A new report from North Ayrshire’s Chief Social Work Officer has highlighted the recent successes of social work teams in North Ayrshire.

The report, approved at North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet meeting last week, highlights the wide range of social work activity carried out over the past year.

In the past year, teams have seen an increase in the number of children requiring Child Protection Orders in order to keep them safe.

However, despite this there has been a decrease in the number of children who have become newly accommodated away from home - the lowest number of children requiring alternative care since 2017-2018.

An additional nine new approved foster carers joined.

North Ayrshire Council has also committed to fulfilling ‘The Promise’, a Scottish Government initiative which aims to ensure that care experienced children and young people have their voices heard and grow up loved, safe and respected.

The year also saw the launch of North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee’s Child Sexual Abuse Strategy – the first of its kind in Scotland.

The strategy aims to ensure that people become more knowledgeable and confident about CSA and know what to do if they suspect it is happening.

The Service Access team has been working closely with North Ayrshire Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service (NADARS) to identify more appropriate pathways of support for those impacted by substance use, through a pilot whereby Recovery Development Workers with lived experienced responded to referrals.

This proved to be highly effective.

Councillor Robert Foster, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Despite the real progress we have made North Ayrshire is still ranked as the fifth most deprived area of Scotland.

"We also have an ageing population.

“To see so many positive examples of the impact social work services are having within our communities is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, and we would like to thank them.

"We are extremely proud of the way in which staff have stepped up.”