The next set of Joint Targeted Area Inspections will focus on how agencies are responding to issues surrounding domestic abuse.
Many of the 320,000 children in need across England are living in families where domestic violence is a key problem. From September, the series of six joint targeted area inspections (JTAI) will be carried out by Ofsted, Care Quality Commission, HMI Constabulary and HMI Probation.
The inspections will examine how local partners, including local authorities, police and probation, and health services, work together to protect children living with domestic abuse.
Eleanor Schooling, Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, said: “This is a very challenging area of work for professionals as they rightly focus on the protection of children, while balancing the rights and needs of victims. This set of joint inspections will provide Ofsted and partner inspectorates with valuable insight into how local areas are working together to help and protect these children. We will identify issues for improvement where we need to, but importantly, we want to highlight good practice from which others can learn.”
JTAI examine how well agencies are working together in a local area to help and protect children. Each set of joint inspections includes a ‘deep dive’ focus, looking at a particular issue by theme. The previous deep dive element in the inspections was Child Sexual Exploitation.
Inspectors will evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for victims of domestic abuse and adult perpetrators, and the impact this has on the welfare and protection of children. In each area, the inspections will look in-depth at individual children’s cases, as well as a wider sample, focusing on particular points in children’s experiences.
The inspection report will include narrative findings that clearly set out what the local partnership and agencies are doing well, and what they need to do to improve. When the inspections are completed, a thematic overview report will be published to highlight the learning more widely.
HM Inspector of Constabulary, Wendy Williams, said: “This joint targeted area inspection programme is aimed at helping the police and other agencies protect those children living in a home where domestic abuse is taking place, or where they are seeing the effects of domestic abuse on others.
“It is crucial that the police are well trained, confident and knowledgeable, and that they understand the impact of domestic abuse. This will help them identify how to help and protect children and to take action to do so.
“Through these inspections, we hope to see agencies share information and work collaboratively with one another to reduce the harm that domestic abuse can cause,” Williams concluded.
Diane Wills is Consultant Social Worker at WillisPalmer, responsible for quality assuring the forensic risk assessment reports.
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