young people and ensuring they have a voice. Through projects like ‘What Kind of Edinburgh’, the work of our care experienced Champions Board and Child Poverty Action Group we have consistently put young people and their families at the heart of our work.

“The report highlighted that services were responsive to the needs of children and young people and there is a willingness to try new approaches and look for solutions. Whilst we accept there are areas requiring some improvement residents should be assured that we have a solid baseline to work from to continue to improve outcomes for children in the city.”

Sally Egan, Child Health Commissioner, NHS Lothian, said: “NHS Lothian prides itself on having effective working relationships with our statutory and third sector partners in Edinburgh and we welcome the positive findings within this multi-agency inspection report. We are particularly reassured that, overall, children, young people and families considered their wellbeing was improving because of the help they received from the various services and recognise the contribution of our frontline staff in achieving this.

“We are committed to listening to and working with our children, young people and their parents/carers and our staff to ensure delivery of strength-based approaches to improving the wellbeing of and care and support to children and young people. We look forward to building on our many strengths and working in collaboration with partners in addressing areas for improvement.”

Detective Chief Inspector Martin MacLean from Edinburgh's Public Protection Unit said: "Police in Edinburgh have worked in close partnership with our colleagues at NHS Lothian and City of Edinburgh Council to demonstrate our commitment to public protection and children’s services in the Capital. This includes identifying and responding to risk, providing support to victims and families and bringing perpetrators to justice.

"We worked collaboratively with the inspection team to highlight what we felt worked well in Edinburgh, whilst our honest self-evaluation helped us identify areas where we need to do more. We are committed to self-improvement in all areas irrespective of the grades awarded by the inspection team. The inspection's findings will now assist the partnership in improving our services and response for children in Edinburgh."

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