Table of contents

Unmet needs and service gaps

Background papers: children :: Looked After Children :: Unmet needs and service gaps

Health–The current LAC health provision has seen a number of improvements in increasing the number of initial seen within the statutory 28 day time frame. The service is also seeing sustainable increases in the number of review and adoption assessments. The current review of Medway Foundation Trust block contract includes the LAC health team and it is envisaged that this review will inform a revised outcomes focused specification with agreed measures to enable more robust quality and performance monitoring. It is also envisaged that the review will inform how the expertise and knowledge of the nursing team in particular can be better utilised in order to address the increasingly complex needs of looked after children.

Mental health & Emotional Wellbeing–Commissioners are working with the provider to ensure that in future a better more targeted service based on the needs of the children and young people is provided. A review of the single point of access processes needs to take place to ensure that all referrals are managed through this service in such a way that significantly reduces waiting times. Increased support in the community (including schools) in promoting emotional well-being and resilience needs to be targeted and well resourced. There is a need to ensure that evidenced based pathways for children and young people exist and that a comprehensive quality and performance framework exist in order to monitor and evaluate outcomes. ADHD and ASD pathways are reviewed to ensure that assessments and interventions are aligned.

Placements–to secure sufficiency of provision for 16+ homeless and care leavers ensuring that the placements can meet differing levels of need. To drive up the quality of all placement types whist driving down the cost especially where it is known that Medway pays above and beyond the price paid by other local authorities for the same provision. To increase the number and abilities of foster carers who can support standard, complex and specialist needs.

CSE–For the Medway Safeguarding Children Board to drive through establishment of MASE panels in order to ensure that the prevention, intervention, diversion and disruption elements of the CSE strategy are consistently put in place in order to reduce the impact of CSE risk.

Leaving Care–The provision of accommodation and support that meets the need of a range of care leavers need to be secured. There is a need to ensure that Pathway Plans are completed within the timescale and shared with all the relevant individuals or groups. Similarly health histories need to be completed prior to the young person leaving care so that they take with them a clear record.