Medway Labour Welcome Ofsted Report on Medway’s Children’s Services

Medway Labour and Cooperative Group today welcomed the generally positive report by Ofsted following May’s inspection of Medway’s children’s services, judged ‘Inadequate’ in 2019.  The inspection was undertaken to scrutinise the response of the council to the pandemic in its protection of Medway’s children.  The report, released today, highlighted three key areas for the council to work on, while acknowledging that the service had reacted well to the challenges of the Covid pandemic.  The report pointed to the need to improve the planning for potentially neglected children in Medway and to improve oversight and planning for children placed outside Medway.  The report also says that availability of and access to mental health and emotional wellbeing support for older children and care leavers is not good enough.

Cllr Pat Cooper, Labour and Cooperative Member of Medway’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said today:

“It is important to acknowledge the hard work of Medway’s children’s services during the pandemic, facing the double challenge of Covid and the urgent need to improve following the lamentable ‘Inadequate’ judgement in 2019.  Social workers, senior leaders and officers throughout the service have responded with commitment and hard work to ensure that Medway’s children are safe and cared for.  However, the Conservative administration must not now become complacent.  There is still much hard work to do and we will continue to press for the outcomes that our children deserve.”

Cllr Clive Johnson, Medway Labour and Cooperative Shadow Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said today:

“While it is really good to see that Medway’s children’s services responded positively to the pandemic, and we thank all officers for their hard work in the most trying of circumstances, it is important for Medway’s young people that the areas identified for improvement in this report are addressed urgently.  In particular, the criticism of the availability of and access to emotional health and wellbeing services for older children and care leavers is a worry.  This has been a concern for some time and we call on the Conservative administration to take action urgently to address this key issue.  It is simply not acceptable for the Conservatives to accept that our most vulnerable young people do not receive this vital support when they need it most.”

The Ofsted report can be found here:

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