City Efforts to Protect Children and Young People At Risk of Harm Praised

City Efforts to Protect Children and Young People At Risk of Harm Praised Image

Efforts to protect Dundee children and young people and keep them safe from harm, especially in the face of extra challenges caused by the pandemic, are being highlighted as an inspection report into local services is published. 

Councillor John Alexander is praising staff from the city’s multi-agency partnership for their dedication, and for the strong relationships they have forged with vulnerable children and young people. 

His comments come as the Care Inspectorate publishes a report of a joint inspection of services for children and young people at risk of harm in Dundee City. 

Inspectors rate city services as Good and highlight key strengths that include 

  • Committed staff who effectively recognised and responded to concerns, even as the pandemic progressed. 
  • Children and young people felt safer as a result of the strong relationships they had with key members of staff.  
  • The collaborative approach throughout the partnership had resulted in the effective development and delivery of a range of multi-agency services that helped children at risk of harm and families to receive the support they needed. 
  • Senior leaders demonstrated effective and inclusive governance and accountability in their leadership of multi-agency child protection arrangements. Senior leaders continued to work together to effectively lead and direct staff as the Covid-19 pandemic progressed. 

Councillor Alexander, who is chair of the Dundee Partnership, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank and praise staff who work across city agencies for the actions they carry out every day. 

“Their extraordinary efforts throughout the pandemic deserve to be highlighted as lockdown and restrictions made what is already a tough job even more difficult. 

“Staff formed and sustained strong relationships with children and young people which were a major factor in helping them feel safe as the pandemic continued. They have used creativity to be able to keep in touch and be available.” 

Councillor Alexander continued: “I am pleased that the inspectors also recognise the close working relationships and shared leadership commitment across public agencies and the third sector. 

“Protection of our most vulnerable children and young people is an absolute key priority in Dundee.” 

Dundee City Council chief executive and chair of the Public Protection Chief Officer Group Greg Colgan said: “The inspection report raises areas for improvement which align very closely with the self-evaluation activity of local agencies and we are already taking these forward. 

“We cannot afford to be complacent and we will use this report to help us shape and improve services for the future. 

“Staff are working hard in the face of real challenges and I would like to thank them all for their ongoing dedication to protect children and young people across Dundee.” 

Chief Superintendent Phil Davison, Divisional Commander for Tayside and deputy chair of the Public Protection Chief Officer Group, said: "Protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities is one of our top priorities and I am delighted that the continued efforts of all agencies within Dundee to safeguard children at risk has been commended.  

"The last two years has presented numerous challenges we have never before encountered when trying to identify and support vulnerable young people. Nevertheless, we have worked collaboratively and utilised all resources at our collective disposal to make a positive difference in the lives of at risk children.  

"I am grateful to all of those involved for their outstanding efforts and wish to reassure the public that we will not rest on our laurels, but will explore further opportunities to do more. " 

Elaine Torrance, Independent Chair of the Child Protection Committee, said: “I very much welcome the Care Inspectorate report which provides a comprehensive review of the current Child Protection arrangements in Dundee and I am reassured that it confirms our arrangements for protecting children in the city are good. 

“The report I believe is a fair reflection of our strengths and comments on our areas for improvement and the findings confirm the issues that we had identified as a Committee prior to the Inspection. 

“I am particularly pleased about the commentary about the ongoing support provided by staff in all agencies during the ongoing pandemic who were adaptable and flexible in their practice.  I believe staff went the extra mile to ensure that children, young people and their families continued to receive support and protection especially when schools were closed. This great effort by staff continues and we will ensure staff also receive ongoing support.  

“The Committee will now work together to address the areas identified for improvement ensuring that staff, children, young people and their families are fully involved in the process.” 

Grant Archibald, NHS Tayside chief executive, said: “I welcome this important report from the Care Inspectorate which is an endorsement of how Dundee’s multi-agency services protect and support some of the most vulnerable young members of our community.” 

He added: “I am pleased that the report recognises the commitment of staff across agencies and that their dedication to the lives of children and young people at risk of harm and their families. 

“Protecting those most at risk and continuously improving how we deliver services is a priority and the Partnership is already working to address the areas for improvement identified in the report. 

“I would like to thank all those who contributed to this report, including our staff and young people, children and their families.”

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