INSPECTORS say they are “very concerned” about Dumfries and Galloway’s adoption and fostering service.
The Care Inspectorate has published two reports in which the service – run by the local authority– was hammered with negative feedback.
It received ‘unsatisfactory’ and ‘weak’ grades after a short notice inspection in November.
Key messages from the report included that for some young people matching consideration was not comprehensive and this compromised postive outcomes.
Inspectors believe a failure to anticipate and accurately assess risks at an early stage was linked to poor outcomes for some young people.
Also, it was stated in the report that senior managers need to have sufficient oversight of the service and there’s a lack of quality assurance oversight and effective use of existing tools was negatively impacting progress and outcomes.
The report also noted that carers were not sufficiently involved in key processes and did not meaningfully influence decision making.
Staff were praised for being “committed, enthusiastic and supportive” of each other but a number of workers were carrying out dual roles or undertaking additional responsibilities which compromised the level of support that caring households received.
A number of fresh requirements were set out for the service to improve within certain timescales.
Responding, a spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council stated that they take the findings “seriously” and are “committed” to making improvements “swiftly and comprehensively”.
The spokesman said: “We accept the recent Care Inspectorate report on our fostering and adoption services.
“We take its findings seriously and are committed to addressing all identified areas for improvement swiftly and comprehensively.
“We have already undertaken a wide range of measures following receipt of the draft report, working closely with the Care Inspectorate.
“Our dedicated team remains focussed on providing the best possible care.
“We are now implementing an action plan to meet all improvement areas as a matter of urgency to deliver the best outcomes for the young people we care for.
“Providing a safe and nurturing environment for the children we support, and the carers that support them, is our number one concern.
“We appreciate the ongoing support of our community as we work collaboratively to enhance the quality of care we provide.”
The full report can be found on Care Inspectorate’s website.