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Ofsted has launched a consultation seeking views from practitioners on how it should inspect Cafcass.
The consultation proposals for the inspection of Cafcass are intended to ensure that inspections do more to drive improvement; take greater account of the needs of the service and its users; target resources where they will have the greatest impact on outcomes for children and use Ofsted resources as efficiently as possible.
In particular the consultation seeks opinions on: how often Ofsted should inspect the new Cafcass service areas, particularly those found to be inadequate; the approach Ofsted should take in publishing reports, and; how the findings of Cafcass reports on service areas might inform the new comprehensive area assessments of the localities concerned.
Nagalro, the professional organisation for practitioners working with children, welcomed Ofsted's proposal for earlier publication of its findings, which it said would be more relevant than the current built in delay in reporting on inspections.
Alison Paddle, spokeswoman for Nagalro, said today We will be inviting Ofsted to use this opportunity to take a more self-critical look at how it approaches inspection of Cafcass, an agency where parents and children have little choice about their involvement. We think the judiciary as important users of the service need to have a real voice.
"Inspection has an important role in improving standards and must be based on a full understanding of the agency's remit, so that it enables better practice, not just more bureaucratic practice."
This consultation opened on 8 September 2008 and will close on 1 December 2008.