Joint targeted child protection inspections

In 2016, a programme of joint targeted area child protection inspections was launched. These short, focused inspections are carried out on a multi-agency basis, led by Ofsted and also involving HMICFRS, the Care Quality Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation.

Please note: In July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Inspections carried out before July 2017 may continue to refer to HMIC.


Multi-agency child protection pilot inspections

Following recommendations made in 2011’s Munro Review of Child Protection, HMIC was involved in developing and piloting multi-agency child protection inspections between 2011 and 2013. These inspections highlighted many areas of effective practice, but also identified a number of areas where improvement was needed. These included:

  • the quality of joint investigations;
  • the identification of risk;
  • dealing with domestic abuse; and
  • the detention of children in custody.

Integrated child protection pilot inspections

Drawing on the results of these pilots, inspectorates worked together to develop an approach that would drive sustained improvements in the protection of children. This resulted in proposals for ‘integrated’ child protection inspections where inspectorates separately assessed the contribution of local agencies delivering child protection within the same local authority area at the same time. Pilot integrated inspections took place in late 2014.

Joint targeted child protection inspections

Responses to these proposals, and the pilots, confirmed the benefits of working together. Inspectorates agreed that greater impact could be achieved by carrying out short, targeted joint inspections looking specifically at how well agencies work together to protect children in an area.

Get the inspection framework

An inspection framework for joint targeted child protection inspections was developed in late 2015 following further consultation and a pilot inspection. This framework sets out the approach for the inspections planned for 2016. It was updated on 10 August 2016.

Inspection framework – Joint Targeted Area Inspections

Joint targeted area inspections include a ‘deep dive’ investigation – an evaluation of children and young people’s experiences. This changes periodically to investigate different themes in detail.

Children at risk of child sexual exploitation theme

The first theme examined was children at risk of sexual exploitation and those missing from home, school or care. This was examined in five inspections and the findings drawn together in the report Time to listen’- A Joined Up Approach to Child Sexual Exploitation and Missing Children.

Framework: Joint inspections of child sexual exploitation and missing children: February to August 2016

Children living with domestic abuse theme

The theme for September 2016 to March 2017 is the response to children living with domestic abuse. This was examined for six inspections and the findings drawn together in the report The multi-agency response to children living with domestic abuse.

Framework: Joint inspections of the response to children living with domestic abuse: September 2016 to March 2017

Children experiencing neglect theme

The theme for May to December 2017 is how local partner agencies – including local authorities, health and probation services and the police – are working together to protect children living with, or at risk of, neglect.

Framework: Joint inspections of the response to children experiencing neglect: May to December 2017


For further information about the programme, please see the Ofsted website