THERE is a renewed commitment to ensure abused and neglected children and young people in are given “the best services possible” in Fife.

A Care Inspectorate report painted a positive picture of the work that’s being done in the Kingdom to help protect those in need while also identifying ‘priority’ areas for improvement.

Fife Council chief executive Steve Grimmond, chair of Fife's Chief Officer Group, which covers all children’s services, said: “Partners including the council, NHS Fife, SCRA, Police Scotland, the Health and Social Care Partnership and the Fire and Rescue Service work incredibly hard to protect vulnerable children and young people as well as making a positive impact on their lives and future life chances.

"This report highlights the scope and extent of that work and provides us with a positive benchmark in our bid to continually improve what we do."

All areas inspected between October 1 and November 16 last year were classed as "good", with particular strengths including ‘pre-birth planning’ to ensure vulnerable pregnant women were supported, flexible and responsive therapeutic services, nurturing care by staff and carers, strong partnership working and help for looked-after children in education and post-school destinations.

Priority areas for improvement included better recognition and response when children and young people experience neglect or repeated instances of harm, and greater consistency in the standards of assessments, child’s plans and management oversight.

Partners were also told to improve the time taken to undertake health needs assessments in pre-school children when they become looked after, and to advise care leavers how to seek emotional or wellbeing support.

Mr Grimmond added: "There is always room for improvement and although our services are good, we are always striving to do better.

"Our partnership working is a real strength and we will continue to work together to provide our children and young people with the best services possible."

Inspectors met 59 children and young people and 27 parents and carers, and they received more than 1,500 responses to surveys about care in Fife.