Care Inspectorate report on Council’s Justice Service is released

Stack of reports

Published: Tuesday, 23rd April 2019

Inspectors have praised the work of our Justice Social Work Service in a report published today, 23 April.

A number of strengths have been highlighted by the inspectors, along with some areas of improvement, many of which we had already identified and are being addressed through the introduction of a joint Public Protection Service (PPS).

Inspections

Inspectors visited the Borders between November 2018 and January 2019. They spoke with staff, partner agencies and other stakeholders as well as meeting with over thirty people subject to a community payback order, including those with a supervision requirement and/or an unpaid work order.

Strengths

  • They found that individuals subject to community payback orders experienced strong, respectful and consistent relationships with staff and those with a supervision requirement were well supported to access services that were helpful to them.
  • Individuals valued the approach taken to supervision, which addressed risks associated with offending behaviour but also considered their wider needs in relation to issues such as housing and employability.
  • Women attending the Reconnect service described very positive experiences of the help and support provided to them.
  • The quality of assessment of risk and needs, including the involvement of individuals in this process, as well as key aspects of operational practice.

Improvements

  • The development of a Public Protection Service will enable a revised structure and effective governance for the operational delivery and strategic leadership of Justice Services to be established, as well as providing clarity on the vision and forward direction of the service.
  • A comprehensive review of the unpaid work service is also underway.
  • Managers are working to strengthen the delivery and performance of the service as well as developing a performance management framework that will enable improved outcomes for individuals to be demonstrated.
  • Policies and procedures are also being updated and quality assurance processes are being strengthened to examine and improve practice, particularly home visits and statutory reviews.

Councillor Tom Weatherston, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Children and Families Social Work

“Inspections are always an opportunity to reflect on how a service is being delivered and to inform our commitment to continuous improvement.

“The Care Inspectorate’s feedback is welcomed, particularly their comments in relation to the good practice of our staff who are to be commended for their hard work and dedication to individuals accessing the service.

“Their recommendations are also important, as they give us the chance look deeply at what can be done to improve the service even further.

“Work is already underway on all the key areas highlighted, including the introduction of a multi-agency Public Protection Service for the Borders. This will have benefits not only for the strategic direction and leadership of the Justice Service, but for all the services that will come within its remit. We are currently working to progress this as quickly and effectively as possible.”

Further Information

  • The report is available from the Care Inspectorate website.
  • Information about the Public Protection Service will be provided in due course. Discussions are currently being held with staff likely to be affected by the proposals and once those are established, more details will be made available.