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Child protection inspections to be strengthened
The Scottish Government has unveiled a new cycle of targeted child protection inspections, aimed at improving standards in struggling areas.
The new cycle of joint inspections – to be carried out by HM Inspectors of Education and its partners - is due to begin from April 2009. Ministers have asked HMIE to submit detailed proposals by the end of March 2009 on the timing, scope and focus of the next inspection cycle.
A three-year child protection reform programme which strengthened Scotland's 30 child protection committees was put in place in 2002. This led to a first round of inspections by HMIE of child protection services in every local authority area in Scotland, which are due to finish in March.
The second cycle will focus on those council areas where improvement is most needed and will continue to identify and share good practice.
One inspection has identified failings in child protection services in the Moray area.
Children's Minister Adam Ingram said: "The shortcomings identified in this report are completely unacceptable and must be addressed quickly and effectively." He called on Moray Council to demonstrate a real commitment to delivering this action plan. The Scottish Government would closely monitor the situation.