Initial findings from review of residential services for children and young people in Highland welcomed

Initial analysis of a review into residential childcare in Highland Council has been presented to members of today’s Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee.

The independent review, commissioned by the Executive Chief Officer of Health and Social Care within Highland Council, sought to gain an informed assessment of provision and delivery within the Service in respect of residential services for children and young people.

The review has been undertaken on behalf of Highland Council by an experienced external senior manager, Fred McBride.

Councillor David Fraser, Chair of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, said:  “This is a thorough and comprehensive review – one which has involved many months’ worth of research, observation and analysis of this particular part of the Service.

“It has been carried out systematically and involved meetings with key staff within the Health and Social Care Service, visits to residential homes, engagement with the young people living within these facilities and discussion with frontline residential staff.”

Cllr Fraser continued:  “At this stage, we are still digesting and fully-analysing its findings.  For this reason, there was no in-depth discussion or debate invited on this matter during today’s meeting, but this will follow at a future Committee.

“While one of the initial outcomes reported is that Highland Council’s use of residential care was above the national average, preparations are currently underway to consider alternative models including those focused on preventing young people from entering residential care. The overall aspiration is to reduce the number of young children requiring residential care by strengthening family based care approaches.

In concluding, Cllr Fraser said:  “Having the collective role and responsibility as Corporate Parents, our priority sits squarely with improving the opportunities and life chances for those young people within residential services.  The outcomes from this review will effectively enable us to continue to improve and build on this commitment.”


24 Aug 2022