New strategy revealed for improving children’s services

MORAY’S COMMUNITY PLANNING PARTNERSHIP has launched their outline plans for new partnership working in the region to improve the current provision of children’s services.

The local authority is reacting to an adverse report by the Care Inspectorate into children’s services in the region.

That called for urgent action in Moray to address a raft of issues, with the Care Inspectorate chief executive saying in February: “Leaders were not directing change effectively or sufficiently holding themselves or others to account where progress was slow.”

Now staff concerned with child welfare and protection, which includes representatives from Moray Council, NHS Grampian, tsiMORAY and Police Scotland are to be briefed on a new plan of action today.

The plan outlines the partnership work taking place in children’s services across Moray to improve outcomes for children, young people and families, and has been developed as a result of collaborative working between Moray Council, NHS Grampian, Police Scotland and third sector partners.

The five overarching aims of the strategy are:

1. Children’s services are provided in a way which best safeguards, supports and promotes the wellbeing of children in the area concerned;

2. The plan ensures that any action to meet needs is taken at the earliest appropriate time and that, where appropriate, action is taken to prevent needs from arising.

3. It is most integrated from the point of view of recipients, and

4. Constitutes the best use of available resources.

5. Related services in the area are also provided in a way which safeguards, supports and promotes the wellbeing of children.

Children’s Services are those which are only provided to children or mainly for their benefit, such as health visitors, education and children and families social work.

Related Services are those which are not a children’s service as such, but can have a significant effect on children’s wellbeing – for example, leisure, housing and parental support services.

The Children and Young People’s (Scotland) Act 2014 places a duty upon local authorities and health boards to produce a children’s services plan and it also places duties on other services and the third sector to become involved in engagement and consultation about how the plan is delivered.

The strategy seeks to make Moray to be the best place in Scotland to grow up in and it is our vision that Moray will be:

  • A place where children and young people thrive
  • A place where they have a voice, have opportunities, learn and can get around
  • A place where they have a home, feel secure, healthy and nurtured
  • A place where they are able to reach their full potential

In determining our priorities, a profile of Moray’s children was undertaken early in 2017 to allow us to learn more about young people in our area. We used this data, along with other sources of evidence, to agree priorities for the next three years.

These priorities are:

  • Ambitious and confident children – to improve the life chances of children, especially the most vulnerable, by supporting them and their families at the earliest stages
  • Healthier children – children get the healthiest start in life and are supported to achieve the best possible mental health and wellbeing and there is equity for vulnerable groups
  • Safer children – to protect children from the risk of harm, abuse and neglect and promote and support safer environments and communities

A statement of the intentions issued today says: “Partners have agreed an action plan which outlines the key actions and improvements for each of our three priority areas.

“Steps have also been taken to allow us to accurately measure improvements in performance over the three years of the plan to show how much of a difference our partnership working is making to the lives of children, young people and their families.

“The Moray Chief Officers’ Group will provide strategic leadership, direction and oversight to all partnership working in Moray in relation to children’s services. This group is made up of the most senior officers in Moray from NHS Grampian, Police Scotland and Moray Council.”

The plan can be read in full here.