How well are we improving the lives of children and young people?

 
 
How well are we improving the lives of children and
young people?

A guide to evaluating services using quality indicators

Publication code: OPS-1012-198


    Publication date 24 October 2012


                         1 (DRAFT for
    Version number
                         consultation)


    Author’s initials J Pepper


             Job title Senior Inspector

                     Director of Operations
  Responsibility for
                     (Planning, Assurance
     this document
                     and Public Reporting)

         Review date N/A

This is the first version of this document.




                                              Page 1 of 51
CONTENTS

 1. Introduction

 2. Evaluating services for children and young
   people using quality indicators

 3. The quality indicators

 4. The quality indicators with themes, key features
    and illustrations

   Appendix 1: The six point scale




                             Page 2 of 51
1. Introduction
This guide provides a framework of quality indicators to support self-evaluation which
leads to improvement across services for children, young people and families. It
places the child at the centre and is applicable to the full range of services which
contribute to the well-being of all children, young people and their families. It aims to
support successful implementation of Getting it right for every child ¹ and integrated
approaches to improving the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people.
The quality indicators take account of current proposals within the Children and
Young People Bill to put in place legislation that ensures all children and young
people from birth up to leaving school have access to a Named Person, and a single
planning process for children and young people who need support from a range of
services.

The framework of quality indicators is designed to provide a complementary
approach to robust self-evaluation and independent scrutiny. Using the same set of
quality indicators reinforces the partnership between internal and external evaluation
of services.

This guide is primarily for Community Planning Partnerships and those with strategic
responsibility for the planning, delivery and evaluation of services for children, young
people and their families. It will assist Community Planning Partnerships to establish
a shared understanding of well-being and set challenging targets for improving
outcomes for children and young people. The content is relevant to a wide range of
organisations in the public, independent and third sectors. The framework of quality
indicators does not replace existing approaches to self-evaluation and quality
improvement which are already embedded, for example, How good is our school?,
How well do we protect children and meet their needs?, A guide to supported self-
evaluation: building excellent social work services. Rather, it is designed to enable
the evaluations and supporting evidence from a range of self-evaluation activities
across the full range of services for children, young people and families to be
brought together.

The quality indicators take account of national policy including the Early Years
Framework, Equally Well, Curriculum for Excellence, More Choices, More Chances,
These are our Bairns: A guide for community planning partnerships on being a good
corporate parent. It also takes account of key messages in the Report on the Future
Delivery of Public Services.
___________________________________________________________

¹       The Scottish Government is committed to giving all children and young people in Scotland the
best possible start in life and a national approach to improve outcomes. Getting it right for every child
is a way of working to provide co-ordinated, proportionate and timely support. It means working
across organisational boundaries and putting children, young people and their families at the heart of
decision-making.




                                            Page 3 of 51
2. Evaluating services for children and young people
using quality indicators
The process of self-evaluation
Self-evaluation is central to continuous improvement. It is not a bureaucratic
or mechanistic process. Rather, it is a reflective process through which
Community Planning Partnerships and strategic planning groups for services for
children and young people get to know how well they are doing and identify the best
way to improve their services. The framework of quality indicators is designed to help
this by:
    o encouraging us to reflect upon practice and identify strengths and areas for
       improvement
    o recognising the work we are doing which has a positive effect on the lives of
       children and their families
    o identifying where quality needs to be maintained, where improvement is
       needed and where we should be working towards achieving excellence
    o allowing us to inform stakeholders about the quality of services for children,
       young people and families

Self-evaluation is forward looking. It is about change and improvement, leading to
well considered innovation in service delivery. It is based on our professional
reflection, challenge and support and involves us in taking informed decisions about
actions which result in clear benefits for children, young people and families. Rather
than a one-off activity which is done in preparation for inspection, it is a dynamic
process which should go on throughout the year. It establishes a baseline from
which to plan to improve outcomes for children and promotes a collective
commitment to set priorities for improvement. Used effectively, continuous self-
evaluation helps us to monitor progress and impact.

Self-evaluation for improvement broadly focuses on answering three key questions.

   o How good are we now?
     This question should help partners identify strengths within and across service
     delivery and begin to consider areas for improvement.

   o How do we know?
     In considering this question, services should be gathering evidence and
     developing auditing processes which illustrate how well the lives of children
     and young people are improving. There are a number of sources of evidence
     which can inform partners and services about the quality of their work.

   o How good can we be?
     This question should help to take forward what we have found so far and to
     develop a set of clear and tangible priorities for improvement.


The quality framework
The framework is consistent and can be used in conjunction with a number of quality
models and awards including Customer Service Excellence, Investors in People, the




                                    Page 4 of 51
Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and
aspects of ISO 9000. The approach is also consistent with the principles of Best
Value, the statutory framework provided within the Local Government in Scotland Act
2003. It can also be used in conjunction with the Public Service Improvement
Framework (PSIF) which provides a useful tool for corporate self-assessment within
public service organisations.

The framework is arranged under six high-level questions which the Care
Inspectorate and other scrutiny bodies have adopted for evaluative purposes.
These questions will be at the core of the joint inspections of services for children
and young people which will be introduced at the request by Scottish Ministers in
2012.

For the purposes of self-evaluation, partners are asked, individually and collectively,
to answer six simple but powerful questions

   1.   What key outcomes have we achieved?
   2.   How well do we meet the needs of our stakeholders?
   3.   How good is our delivery of services?
   4.   How good is our management?
   5.   How good is our leadership?
   6.   What is our capacity for improvement?

These questions are set out in a framework of 10 key areas with one or more being
linked to each question. These 10 key areas are then broken down further into 22
quality indicators shown in Appendix 1 and explained in the diagram below.


  What key outcomes have we
                                                ← High level question
  achieved?

  1. Key performance outcomes
                                                ← Key area
  1.1 Improving the well-being of children
      and young people.
                                                ← Quality indicator

The quality indicators provide a toolkit to help with evaluating and improving the
quality of services children, young people and families. The 22 quality indicators
cover the key aspects of the work of Community Planning Partnerships in the
delivery of services for children, young people and families.




                                             Page 5 of 51
3. The quality indicators
           The framework of quality indicators for improving services for children and young people.


What key outcomes         How well do we meet       How good is our            How good is our            How good is our
have we achieved?           the needs of our       delivery of services          operational                leadership?
                             stakeholders?         for children young           management?
                                                       people, and
                                                        families?


  1. Key                    2. Impact on           5. Delivery of key        6. Policy, service         9. Leadership and
     performance               children,              processes                 development and            direction
     outcomes                  young people                                     planning
                               and families

1.1 Improving the well-   2.1 Impact on children   5.1 Providing help and    6.1 Policies, procedures   9.1 Visions, values and
    being of children         and young people         support at an early       and legal measures         aims
    and young people.                                  stage                 6.2 Planning and           9.2 Leadership of
                          2.2 Impact on families   5.2 Assessing and             improving services         strategy and
                                                      responding to risks    6.3 Participation of           direction
                                                      and needs                  children, young        9.3 Leadership of
                                                   5.3 Planning for              people, families and       people
                                                       individual children       other stakeholders.    9.4 Leadership of
                                                   5.4 Involving children,   6.4 Quality assurance          improvement and
                                                       young people and                                     change.
                                                       families




                                                         Page 6 of 51
3. Impact on staff                                      7. Management and
                                                           support of staff
3.1 Impact on staff                                      7.1 Recruitment,
                                                             deployment and joint
                                                             Working
                                                         7.2 Staff training,
                                                             development and
                                                             support



4. Impact on the                                        8. Partnership and
   community                                               resources
4.1 Impact on the                                         8.1 Partnership working
    Community                                             8.2 Management of
                                                              Resources
                                                          8.3 Securing
                                                              improvement through
                                                              self evaluation


                 10. What is our capacity for improvement?
                            Global judgement based on
                an evaluation of the framework of quality indicators




                                  Page 7 of 51
4. The quality indicators with themes, key features and
illustrations



                What key outcomes have we achieved?



1. Key performance outcomes

QI 1.1 Improving the well-being of children and young people

THEMES
   Improving trends through prevention and early intervention
   Improvements in outcomes for children and young people
   Improvements in the life chances of vulnerable children and young people

KEY FEATURES
This quality indicator relates to demonstrable improvements partners make in the
well-being of children and young people. It considers the extent to which partners
are successfully tackling inequalities and closing outcome gaps through effective
prevention and early intervention. It is about the performance of community planning
partners in improving children and young people’s well-being over time against an
agreed set of outcome indicators. It focuses on tangible results in improving the life
chances of vulnerable children and young people.

    VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                       WEAK ILLUSTRATION
We can demonstrate a wide range of       We have limited measures of
improving trends as a result of our      improving trends as a result of our
very effective approaches to             approaches to prevention and early
prevention and early intervention. We    intervention. Our progress in tackling
are successfully tackling the            the consequences of child poverty
consequences of child poverty and        and inequality in the longer term is
closing outcome gaps in our different    unclear. We do not take sufficient
neighbourhoods.                          action to ensure the targets we set
                                         ourselves are always met.

Our targets are realistic and we are     We can demonstrate improved
achieving improving trends in our        performance in key processes. We
outcome indicators year on year. We      do not have a sufficient focus on
benchmark our performance against        measuring improvements in the well-
our comparators and national             being of children and young people.




                                    Page 8 of 51
performance information. We are on        We do not have sufficient baseline
course with the ambitious targets we      measures from which to demonstrate
have set ourselves to break the cycle     year on year improvements in our
of inter-generational child poverty and   performance through integrated
inequality.                               children’s services planning. We
                                          mostly report on outputs rather then
                                          outcome indicators. We do not
                                          challenge ourselves sufficiently
                                          through benchmarking our
                                          performance against our comparators
                                          and national performance information.

Our results show improving trends in      We have limited information on
the well-being of a wide range of         improving trends in the well-being of
vulnerable children and young             vulnerable children and young
people. We report year on year on         people. We have made progress in
improvements in how well children         improving our services for children
and young people are protected. As        and young people in need of
corporate parents, we are making          protection and looked after away from
notable progress over time in             home. However, we do not measure
improving outcomes for looked after       what difference this makes to the
children and care leavers.                well-being of vulnerable children and
                                          young people.




                                     Page 9 of 51
How well do we meet the needs of our stakeholders?


2. Impact on children, young people and families

2.1 Impact on children and young people

THEMES
The extent to which children and young people get the best start in life and are
    Safe
    Healthy
    Achieving
    Nurtured
    Active
    Respected
    Responsible
    Included

KEY FEATURES
This indicator relates to the impact of services on the well-being of children and
young people using the SHANARRI indicators. It focuses on their current
experiences and the extent to which their lives and life opportunities are enhanced.

   VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                        WEAK ILLUSTRATION
Children and young people receive all     Children and young people do not
the necessary help and support they       always receive timely and appropriate
need to optimise their well-being at      help and support to give them the
every stage. They get the best start in   best start in life. As a result their well-
life and enjoy positive, rewarding        being is compromised significantly.
experiences growing up.

Children and young people are safe.       Children and young people are not
They are very well protected from         always fully protected from abuse,
abuse, neglect or harm at home, at        neglect or harm. They may be
school and in the community. They         exposed to unsuitable situations at
are well-equipped with the knowledge      home, in school or in the community.
and skills they need to keep              Children and young people do not
themselves safe.                          have sufficient awareness of how to
                                          keep themselves safe.

Children and young people have the        Children and young people’s access
highest attainable standards of           to the healthcare they need is
physical and mental health. They          restricted. They do not always make




                                    Page 10 of 51
make well-informed choices about            sufficient progress towards optimum
healthy and safe lifestyles.                physical and mental well-being.
                                            Children and young people have
                                            limited awareness of the risks
                                            associated with unhealthy and unsafe
                                            lifestyle choices.

Children and young people are               Children and young people do not
equipped with the skills, confidence        always have skills, confidence and
and self-esteem to progress                 self-esteem to make sufficient and
successfully in their learning and          sustained progress in their learning
development.                                and development.

Children and young people thrive as a The well-being of children and young
result of nurturing relationships and people is diminished substantially as
stable environments.                  a result of inconsistency or insecurity
                                      in care givers or living arrangements.

Children and young people are               Children and young people are not
physically active and experience            always achieving healthy growth and
healthy growth and development.             development as opportunities to
                                            access play, recreation and sport are
                                            limited.

Children and young people know their        Children and young people have a
rights and are confident in exercising      limited understanding of their rights
these. They are able to express their       and not always feel in a position to
views and be involved meaningfully in       exercise these. They do not have
decisions which affect them.                sufficient opportunities to express
                                            their views or to be involved in
                                            decisions which affect them.

Children and young people take on           Children and young people
appropriate levels of responsibility.       experience too much or too little
They benefit from appropriate               responsibility. They do not always
guidance and supervision.                   get the guidance and supervision they
                                            need to act as responsible citizens.

Children and young people are               Children and young people do not
valued contributors to the                  always receive the encouragement
communities in which they live and          they need to contribute to the
learn. They are supported well to           communities in which they live and
develop the strengths and resilience        learn. They feel excluded and are not
needed to overcome any inequalities         supported well enough to overcome
they experience.                            the inequalities they experience.




                                        Page 11 of 51
2.2 Impact on families

THEMES
The extent to which family well-being is strengthened through
    resilience
    confident parenting
    early intervention

KEY FEATURES
This quality indicator relates to the impact of services on family well-being. It
considers the extent to which families are resilient and can meet their own needs. It
focuses on the confidence parents and carers have in their parenting. It is concerned
with the impact of early intervention in strengthening families.

    VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                         WEAK ILLUSTRATION
Families experience helpful and            Families are sometimes isolated, and
reliable support from an extensive         do not always find it easy to connect
range of accessible, high quality          with appropriate support networks.
services. They are valued as               Many families do not rate their
important contributors to ensuring         neighbourhood as a good place to
positive outcomes for their children       bring up children and young people.
and young people. They work as             Families have access to a limited
equal partners alongside services to       range of support services. These are
secure help and support tailored to        not always flexible enough to meet
meet their needs. As a result, their       their needs and are of variable
resilience is increasing. They have        quality. Families experience gaps in
very positive experiences of bringing      support services particularly those
up children and young people in their      with very young children.
neighbourhood.

Families benefit from very effective       Families do not have sufficient
support which helps them to promote        opportunities to increase their
the well-being of very young children      knowledge of child development and
from pre-birth. Support for parenting      confidence in bringing up children and
is very readily available in ways which    young people. Those who most need
best suits their lifestyle and needs.      help to develop their parenting skills
Advice, guidance and support are           do not always get appropriate
well-matched to their needs and            support. Parents do not always find
available in ways which helps them to      that sufficient advice and guidance is
prepare for the various developmental      available during the teenage years.
stages and needs of their children or      The support provided during
young people. Parental confidence          pregnancy and in the very early years
and parenting skills is increasing.        is not sufficient in helping families
                                           prepare for parenthood and
                                           throughout their child’s early years.
Families are very well supported as        Families too often reach a crisis point
soon as any difficulties arise. They       before getting help. The needs of




                                       Page 12 of 51
get help early and frequently enough,     some vulnerable families are not met
at times, in places and in ways that      well as appropriate help is not always
meet their needs. Vulnerable              available when it is needed. Support
families benefit from flexible support    services are not sufficiently flexible to
which is tailored to meet their           meet the needs of some families,
individual needs. Those parents and       particularly when additional help is
carers who are reluctant, for whatever    needed in the evenings and at
reason, to seek help benefit from staff   weekends.
reaching out to them. Families get the
help they need for as long as it is
needed.




                                    Page 13 of 51
3. Impact on staff
3.1 Impact on Staff

THEMES
The extent to which staff are
    Motivated
    Involved
    Valued

KEY FEATURES
This indicator considers the extent to which staff are committed and motivated to
achieving the best possible outcomes for children, young people and families. It
relates to how well they are involved in the ongoing development of services. It
considers how well their contribution to improving the lives of children, young people
and families is recognised and valued.

    VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                       WEAK ILLUSTRATION
Staff across services have a strong      Staff are not confident about working
and shared commitment to improving       collaboratively with colleagues in
the well-being of children, young        other services. They understand their
people and families. They have a         own professional roles and
shared understanding of well-being       responsibilities but they are less clear
and confidently apply this to their      about those of their colleagues. They
work. Staff are very clear about their   do not have a shared understanding
own roles and responsibilities as well   of well-being and are not always
as those of their colleagues. They are   successful in working together to
highly motivated to work together to     achieve positive outcomes for
achieve the best possible outcomes       children and young people.
for children and young people.

Staff are involved meaningfully in the   Staff have insufficient opportunity to
ongoing development of services for      contribute meaningfully to service
children, young people and families.     development. They do not feel their
They are engaged purposefully in         views are taken into account. They
promoting good practice and              are not engaged in promoting good
identifying areas for improvement.       practice or identifying areas for
Staff test out new and improved ways     improvement. They do not
of working and take pride in the         understand the rationale for proposed
contribution they make. They             changes to their way of working and
understand fully what they need to do    are sometimes reluctant to implement
within their own service and with        these.
colleagues across services to further
improve the quality and effectiveness
of their work.
Staff experience a high level of         Staff satisfaction with the quality of
satisfaction in working together to      service they are delivering is low.



                                    Page 14 of 51
deliver services to children and young   While they work conscientiously on
people. They feel valued and their       their own and with their immediate
contribution recognised. They are        colleagues, there experience barriers
provided with opportunities to develop   and difficulties in working with
their knowledge and skills which has     colleagues across services. Their
a significant impact on their work.      practice does not benefit sufficiently
They are confident in identifying the    from training and development
difference their work is making to the   opportunities. Overall, staff feel
well-being of children, young people     undervalued and deployed
and families.                            ineffectively.




                                   Page 15 of 51
4. Impact on the community
QI 4.1 Impact on the community

THEMES
The extent to which local communities and communities of interest experience
improvements in quality of life through
       participation and empowerment
       increased capacity
       confidence in services

KEY FEATURES
This indicator considers the extent to which communities participate in the planning
and delivery of local services for children, young people and families. It relates to
how well the resources available within the community are put to best use and builds
the capacity of all those involved. It has a focus on the extent to which there is
public confidence in services for children, young people and families.

    VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                         WEAK ILLUSTRATION
There are very high levels of              Local communities are not engaged
participation in the design and            sufficiently in the design and delivery
delivery of local services for children,   of services. Communities of interest
young people and families.                 and minority groups are not always
Communities of interest and minority       identified or involved meaningfully in
groups are encouraged and                  the planning services which meet
empowered to be involved                   their needs.
meaningfully in the planning services
which meet their needs.

Community groups are contributing to       Community groups and voluntary
community capacity by targeting their      organisations do not always receive
work at strengthening the skills,          the encouragement or support they
competencies and abilities of              need to play a key role in building
children, young people and families.       community capacity. Support for
Positive attitudes and behaviour           vulnerable children, young people
towards socially and culturally            and families has not been sustained
excluded families are encouraged.          or has not been successful in
Children, young people and families        enhancing their skills, competencies
live in increasingly safer communities.    and abilities. Limited knowledge or
Young people are viewed positively         involvement of local communities has
and anti-social and harmful behaviour      limited the opportunities to tackle
is reducing. There is a high degree of     inequalities and social exclusion.
success in meeting the needs of
vulnerable children and young people
within their local schools and
communities.




                                      Page 16 of 51
The public has is a high degree of       There is a lack of public confidence in
confidence that services are built       services for children, young people
around the needs of children, young      and families. They are not viewed as
people and families. Members of the      matching the needs of communities.
public are alert to concerns about the   Members of the public are unclear
safety and well-being of children and    about when and how to report
young people. They have a high           concerns about the safety and well-
degree of awareness about how to         being of children and young people.
report concerns and are confident        They lack confidence that these will
that children and young people will      be taken seriously.
get the help they need as a result.




                                    Page 17 of 51
How good is our delivery of services for children and young people
                           and families?


5. Delivery of key processes

QI 5.1 Providing help and support at an early stage

THEMES
   Recognising children, young people and families who need additional help
    and support
   Sharing and making use of information
   Timely and effective support

KEY FEATURES
This indicator focuses on the extent to which all staff recognise that something may
be getting in the way of a child or young person’s well-being. It considers how well
information is shared and used to make decisions. It looks at the timeliness and
effectiveness of the help and support provided in preventing difficulties arising or
increasing.

     VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                      WEAK ILLUSTRATION
We carefully identify children, young    We do not always identify children,
people and families who need advice      young people and families who may
and guidance at an early stage to        benefit from early advice and support.
help them build on their own             We miss opportunities to help them
strengths and resilience. We are         build on their own strengths. We
skilful in recognising the warning       sometimes overlook the warning
signs that something may be getting      signs that something may be getting
in the way of an individual child or     in the way of a child or young
young person’s well-being. Staff who     person’s well-being. Staff who work
work primarily with adults are           primarily with adults are not
attentive to the needs of children and   sufficiently attentive to the needs of
young people and are very alert to       children and young people. They do
circumstances which may have an          not always recognise circumstances
adverse impact on them.                  which may have an adverse impact
                                         on a child or young person’s well-
                                         being.
We are guided by clear protocols and     The quality of recording of
procedures which take account of         observations and concerns about
best practice in information-sharing     children and young people is variable.
within and across services. We have      We are not always sure what
very effective systems for recording     information we can share with others
our observations and concerns about      and what is confidential. Our



                                   Page 18 of 51
children and young people. We are      protocols for sharing and managing
confident in identifying those         information are not comprehensive or
circumstances in which we may share    clearly understood. Sometimes we
information about children, young      overlook the best interests of the child
people and families with and without   or young person and share
prior consent.                         confidential information without
                                       ensuring it is used responsibly, or, do
                                       not pass on information to ensure the
                                       safety or well-being of a child or
                                       young person.
We promptly arrange helpful advice     Our capacity to provide to provide
and support for all children, young    prompt advice and support is
people and families when they need     restricted. We do not give sufficient
it. We promote well-being very         emphasis to preventative approaches
effectively in our day to day work and or to providing help and support at an
have a strong focus on preventing      early stage which is tailored to meet
difficulties arising or increasing.    the individual needs of children,
We build trusting relationships with   young people and families. We
parents who find it difficult, for     provide effective support within our
whatever reason, to take up offers of  own service and in our day to day
support. We provide very effective     work but are not always effective in
and flexible support which is designed seeking out and drawing upon other
to respond quickly and meet the        sources of help. Some children,
individual requirements of children,   young people and families wait too
young people and families. We          long or their circumstances
successfully seek out and draw upon deteriorate before they get the help
other relevant sources of help when    and support they need.
appropriate.




                                   Page 19 of 51
QI 5.2 Assessing and responding to risks and needs

THEMES
   Initial response
   Chronologies of significant events
   Assessments risks and needs
   Decision making

KEY FEATURES
This indicator considers the effectiveness of the initial response to children and
young people when there are concerns about their safety or well-being. It considers
the effectiveness of chronologies to identify significant events or experiences. It
focuses on the quality of assessments and how well these inform decision making.

     VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                        WEAK ILLUSTRATION
We have very effective measures for        Our arrangements for considering the
considering the circumstances of a         concerns about the safety or well-
child or young person when there are       being of children and young people
concerns about their safety or well-       are not consistent, or do not involve
being. We promptly share and               all relevant services. Decisions about
jointly review all relevant information.   how best to respond are not made
We quickly identify risks and carefully    with reference to all of the relevant
consider what action we need to take       information or risks. We delay taking
in the best interests of the child or      action to help a child or young person
young person. When appropriate, we         while we are carrying out
take immediate action to ensure the        assessments.
safety of children and young people
when they are in need of protection,
at risk of significant harm or when
they pose a risk to others.

Our chronologies of significant events     We compile chronologies for
in a child or young person’s life start    individual children and young people
at birth and are maintained                but these are not sufficiently helpful in
throughout their childhood. We             identifying events or an accumulation
carefully compile significant events or    of experiences which may adversely
factors which impact on well-being.        affect the child or young person’s
We use chronologies very effectively       well-being. They do not always start
to identify events or an accumulation      at birth or chart significant events
of experiences which may adversely         throughout the child or young
affect the child or young person’s         person’s life. Too often they contain
well-being.                                details of meetings and contacts and
                                           lose focus on factors which impact on
                                           a child or young person’s well-being.
Our systems and processes help us          We do not consistently gather
to gather information across all           relevant information from all
relevant services when we assess           appropriate sources. Different




                                     Page 20 of 51
risks and needs. All relevant staff,    services carry out separate
including those who work primarily      assessments so that a child, young
with adults, contribute ably to         person or family may have to tell their
assessments. Our assessments are        story several times. Staff who work
of a consistently high quality. We      primarily with adults do not always
take a holistic approach to assessing   contribute consistently or effectively
risks and needs addressing all          to assessments of children and young
aspects of well-being. We base our      people. The quality of our
assessments on recognised               assessments of risks and needs is
frameworks such as the National         variable and we do not routinely
Practice Model. We make very            consider all aspects of a child or
effective use of these to reach         young person’s well-being. The tools
informed judgements about the risks     we use to support us in our
to and needs of each child or young     assessments do not help us to come
person. We arrange for more             to informed judgements about the
comprehensive or specialist             risks and needs of each child or
assessments when these are              young person. We may recognise
required and complete these without     that more comprehensive or specialist
delay.                                  assessments are needed but do not
                                        have the skills to carry these out or
                                        delay making the necessary
                                        arrangements for these to be
                                        completed.

Our assessments are comprehensive       Our assessments do not always
and we use these very well to           provide us with sufficient evidence to
develop plans which reduce risks and    underpin well-informed judgements
meet needs. They assist us in making    about the risks to and needs of each
sound and timely decisions about        child or young person.
children and young people’s lives.




                                   Page 21 of 51
QI 5.3 Planning for individual children and young people

THEMES
   Quality of plans
   Reviewing progress, joint planning and decision-making
   Securing nurturing and stable environments

KEY FEATURES
This quality indicator considers the quality of plans to reduce risks, meet needs and
improve well-being. It takes account of effectiveness of the arrangements for
reviewing progress, joint planning and decision-making. This indicator has a
particular focus on securing nurturing and stable environments for children and
young people who are looked after.

    VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                        WEAK ILLUSTRATION
Our plans for individual children and      We prepare plans for individual
young people are very effective in         children and young people but the
addressing all aspects of their well-      quality is variable. We develop a
being. Our plans are of a consistently     number of different and unconnected
high quality and link carefully to our     plans for the same child or young
assessments of risks and needs. We         person. Some of our plans do not
ensure that all the relevant people        link well to assessments of risks and
contribute to the development of the       needs. Our actions are often too
plan and diligently identify who will do   vague and we leave timescales open
what and by when. We clearly set out       ended. We are not always explicit
what difference our actions are            about what needs to change to
expected to make to the child or           improve the child or young person’s
young person’s circumstances in both       circumstances and well-being. We
the short and longer term. We are          do not always ensure that each child
creative in our approaches to make         within a family unit has their own
sure that children and young people        individualised plan. We are not
get the help they need even when           always clear about what we will do
resources are scarce or unavailable.       next when the circumstances of
We set out a clear contingency plan        children and young people do not
to meet the needs of children and          improve quickly enough.
young people when sufficient
progress is not made or sustained.

Our planning is very effective in          Overall, the effectiveness of our
improving the well-being of children       planning is limited in improving the
and young people. Review and               well-being of children and young
decision making meetings are               people. We hold different meetings
streamlined. They take place               about the same child or young person
regularly and at required intervals.       causing unnecessary duplication.
We ensure that there is sufficient         Meetings do not always take place at
independent challenge to drive             specified intervals or involve all
progress forwards within timescales        relevant staff. They are frequently




                                     Page 22 of 51
appropriate to the individual child or    cancelled or rearranged at short
young person. We quickly take             notice. Staff are not held to account
account of changes in circumstances       when actions have not been carried
and follow-through on aspects of the      out as agreed. We do not follow-
plan where progress is slow. We           through effectively when agreed
record our meetings and decisions         timescales are not met or there has
appropriately. We promptly make the       been insufficient progress. Meetings
record available to all relevant staff    and decisions are not always
and ensure that they are well-            recorded well or communicated
informed about progress and any           promptly to all relevant staff.
significant changes.

Our plans for children and young          Our plans do not focus sufficiently on
people who are looked after have a        securing nurturing and stable
strong focus on securing nurturing        environments for individual children
and stable environments. Our plans        and young people. On occasion, we
clearly set out what we need to do        continue to manage a child or young
within the home, school or community      person’s plan in environments which
to compensate for adverse                 are no longer conducive to their
experiences. We take timely and           safety and well-being. Our plans are
effective action when a child or young    not always effective in minimising
person’s well-being is at risk because    periods of uncertainty or in reducing
their needs are no longer being met       the length of time children and young
within a family or care placement.        people live in temporary situations
Our plans are effective in minimising     care arrangements. Our young
periods of uncertainty for children and   people are provided with limited
young people provided with                accommodation and support when
temporary care situations. Our young      leaving care. We do not always
people are provided with a range of       respond quickly or appropriately to
suitable accommodation options and        prevent placement breakdown.
support when leaving care. We
provide appropriate and timely
support to reduce the risk of
placement break down including post
adoption support services.




                                    Page 23 of 51
QI 5.4 Involving children, young people and families

Themes
   seeking and recording views
   participation in key processes
   addressing dissatisfaction and complaints

Key features
This indicator is concerned with how well we elicit and represent the views and
wishes of children, young people and families. It considers the extent to which
children, young people and families are informed, included and enabled to
participate meaningfully. It looks at how well we address dissatisfaction and
complaints.

We listen carefully to children, young   We listen to children, young people
people and families and have a           and families but our understanding of
thorough understanding of their          the views, wishes and expectations is
views, wishes, and expectations. We      limited. We do not always give
ensure that those with learning or       enough support to those with
communication difficulties or for        communication difficulties or those for
whom English is not their first          whom English is not their first
language, are able to express their      language. We do not always record
views fully. We accurately record        what children, young people and
what they say and take this into         families say accurately or taken into
account in our assessments, plans        account fully when decisions are
and decisions. We regularly revise       made. We do not revisit our
and update our understanding of the      understanding of their views, wishes
views, wishes, and expectations of       and expectations regularly.
children, young people and families.

We acknowledge and respect               Our approaches to providing services
diversity and difference. We treat       to children, young people and families
children, young people and families in   do not fully acknowledge diversity and
a fair and inclusive manner. We          difference. Information about our
provide helpful information about our    services is not easily understood and
services and describe our processes      does not assist children, young
in ways which are transparent and        people and families to exercise their
easy to understand. We tell children,    rights and responsibilities. We are
young people and families about the      not consistent in our approaches to
information we hold. We have a           obtaining consent to share
shared approach to managing and          information from children, young
recording their consent to share         people and families. We do not
information. We make sure that our       always arrange our meetings at
communications, records of meetings      times, in places or ways which take
and reports are provided in a way        into account the needs and wishes of
which is relevant and easily             individual children, young people and
understood. We ensure that children,     families. We are not consistent in our




                                   Page 24 of 51
young people and families are            approaches to helping children,
included meaningfully in our             young people and families participate
processes and in decisions about         in important processes of assessment
their lives and the help they need,      and decision-making. Independent
unless this compromises their own        support and advocacy for children,
safety or that of others. We provide     young people and families is not
all the necessary support, including     available routinely.
independent advocacy, to enable
children, young people and families to
participate fully.

We ensure children, young people         We do not routinely check out what
and families know their rights and       children, young people and families
explain how we will help them to         think about our services. We provide
exercise these. We encourage             limited information about how to
children, young people and families to   express dissatisfaction, make a
tell us what they think about our        complaint or challenge a decision.
services. We use this information well   When children, young people and
to act upon matters we can address       families complain or appeal a
quickly to improve their individual      decision our responses are not
experiences. We provide helpful          sufficiently thorough or timely.
information about how they can
express their dissatisfaction and
challenge decisions. We respond
quickly and effectively when children,
young people and families complain
or appeal a decision. We investigate
complaints thoroughly and objectively
within agreed timescales and provide
feedback on the outcome of the
investigation and any action taken as
a result.




                                   Page 25 of 51
How good is our operational management?


6. Policy, service development and planning

QI 6.1 Policies, procedures and legal measures

THEMES
   Range and coherence
   Reviewing and updating
   Fulfilment of statutory duties

KEY FEATURES
This indicator considers the extent to which policies, procedures and the use of legal
measures link to the vision, values and aims and support joint working. It considers
how well arrangements systematically review and update inter-agency policies and
procedures. It focuses on the extent to which services adhere to legal principles and
use legal measures effectively.

    VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                         WEAK ILLUSTRATION
We have shared policies which              We share the policies relating to our
strongly reflect our vision, values and    individual services but do not work
aims and set expectations and              together to develop these jointly.
standards for effective service            Consequently policies do not link well
delivery. A readily accessible suite of    to the vision, values and aims of our
inter-agency procedures guide staff in     services for children and young
working together and ensure high           people. Our inter-agency procedures
levels of consistency in practice.         lack coherence resulting in
These specify their respective roles       duplication of effort, contradictory
and responsibilities and clearly outline   guidelines and gaps. Staff are often
the systems and processes to follow.       confused about what is expected of
                                           them.

Our value base is underpinned by a         We aim to do the minimum to be
very sound knowledge and                   compliant with our statutory duties.
commitment to fulfilling statutory         There are weaknesses and
principles, regulations, guidance and      inconsistencies in our implementation
codes of practice. We ensure that          of legislation which have a
staff at all levels use these fully to     detrimental impact on the quality of
inform their practice. Our timely and      the services we deliver. Confidence
effective use of legal measures keeps      amongst staff about using legal
children and young people safe and         measures in the best interests of
promotes their well-being.                 children and young people is variable.




                                     Page 26 of 51
We routinely gather information to     Staff have difficulty finding the latest
review and update our policies and     version of our policies and
procedures and the effectiveness of    procedures as we only make paper
our use of legal measures. This        copies available to them. We do not
includes seeking views from staff,     have a systematic approach to
children, young people and families.   reviewing and updating our inter-
                                       agency procedures using feedback
                                       from stakeholders. We do not monitor
                                       our performance in using legal
                                       measures.




                                   Page 27 of 51
QI 6.2 Planning and improving services

THEMES
   Integrated children’s services planning
   Child Protection Committee business planning
   Risk management

KEY FEATURES
This indicator considers the extent to which integrated children’s services planning
and the work of the child protection committee is improving the well-being of children
and young people. It considers how well the broad range of risks across services for
children, young people and families are jointly managed, in particular to provide
assurance that children and young people in need of protection are protected.

     VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                        WEAK ILLUSTRATION
Appropriate managers from all relevant     We have an uneven commitment
services co-ordinate the development       across services to integrated
and implementation of our integrated       children’s services planning. Our plan
children’s services planning. Our plan     is not well-matched to changing
is based on a thorough and ongoing         needs and does not focus sufficiently
assessment of need. It demonstrates a      on prevention and early intervention.
sound relationship between universal,      It consists of a number of single
targeted and specialist services. We       service initiatives rather than an
pool our resources and integrate           overall approach to agreed priority
service delivery through adopting best     objectives. Our progress in
value principles. We have SMART            implementing actions is limited.
objectives, measurable success criteria    Resources to implement the plan are
and clear lines of accountability to       unspecified. We are unsure what
ensure actions are progressed. Our         measurable difference integrated
plans are fully owned and contributed to   children’s services planning is making
by staff at all levels.                    to the well-being of children and
                                           young people. Monitoring and
                                           reporting on the plan is irregular.

We demonstrate very effective              Our Child Protection Committee
partnership working by the Child           meets regularly and has a busy
Protection Committee to plan and           agenda. Our annual report describes
improve services. We report annually       our involvement in a wide range of
on measurable improvements in the          activities. However, we are unable to
quality of services to protect children    demonstrate the impact and
and young people and performance           outcomes of improvements in
against targets.                           performance for children and young
                                           people in need of protection.
Our approach to risk management of         We do not have a systematic
services for children and young people     approach to jointly managing risk.
is comprehensive and extends across        Contingency planning is weak. We




                                    Page 28 of 51
all key areas. We jointly manage a risk   are not sufficiently informed about
register proactively and create a good    potential risks to vulnerable children
balance between minimising risk and       and young people to be able to
creating opportunities. We focus          assure ourselves that we have robust
particularly on potential risks to        systems and processes in place to
vulnerable children and young people.     keep them safe.




                                   Page 29 of 51
QI 6.3 Participation of children, young people, families and other
       stakeholders

THEMES
   Involvement in policy, planning and service development
   Communication and consultation

KEY FEATURES
This indicator considers the extent to children, young people, families and other
stakeholders are involved in policy, planning and service development. It relates to
the effectiveness of communication and consultation and how the views of children,
young people and families are used.

    VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                        WEAK ILLUSTRATION
We are strongly committed to             We are committed to involving
ensuring that our policies, planning     children, young people, families and
arrangements and service                 other stakeholders in our policies,
developments fully reflect the needs     planning and service developments.
of children, young people, families      However, we do not have a clear
and other stakeholders. The voice of     strategy and framework for
children, young people and families is   consultation and involvement. We do
very evident within our integrated       not routinely seek the views of all our
children’s services plan, corporate      stakeholders on the full range of
parenting strategy and all our policy    services. The integrated children’s
making and planning processes.           services plan and our corporate
Children, young people and families      parenting strategy do not address the
have meaningful opportunities for        views of children, young people and
direct access to elected members,        families. Children, young people and
community planning partners and          families have few opportunities to
senior managers. Our engagement          discuss plans, policies and services
with children, young people, families    directly elected members, community
and other stakeholders clearly shapes    planning partners and senior
our policies and informs our plans.      managers.
                                         It is not clear how our engagement
                                         with children, young people and
                                         families informs our policies and
                                         plans.

We are fully committed to                We have yet to develop clear policies
communicating well and consulting        and strategies across partners that
effectively with children, young         underpin approaches to consultation,
people, families. We consult with        feedback and involvement. This leads
them regarding the effectiveness of      to varied and inconsistent approaches
our policies, plans and services. We     to our engagement and a poor
recognise and compensate for power       attempts to reduce barriers to
imbalances between different             communication and involvement.
stakeholders and successfully            Some stakeholders complain of being




                                   Page 30 of 51
engage harder-to-reach groups. We       consulted too much and others not
carefully accommodate the needs of      enough. We do not routinely
those for whom English is not their     feedback to stakeholders. We rarely
first language and people with          evaluate the effectiveness of our
learning and communication              engagement and stakeholders.
difficulties. We consult with all our
stakeholders in a user friendly way
use imaginative and creative ways to
ensure meaningful engagement. We
have agreed and very effective
consultation and feedback methods
which minimise duplication. We can
demonstrate continuous improvement
in our engagement with stakeholders.




                                  Page 31 of 51
QI 6.4 Quality assurance

THEMES
   Setting and reviewing standards
   Systems and processes
   Achieving consistency

KEY FEATURES
This indicator relates to the effectiveness of managers in establishing high standards
for service delivery and ensuring staff know what is expected of them. It involves
systematic approaches at all levels to check on the quality and timeliness of the
work. It considers the extent to which key processes and practice is of a consistently
high quality through quickly identifying poor performance and taking effective action
to remedy this.

    VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                        WEAK ILLUSTRATION
We have agreed a comprehensive set         We introduce service standards in
of standards and communicate these         response to national guidance rather
effectively to staff. These are            than setting these for ourselves. The
reviewed and updated regularly and         standards we work to are not well
support us in the delivery of children’s   developed. They focus more on the
services of the highest quality. Staff     timeliness rather than the quality of
are clear what is expected of them.        our work. We have not collated our
                                           standards in one document. Staff are
                                           not sufficiently clear what is expected
                                           of them.

We have well established systems at        We have not developed joint
all levels to check on the quality of      processes for quality assuring our
our work. Our key processes are            integrated approaches to service
routinely subject to rigorous quality      delivery. Staff regard quality
assurance. We are not content with         assurance as the responsibility of
meeting minimum standards and              particular members of staff rather
continually strive to raise our            than this being everyone’s
standards and improve the quality of       responsibility. We are satisfied with
our work.                                  achieving minimum standards.

Our quality assurance systems and          We have delivered improvements in
processes are very effective and           meeting standards in some areas of
ensure we maintain high standards of       our work. Overall, standards remain
consistency in the quality of our work.    too variable. There are significant
When we identify exceptions we             gaps in the work covered by our
always take prompt and appropriate         quality assurance processes. We do
action to remedy these. We are             not have sufficient information about
successfully using our quality             the quality of service we are
assurance systems and processes to         delivering in some key areas in order




                                     Page 32 of 51
drive up service standards.       to take remedial action when
                                  standards are not maintained.




                              Page 33 of 51
7. Management and support of staff

QI 7.1 Recruitment, deployment and joint working

THEMES
   Meeting human resource needs
   Deployment to achieve planned results
   Multi-disciplinary working and team work

KEY FEATURES
This indicator is concerned with how well human resource needs are met. It relates
to the effective management of staff recruitment and retention. It focuses on the
extent to which staff across services are deployed effectively to deliver the GIRFEC
approach. This indicator focuses on the extent to which teamwork and multi-
disciplinary working are promoted within and across services.

    VERY GOOD ILLUSTRATION                          WEAK ILLUSTRATION
We have established a workforce             Recruitment policies and procedures
strategy and a common approach to           across our services are largely
recruitment across services for             individual and do not assure safe
children, young people and families.        recruitment. We have written policies
We strongly promote equality of             on equality and fairness but these are
opportunity and anti-discriminatory         not comprehensive and are
practice. We align skills, aptitudes        implemented inconsistently.
and experience of applicants to             Recruitment practice is variable and
clearly defined selection criteria. Staff   does not always recognise or align
have clear job descriptions and remits      the skills, aptitudes and experience of
which support multi-disciplinary and        applicants to clearly defined selection
joint working. We are effective in          criteria. Our policies and practices are
retaining staff through career              ineffective in retaining staff. The
development and succession                  involvement of staff in developing and
planning. We proactively involve staff      reviewing our workforce strategy,
in developing and reviewing the             policies and plans is largely
workforce strategy.                         underdeveloped.

We actively promote a culture in            We have yet to develop a culture of
which staff recognise and value each        mutual support and recognition of the
other’s contribution. Clear lines of        contribution staff make across
communication and accountability are        services and in multi-disciplinary
established. Our strategy for               teams. Staff are unclear about their
integrating and improving services for      roles and responsibilities and of
children and young people and their         colleagues. They have limited
families is well understood and             knowledge of our strategy for
accepted by staff. They are clear           delivering integrated services for
about their roles and responsibilities      children, young people and their
in working with others across               families. Many staff feel disconnected
professional disciplines and                from the planning process and make



                                      Page 34 of 51
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