William Eichler 19 April 2017

Inspections to assess local protection of ‘at risk’ children announced

A new set of inspections to examine how local partner agencies - including local authorities - are working together to protect children at risk of neglect will begin next month.

The series of six joint targeted area inspections (JTAI) involving Ofsted, Care Quality Commission (CQC), HMI Constabulary and HMI Probation will assess how effectively agencies are working together in their local area to help and protect children.

The inspections will focus on the experiences of children aged between seven and 15 years old, who may be at higher risk of going missing or being exploited, or who exhibit challenging behaviours in adolescence.

Uniquely for this JTAI, inspectors will also speak with school leaders and staff to get a wider picture of how neglect is identified and referred.

‘Identifying signs of neglect in middle childhood and adolescence can be very complex, as children at this age experience and respond to neglect differently from younger children,’ said HM chief inspector Amanda Spielman.

‘However, at any age, the impact of childhood neglect can be lifelong.

‘It’s crucial that local partner agencies understand the long-term effects of neglect and recognise the need for early and appropriate intervention.

‘These inspections will provide valuable insight into the local area response to neglect. And importantly, they will highlight good practice that others can learn from.’

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