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A new report has found children in Renfrewshire are living healthier, safer lives thanks to the work of the local Community Planning Partnership.

The report, compiled by the Care Inspectorate, examines all of the services provided for all children, young people and families in Renfrewshire by the Community Planning Partnership. The partnership includes: Engage Renfrewshire, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Police Scotland, Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and voluntary sector organisations.

The Care Inspectorate inspected Renfrewshire’s services between December 2014 and February 2015. It rated them amongst the best in Scotland, awarding six very goods, two goods and an adequate across the nine quality indicators that were evaluated.

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Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Policy Board, said, “Our vision for Renfrewshire’s children and young people is to that they will have the best possible start in life, that they are healthy, that they are confident and that they grow up free from the disadvantages caused by poverty and deprivation.

“Renfrewshire Council and its community planning partners are working to make that vision a reality. Renfrewshire is the home of early intervention, of taking action before problems begin or tackling them before they get worse.

“Our multi-million pound Families First programme is helping families to build a better future for their children and we are also moving forward to address the recommendations of Renfrewshire’s Tackling Poverty Commission. It is encouraging to see the work of the Community Planning Partnership recognised by this new, much wider inspection.”

Dr Margaret McGuire Nurse Director NHSGGC said, “Our staff work together in partnership in order to ensure the best possible start and outcomes for the children in Renfrewshire. I am delighted that the report recognises the multi-agency working and robust leadership in place in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for children in the Renfrewshire area.”

Chief Superintendent Jim Downie, Divisional Commander K Division, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, said, “I am pleased that the report recognises the strong leadership and very good partnership working which exists locally and that it reflects positively on the commitment and dedication of all those who work extremely hard on a daily basis trying to improve the lives and outcomes for children in the Renfrewshire area.

“A major strength across the services is the high quality and trusting relationships which exist between professionals, support agencies and all of the children and families that they are involved with. I believe that the success reflected in the report is largely down to the genuine partnership approach we have which is absolutely vital to deliver better outcomes for children and young people across Renfrewshire and realise our collective vision around this.

“Today’s report demonstrates that there are considerable opportunities available for all children and young people across Renfrewshire to improve their lives and futures, including those children and families who sometimes need additional support or protection.”

The Care Inspectorate report said, “We were confident that the lives of many children and young people growing up in Renfrewshire were improving as a result of the services delivered by the Community Planning Partnership.”

The report highlighted the extensive research carried out by the Community Planning Partnership to identify the services required by local communities, “Partners were well informed about the needs of children, their families and their communities and had focused planning priorities and targeted resources to where they were needed most.”

The, “high quality, trusting relationship between staff and children and their families,” was identified as a, “major strength.” Staff were also praised for being highly committed and responsive.

The report said, “Investment in early intervention, preventative parenting programmes and supports were successfully having a positive impact on family wellbeing.

“Valuable, intensive work was being undertaken to promote effective parenting and prevent family breakdown.

“Children and young people in need of protection were helped to keep safe and risks to their safety and wellbeing were identified in good time by effective, multi-agency action, supported by early information sharing and proportionate risk management.”

The inspectors noted some areas for improvement, including strengthening recording processes across the Community Planning Partnership, more effective use of chronologies (timelines) and better SMART (Specific Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound) planning. These issues have been addressed in the 10 months since the inspection.

The report also cited a number of examples of good practice including:

  • The Safer Choices Missing Service for young people who have gone missing and may be at risk of sexual exploitation
  • The multi-award winning Street Stuff scheme, which has contributed to a 75% drop in anti-social behaviour and low-level offending in Renfrewshire since 2009
  • The Family Assessment and Contact Team (FACT), which has played a key part in making sure quick and effective decisions are made to secure permanent families for looked after babies and young children.