Until December 2008, Joint Area Reviews (JARs) inspected how well services worked together to improve outcomes for Children and Young People. From April 2009, JARs have been replaced by a new programme of inspections.
Part of this new programme involves inspections of outcomes and services for safeguarding and looked after children services undertaken by Ofsted. These new inspections have a sharper focus on evaluating outcomes for children and young people and the impact that practice and services have on improving these outcomes, including managing risk and minimising incidence of child abuse and neglect. It is important to note that it will cover the widest aspects of our work with vulnerable children and young people, in order to judge how all services in Gateshead improve outcomes for these groups.
As part of the inspection framework all local authorities receive an annual unannounced inspection of contact, referral and assessment arrangements. In Gateshead the unannounced inspection took place in March 2010. The outcome of the inspection was very positive and it identified no areas for priority action and identified a number of areas where the contact, referral and assessment arrangements were delivered were satisfactory in accordance with the national guidance. The Looked after Children and Safeguarding inspection framework describes a 3 year rolling programme of inspection.
Gateshead’s unannounced inspection took place between January and February 2011. The report published in March 2011can be found below.