Agenda item

Medway Safeguarding Children Partnership (MSCP) Annual Report 2022-23

The purpose of this report is to present the Medway Safeguarding Children Partnership (MSCP) Annual Report 2022-23 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 report was presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board on 23 November 2023 and will be presented to the Community Safety Partnership in line with the Joint Working Protocol between the boards in Medway.




The MSCP Business Manager introduced the report which set out the work of the partnership in the last year including key achievements and case review work.


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


Links with Community Safety Partnership (CSP) – in response to a question whether the partnership could consider improved links with the CSP on issues such as trafficking and county lines, the MSCP Manager informed the Committee that some work on a joint protocol was planned for 2024.


HMP YOI Cookham Wood – in response to a question whether the previously close links between Cookham Wood and Medway Council should be revisited the Director of People and Deputy Chief Executive stated that although young people were detained at Cookham Wood they remained the responsibility of their respective local authority. Additionally, it was vital to retain effective boundaries of responsibility between Cookham Wood and Medway Council.


Views of children and families – it was commented that it was disappointing the partnership had not been able to ascertain the views of children and families, the officer explained the partnership’s ambition was to develop a communications strategy to better understand the views of children and families and would be promoting Child Friendly Medway.


Identifying outcome and impact – it was noted that the partnership had undertaken work to identify its impact and outcomes and a request was made that this be included in future reports. The officer explained that the partnership had a business plan which outlined activities and outcomes and was reviewed by the Executive Board on a regular basis. This would be included in a future report but acknowledged that it was a challenge for Safeguarding Children Partnership’s nationally.


Child Exploitation Review – a request was made that the Committee be given the opportunity to consider the report which reviewed the current multi-agency response to Child Exploitation. The officer undertook to include a summary in the next update report to the Committee.


Family Assessment – further information was sought on the changes made following the multi-agency audit in September 2022 which showed some cases had been stepped down without a full child and family assessment. It was explained that assessments may be stepped down where full information had not been available, and caseloads were now lower, and assessments improved.


Headteacher representatives – it was commented that the partnership does not have a head teacher representation from a SEND provider, the Assistant Director Education and SEND undertook to consider adding representation from that sector.


Risk to LGBT young people – a Member noted the positive work undertaken on the risk of suicide and children with additional needs and asked if the partnership could also consider the LGBT young people who may be at risk of hate crime. The officer explained that learning arose from a specific review and no specific work had been undertaken relating to the risk of LGBT young people being subject to hate crime, he undertook to consider this potential line of enquiry.


Hospice Care – it was commented that one child had passed away in a hospice during the year whilst seventeen had passed away in hospital, and it was asked that the partnership consider whether parents had been effectively signposted to the availability of the hospice.




1.    The Committee noted the annual report and the effectiveness of local services in keeping children safe.


2.    The Committee requested the partnership consider whether to bring forward the investigation and briefing reports to future meetings of the Committee.


3.    The Committee requested future reports to highlight the impact of work undertaken by the partnership.


4.    The Committee requested the partnership consider the inclusion of headteacher representation from a SEND provisions.


5.    The Committee requested the partnership consider the risk of young LGBT people to hate crime.


6.    The Committee requested the partnership to consider whether parents were being effectively signposted to the availability of hospice care.

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