Children’s strategy success in Argyll and Bute

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Health chiefs have reflected on a successful first year of a project to provide better services for young people.

At the latest meeting of the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), head of children and families Alex Taylor delivered a positive report on the Children and Young People’s Services Plan’s (CYPSP) first 12 months.

But a document produced for the meeting shows that only 20 per cent of parents’ views are being included in the GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) planning process, against a target of 60 per cent.

It also states that only 20 per cent of schools in the area are delivering the “Good to Go” programme, as opposed to the 40 per cent target.

Patricia Renfrew, consultant nurse for children and families, wrote in the report: “The year one review of the CYPSP has highlighted areas of good practice and those where further work should be targeted.

“Multi-agency working is well embedded across Argyll and Bute CPP. Work is required to adopt the quality improvement methodology to ensure long-term sustainable changes are embedded in practice.

“Further developing the Joint Needs assessment will strengthen and build on the existing good work in conjunction with a Children and Young People survey.”

Speaking at a meeting of the HSCP’s integration joint board (IJB), Mr Taylor said: “There are one or two gaps in terms of the status indicators.

“This is part three of the Children Scotland Act, which refers to a duty to produce a children’s services plan. This was presented to the IJB and council a year ago, and we are now reviewing it.”

Speaking at a meeting of the HSCP’s integration joint board (IJB), Councillor Gary Mulvaney said: “In relation to GIRFEC being 20 per cent against 60 per cent, it states that ‘a test in change’ has come. I am not sure what that is, but clearly it is something that needs looked at.

“We have targets and perhaps, in the second year of this project, we should look at benchmarks set by other local authorities to see how our performances compare?”

Mr Taylor said: “Our working groups have identified test areas where we are looking for improvement in particular ways of raising awareness to staff on the need for parental involvement.

“We need to wait and see if these interventions are successful.

“If I was a member of the IJB I would take some reassurance from the fact that there is a test of change there.

“In relation to benchmarking, I would say that when we drew up the plan a year ago we set ourselves some challenging targets that were not going to be a pushover.

“There are areas where we are asking the service to do more, and to try harder to do better. Benchmarking could certainly help us look at how we could improve.”