Single children’s inspectorate will not cover health and youth justice

The government has rejected calls from social care leaders to
bring child health and youth justice under the responsibility of
the proposed single children’s inspectorate,
writes Mithran Samuel.

A consultation on the inspectorate, launched last month,
contains no questions on including health and youth justice, and
the Department for Education and Skills confirmed this week the
proposal was not under consideration. 

Instead, it would only cover children’s social care, the
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, and adult
education, merging Ofsted, the Commission for Social Care
Inspection’s children’s function and the Adult Learning
Inspectorate (ALI).

The news will come as a disappointment to the CSCI, which has
led calls for the two services to be included in the inspectorate
to reflect the integration of children’s services

A DfES spokesperson said: “While health and youth justice
services are important to the well-being of children and young
people, services for children themselves are less easily
distinguishable from those of adults.”

He said this could potentially lead to duplication, for instance
with hospitals being inspected twice, once for adults and once for

But Ann Baxter, director of social services at Stockton-on-Tees
Council, said including health would encourage the NHS to
prioritise children’s services and that youth justice should
also be “on the table”.

Chris Stanley, head of youth crime at Nacro, said it was
unrealistic for youth justice to be included given the current
political climate, but stressed that the new children’s
inspectorate had to play a part in inspecting youth offending

He added: “Young people going through the criminal justice
system have considerable welfare needs and that needs

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