Agenda item

Medway Safeguarding Children Partnership (MSCP) Annual Report 2020-21

The purpose of this report is to present the Medway Safeguarding Children Partnership (MSCP) Annual Report 2020-21 to the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The report provides an overview of the work carried out by the MSCP in the last year. It sets out the key achievements of the partnership against its key priorities and gives an overview of the learning and improvement role of the MSCP including case reviews that have been undertaken. It also includes a section from the Independent Scrutineer, Rory Patterson.




The current Chair of the Medway Safeguarding Children Partnership (MSCP) Executive introduced the report, highlighting that safeguarding had remained a priority and focus throughout the covid-19 pandemic. She also drew attention to the independent review of the partnership which identified strengths and areas for improvement and highlighted the strengthened relationship with schools.


Members then raised a number of questions and comments, which included:


·       Neglect – in response to a question about the profile and awareness relating to child neglect and how that was managed across the system it was confirmed that neglect was a focus for the partnership and it was a priority area for learning from reviews and was an issue that needed to be tackled at pre-parenting and early parenting stages.


·       Child death reviews – reference was made to some of these reviews not being completed (as detailed in the report) and confirmation was given that many of these related to child deaths from illnesses such as cancer or deaths caused by road traffic accidents.  Learning from serious incidents was effective and the learning was being picked up and disseminated across the system


·       Cookham Wood – reference was made to the recent inspection of Cookham Wood and concern was raised in relation to the overall wellbeing of those young people at Cookham Wood.  The Director of People confirmed that the partnership continued to work closely with the secure estate to ensure improvements were progressed and achieved.


·       Gang strategy – it was undertaken by the partnership to circulate the Gang Strategy when finalised.


·       Engagement – reference was made to some partner organisations feeling less connected under the new MSCP arrangements, which came in to effect during 2019. The Independent Scrutineer explained that the new arrangements involved fewer partner organisations at the high level meetings and the change needed to be embedded but confirmed that the MSCP held regular leadership events to include as many partners as possible and was proactive as a partnership.


·       Domestic Abuse – in response to a question about whether any work was done to support perpetrators of domestic abuse, it was confirmed that there was a large amount of work and support across the partnership to support victims, children and abusers.  A programme had been developed to provide therapeutic support to perpetrators that met the criteria.


·       Child Protection Plan (CPP) numbers – in response to a question about how confident Medway was that it had the right children with a CPP, officers confirmed that this remained an area of focus.  At the time of Medway’s inspection, the numbers of children with a CPP were very high which was due to drift and delay.  Extensive work had taken place to reduce this drift and delay, leading to much fewer children on CPPs. Work was underway as part of the ongoing improvement to ensure that the right children were on the right plan at the right time.  This was likely to lead to an increase in the numbers of children on a CPP, more in line with statistical neighbours as this was re-calibrated.


·       Voice of children and families – in response to a question about the survey, officers confirmed that the survey (referred to on page 45 of the agenda) had been conducted online and due to the pandemic and lockdowns, they had not been able to offer alternative ways of accessing the survey, such as through schools.


·       Out of area children – concern was raised about the support children placed in Medway by other local authorities received.  Officers confirmed that although these children would access partner services in the normal way, their relationship with children’s social care was limited as they remained the responsibility of the local authority that placed them.



The Committee noted the report.

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