New joint inspections to examine protection of neglected children

JOINT inspections are to examine how agencies including local authorities, health, probation services and the police work together to protect children living with or at risk of neglect.

The six joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs) involving Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HMI Constabulary and HMI Probation will begin in May.

They will assess how effectively agencies are working together to help and protect children. Each set of inspections will also evaluate the multi-agency response to a particular issue or theme.

Following feedback from stakeholders, the latest series of JTAIs will look at support services for children living with neglect. In particular, they will examine the experiences of children aged between 7 and 15, who may be at higher risk of going missing or being exploited, or who exhibit challenging behaviours in adolescence. 

Uniquely for this JTAI, inspectors will also speak to school staff to get a wider picture of how neglect is identified and referred.

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said: “Identifying signs of neglect in middle childhood and adolescence can be very complex as children this age experience and respond to neglect differently from younger children. However, at any age, the impact of childhood neglect can be lifelong.

“It’s crucial that local partner agencies understand the long-term effects of neglect and recognise the need for early and appropriate intervention. These inspections will provide valuable insight into the local area response to neglect. And importantly, they will highlight good practice that others can learn from.”

An overview report highlighting good practice will be published when all six inspections are complete.