Urgent Action Needed Following Damning Inspection Report of Moray Children's Services

12 February 2009

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP and the former Children's Minister who established the Children's Services Inspections process, Peter Peacock, has called for immediate action from all agencies in Moray to protect vulnerable children following a damning inspection report.

The inspection, carried out between June and September 2008 and made public today (Thursday), identifies many areas that need to be improved immediately to ensure that the most vulnerable children in Moray are properly looked after and protected.

The report's summary comments: "Inspectors were not confident that all children at risk of harm, abuse or neglect and in need of protection were receiving the help and support they needed."

Commenting Peter Peacock, said:

"This is as poor an inspection report as I have seen, it is hard to see how it could be much worse. It identifies many areas where practice by the professionals charged with looking after the welfare of our most vulnerable children is weak and unsatisfactory, there is no area of work which is regarded as even good, let alone very good or excellent.

"Some of the basic and key skills and procedures designed to protect children and which have been at the root of previous child protection tragedies are found to be sorely wanting, such as information sharing and risk assessment.

"In highlighting these major weaknesses the report makes it clear that the vulnerable children and young people of Moray require action by the Moray Council, Health Services and the other agencies involved immediately to address the major shortcomings.

"I am sure that since the Council leadership were told about the report's contents work on improvement has started and this needs to be openly discussed and the wider public need to be told what actions are underway and planned, and over what timescales improvement will take place.

"I urge all the public and voluntary agencies involved to digest this report and act swiftly.

"I have written to the Children's Minister to highlight my concerns and asking for assurances that the recommendations of the HMIE report will be implemented without delay and that HMIE will do a follow-up inspection quickly to monitor progress."

 

 

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