Press release

Joint targeted area inspections to focus on early help for children and families

Ofsted, CQC and HMICFRS have published guidance for the thematic focus on early help for families, as part of their programme of joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs).

Local areas’ multi-agency arrangements for helping children and families early will be the focus of upcoming thematic JTAIs carried out by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), starting in November 2022.

These JTAIs will consider how different agencies across children’s social care, education, health, and the police, work together to reduce risks to children and families, and meet their needs early.

The JTAIs follow research commissioned by Ofsted in early 2022 ‘Early help: concepts, policy directions and multi-agency perspectives’. The independent study, produced by Research in Practice, discussed current early help provision in England, government policy, and how agencies work together to prevent longer-term intervention. Today’s guidance refers to this report and the independent review of children’s social care’s recommendation that government combines targeted early help and help for children in need.

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted National Director for Regulation and Social Care:

Getting the right response at the right time is critical for children and families. All agencies have their part to play in helping children and families early.

Working with CQC and HMICFRS, our JTAIs will help establish a shared understanding of how multi-agency partners work effectively together to help families before significant harm happens, and take timely action to protect children.

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Published 7 October 2022