Regular monthly audits will be done by all social care team managers, deputy team managers and members of the social care senior management team.

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1 Child s journey audit practice guidance This guidance covers 1. Audit expectations 2. Audit process 3. Use of the child s journey file audit tool 1. Audit expectations 1. Regular monthly audits Regular monthly audits will be done by all social care team managers, deputy team managers and members of the social care senior management team. They will not happen in August or in months when observations are undertaken. When deep dive audits are undertaken regular audits will be undertaken by those managers who are not members of the self assessment group. Audit is an essential activity and it is important that all managers play a part in the audit programme. Audits should normally be completed by the end of the month. Sufficient notice will be given to plan the activity in a normal month. An extension of up to 1 week may be agreed with the auditor s line manager to manage around circumstances such as leave or sickness. Such extensions should be notified to the Admin Manager (Hen Branston). Extensions of over 1 week or exemptions in exceptional circumstances may be agreed by the Service Improvement Manager (Charlie Moat). 2. Deep dive audits Occasional deep dive audits will be carried out by the self-assessment group. This group is made up of managers from social care together with key managers from strategy and commissioning and early help. This is the group that will be called upon to complete audits in an OFSTED inspection. Deep dive audits will be scheduled 2 or 3 times a year. Members of the self assessment group will not be expected to complete a regular audit during these months. 1

2 2. Audit process 1. Regular monthly audits Before the audit Cases to audit will be allocated in advance for the activity to be scheduled before the end of the month. Auditors should contact the worker for the case and schedule a date to sit down with the worker and go through the child s record with them. Carrying out the audit These audits will normally take 1.5 hours. The audit should look back over up to one year. The aim is not to read the whole record, but look through enough of the record with the worker to form a view about the quality of the work, the record, and the impact of intervention. The participation of the worker is central to these regular audits. The audit tool should be completed in discussion with the worker, looking through the child s record with them and asking questions of them to help in answering the questions in the audit tool. The conversation should be both positive and honest the aim is to give positive feedback where it is due, together with constructive feedback about any aspects of the work that require improvement. Normally it will be possible to agree with the worker what is good, what requires improvement and how. Any actions required should be clearly set out (and hopefully agreed) at the end of the audit session. After the audit The auditor must Record on observations that an audit has been carried out and any actions required Feedback the audit to the supervisor Ensure the audit is typed up in a timely fashion Copy the audit to the group Administrator (Jean Williams) for saving into documentum Copy the audit to the worker and their supervisor. The supervisor must follow up and ensure that any actions arising from the audit are completed. This should be recorded in supervision. 2. Deep dive audits 2

3 Before the audit Cases to audit will be allocated in advance for the activity to be scheduled before the end of the month. Carrying out the audit These audits will normally take between half a day and 2 days, depending on the complexity and length of time the case has been open. The audit should look back over the last two years and may need to look at some records older than that depending on the nature of the case. These audits are completed off-line i.e. by the auditor alone. The aim is to complete a thorough audit of the activity on the case over the last 2 years. After the audit The auditor must Record on observations that an audit has been carried out and any actions required Feedback the audit to the worker and supervisor to advise of audit findings and confirm actions and timescales Ensure the audit is typed up in a timely fashion Copy the audit to the group Administrator (Jean Williams) for saving into documentum Copy the audit to the worker and the supervisor. Best practice will be to meet with the supervisor and worker to feedback from the audit and confirm the actions required and timescale to complete. This needs to take place quickly after completion of the audit and may inform completion of the audit section on feedback, actions and timescales. The supervisor must follow up and ensure that any actions arising from the audit are completed. This should be recorded in supervision. 3

4 3. Completing the child s journey audit tool The child s journey file audit tool is used for all audits both the regular monthly audits and the occasional deep dive audits. Please make sure you use the latest version of the audit tool (v.5 April 2015 at the time of drafting this guidance). The current audit tool can be found at Examples of audits judged to be good can be provided to auditors to illustrate the use of the tool. Case profile This box is used to give a very brief summary of the case the story of our intervention in this child/young person s life. In a regular audit this can be completed with the worker asking for the story can be good way to start these audit sessions and keep the focus on the child, their voice and the outcomes of our work from their perspective. When a child has received support for longer than the audit period, this is the place to very briefly summarise the history of intervention. Evidenced column The evidenced column must be completed for all questions applicable to the case being audited. This requires making a judgement whether there is evidence that the requirement set out in the question has been met. Comments/evidence column This must be completed for all questions applicable to the case. It should briefly set out/summarise the evidence for the judgement made in response to the question. Grade judgements Graded judgements should be completed for each section applicable to the case being audited. These must use the OFSTED grade descriptors (guidance attached) and give brief summary of the evidence for the judgment made. 1a early help and protection This section should normally only be completed when early help has been provided within the period of the audit the last 2 years for a deep dive, the last year for a regular audit. 1b assessment This must be completed for all audits. If there has been more than one assessment, the most recent single assessment should normally be the one that is audited. It will be relevant however to refer to other assessments that have been completed over the audit period. If the assessment informing the current episode of intervention predates the audit period it should be audited. 4

5 The usual expectation is that all children/young people should have a single assessment completed within the last 2 years, although this should be related to changes in the child s circumstances, needs, risks etc rather than being seen as a rigid requirement. 1c children in need This section should normally only be completed when the child is receiving or has received social care support as child in need (not child protection, in care or care leaver) within the audit period. 1d child protection This section should normally only be completed if the child is on, or has been subject to s47 and/or a child protection plan within the audit period. 2 child s voice and understanding 3 decision-making and management oversight 4 information sharing and partnership working 5 understanding and practice in relation to diversity and culture 6 plans and reviews 7 direct work and recording These sections must be completed for all cases. 8 permanency and placement planning This section should only be completed for children who have been subject to Public Law Outline at any time during the current episode of intervention and/or who are, or were, in care during the audit period. 9 outcomes for children in care and care leavers This must be completed for all children who are or have been in care, or care leavers during the audit period. 10 independence This section should be completed for young people aged 16+ in supported or independent living, including children in care, care leavers and young people who have left home or been homeless. Service user feedback Regular audit check with the worker what feedback if any has been obtained. 5

6 Deep dive audit check on the records what feedback has been obtained, e.g. at reviews. If there is time and it is feasible and appropriate the auditor may telephone the parent or young person directly to seek feedback. This could be along the lines of Has the service been helpful /unhelpful and how..? Has the worker been helpful/unhelpful and how..? How could we improve the service? File checklist First part to be completed for all cases, second for children in care only. Actions following audit Any urgent/immediate child protection concerns should be raised directly and immediately with the line manager for the case. Actions required may be discussed and agreed when feeding back a deep dive audit, or during the audit if a regular monthly audit with practitioner. The responsible person for ensuring actions are completed will usually be the line manager/supervisor for the case. Best practice will be to agree the actions and timescale as part of feeding back the audit. 6

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