Agenda item

Multi-Agency Action Plan - Serious Case Review


The Head of Children’s Social Care introduced the report and action plan, included in appendix 1, which detailed the progress that had been made in Children’s Social Care and Education in response to the findings of the Serious Case Review.


Councillor Halden observed that all items detailed on the action plan were of a ‘green’ status, and was worried about this given the severity of the issues that had been presented.


The Head of Children’s Social Care explained that the ‘green’ status meant that progress was on track and that no additional action was required but that did not mean that all actions had been completed as development would be ongoing.


Councillor Ojetola observed that he was happy the actions were on track and affirmed that as long as regular updates were provided to the Committee he was happy for the process to continue.


The Director of Children’s Services informed the Committee that the team had been progressing ahead at pace in order to achieve the green indicators and that regular updates were provided to the Management Team every fortnight in order to ensure work was on target.


Councillor Morris-Cook remarked that initially she was concerned that the outcomes did not follow SMART methodology and were not easily measurable, however on further inspections she welcomed the ‘RAG’ status, evidence and target dates so that progress could be validated.


Councillor Halden questioned the Head of Children’s Social Care and received responses as follows:


·         In relation to the matter as to whether the board were aware that Children in Need processes were vulnerable to pressures on Social Work teams, Councillor Halden observed that he had raised this concern at the previous meeting and was assured that workload pressures or time constraints had not attributed to this case being flagged up.


·         The Head of Children’s Social Care explained that the issue had not been progressed further primarily due to the fact that there had been a preoccupation with identifying the case as a rape case, and therefore a criminal matter, rather than one of Child Sexual Exploitation.


·         Councillor Halden was concerned that the introduction of the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) had increased the number of the agencies involved, in light of the fact that one of the failings which had been identified was that agencies felt that their duty was complete because they had shared information rather than taking responsibility for their own actions in the safeguarding arena. He questioned how this had been addressed.


The Head of Children’s Social Care advised that cases were referred into the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and escalated as necessary, where all agencies were challenged. This was reinforced by the fact that each agency was represented in the MASH.


The Director of Children’s Services informed Members that a monthly audit of case files took place, where a sample of case files were audited by line managers and social workers questioned to establish what relationships were like and identify if escalation was required.




That Members be invited to scrutinise the Multi-Agency Action Plan and the feedback be noted.

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