Multi-agency child protection arrangements between October 2011 and March 2013

In July 2012, a consultation exercise was held by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HMIC, HMI Probation and HMI Prisons on proposals for the joint inspection of multi-agency arrangements for the protection of children. A pilot inspection programme was subsequently carried out. In November 2012 HMIC conducted unannounced inspections of the child protection services delivered by Staffordshire Police within the Staffordshire local authority area, Greater Manchester Police within the Rochdale Metropolitan Borough local authority area, and West Mercia Police within the Herefordshire local authority area.

Our inspection of each force took place while Ofsted were conducting their child protection inspections of the services delivered by the respective local authority. The inspections were conducted separately and although inspectors from both organisations were in contact with each other, neither inspection affected the findings of the other. We identified a number of areas where improvements should be made and all the findings are detailed within the individual reports which below.

Staffordshire Police

Staffordshire Police was selected to take part in the pilot inspection programme because it was identified as a force that might provide good practice examples in the area of child protection.

The inspectors were satisfied that children and young people in Staffordshire were being helped and protected by Staffordshire Police. They were particularly impressed by the efforts the force had made to facilitate thorough and effective information sharing among all key partners involved in child protection, and by its approach to protecting children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation through the development of a pro-active multi-agency approach.

Greater Manchester Police

Greater Manchester Police was selected to take part in the pilot inspection programme because it was identified as a complex force with ten local authorities within its boundaries, each authority responsible for individual child protection arrangements.

The inspectors were satisfied that children and young people in Rochdale were being helped and protected by the Greater Manchester Police. They were particularly impressed by the efforts the force had made, with its partners, to protect children who were affected by domestic abuse situations assessed as being at a high level of risk.

Read HMIC’s report: Joint inspection of multi-agency child protection arrangements – Greater Manchester Police

West Mercia Police

West Mercia Police was selected to take part in the pilot inspection programme as it is a force covering both urban and rural environments across a range of local authority boundaries, each authority responsible for individual child protection arrangements.

This inspection took place a short while after Ofsted had conducted its child protection inspection of the services delivered by Herefordshire Council. The inspections were conducted independently and neither inspection affected the findings of the other.

Read HMIC’s report: Joint inspection of multi-agency child protection arrangements – West Mercia Police

In April 2013 Ofsted announced that the multi-agency child protection arrangements would be deferred until April 2015.

Read Ofsted’s press release: A single inspection framework for children’s services for more information.