Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI): Guidance for Practitioners

Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) together undertake a programme of Joint Targeted Area Inspections (JTAIs) in a local area.

JTAI is an inspection of the local area arrangements and how leaders, managers and practitioners work together across the local authority, police, health providers and partner services to safeguard children and promote their welfare.

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  • What does JTAI focus on?
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    There are currently two types of JTAI inspection:

    – One type evaluates the multi-agency response to identification of initial need and risk (or the the ‘front door’ of child protection)

    – The other type looks a particular theme or cohort of children, currently the focus is on the multi-agency response to serious youth violence

    Each focus is subject to change periodically.

  • Who undertakes the Inspection?
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    Inspectors from:

    – Ofsted – two social care inspectors – one will be the lead inspector,

    – Ofsted – one school’s inspector

    – Care Quality Commission (CQC) – two inspectors

    – Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) – two inspectors

  • What does activity consist of?
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    Inspectors will be focusing on children’s experiences and progress and will prioritise gathering evidence about direct practice with children and families.

    Inspectors will:

     – Undertake case sampling

    – Undertake case tracking (a more in-depth look at practice and at least five cases will be selected from performance and management information provided in advance of the on-site activity (week 3)

    – Evaluate the quality and impact of audits undertaken locally

    – Interview practitioners, managers, leaders and stakeholders

    – Speak with children, young people and families

    – Meet with representatives of our multi-agency safeguarding arrangements (WSCP)

    – Review documents, performance and management information

    – Observe practice and multi-agency meetings, e.g. ICPC, Strategy Meeting, Multi-agency Panels etc.

  • How long does the inspection last?
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    Inspection Timeline

    Week 1- Inspectors Off Site

    – Notification usually on a Monday, 10 working days before the fieldwork begins

    – Annex A information (Prescribed child level data) is provided, along with a list of multi-agency audits completed in the last 6 months.

    – Inspectors select 30 children and further information is provided on these cases.

    – Five children’s cases are selected for local partners to audit on a single and multi-agency basis.

    Week 2 – Inspectors Off Site

    – The local authority and partner agencies complete the audit of the five cases selected, submit key documents for each case and share their findings with the inspectorate.

    – Preparatory work for the on-site timetable begins.

    – Additional performance and management information is provided to the Inspectors by the local authority, the Police and relevant Health services.

    – Inspectors may meet virtually with local leaders, staff and any stakeholders relevant to the scope of this inspection.

    Week 3 – Inspectors On Site

    – Fieldwork takes place Monday to Friday and inspection activity listed above is undertaken by inspectors.

    – Inspection findings are fed back to the local partnership on Friday.

    Weeks 4 and 5 – Inspectors Off Site

    Ofsted draft the findings letter for the local partnership

     Week 6

    Draft findings report sent to the local partnership on Friday of week 6 (15 working days after fieldwork).

    Weeks 7 and 8

    Director of Children’s Services has 9 working days to co-ordinate comments from the partner agencies as part of a factual accuracy check of the report. Comments are returned to inspectors by Thursday of week 8

    Week 10

    Final findings report is sent to local partners on Monday of week 10 and this is an embargoed version until Friday of this week when the report is published and available to the public.

  • What is happening in Wakefield?
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    There is a multi-agency JTAI working group which is co-ordinated by Wakefield Safeguarding Children Partnership. The function of the group is to support preparation, self-assess and digest learning identified from JTAI’s in external areas.

    For further information on the work of the group please contact WSCP –

Further Reading

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