It was announced yesterday that this autumn will see the introduction of new multi-agency child protection inspections.
Such ‘Joint Targeted Area Inspections” (JTAI) will aim to highlight “good” and “poor” practice, scrutinising and assessing the work of many local authorities including: social-care, health, police, education and probation on how well they work together to safeguard and identify vulnerable children.
These short one week inspections will primarily be led by Ofsted, and CQC representatives as well as the HMI Constabulary and HMI Probation. All proposed inspections will include a ‘deep dive’ element, with the initial six examining instances related to the most topical issues in protecting young people such as: child sexual exploitation and missing children in schools, home and care.
Ofsted’s Chief Operating Officer explained how the new inspection proposal will enable inspectorates to have increased flexibility, and provide an opportunity for all agencies to collaborate their efforts, and join up evaluation in order to deliver the highest degree of service to children. He said that: “Our proposed new inspections are shorter and more flexible. They will allow us to act swiftly where we are concerned about specific issues in an area so we can ensure that every agency is doing its part to protect our most vulnerable children.”
Again, emphasising how children are the heart of the JTAI model the CQC deputy chief inspector Sue McMillan, said:
“CQC is committed to the programme of joint inspection. Decades of inquiries have taught us that it is whole systems that fail children and young people and inspection must focus on how organisations work together to protect them.”
Furthermore, it has also been proposed that Ofsted should adopt a similar inspection protocol when carrying out single targeted agency inspections of local authorities, and local safeguarding children boards.