The response of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services to the consultation on multi-agency inspections of child protection is welcome.
It shows how once the bureaucratic approaches of the various inspectorates to quality in child protection services become embedded (to use an Ofstedism) layer upon layer of complexity gets laid down to the point where it is hard to remember what the purpose of the exercise was.
These intricate and involved multi-agency inspection arrangements will not result in increased quality or greater safety. All they will result in is intricate and involved inspections and stacks of impenetrable inspection reports full of silly buzzwords – like ‘embedded’, ‘robust’ etc. etc.
We can go on and on paying for increasingly complex, costly and un-productive inspections of child protection, without any clear indication of what they will achieve. Or we could use the money to fund improvements in services and develop continuous improvement approaches, which would be much more likely to result in safer and higher quality services that are better at meeting the needs of vulnerable children.
You would think that was a ‘no-brainer’ but the powerful inspectorate lobby (with all those inspectors and bureaucrats in well paid jobs) is a significant reactionary force which at present seems to have the sector by the throat.