Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Service

The Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Service has a broad reach providing clear expectations, support, and challenge across all of children's social care and early help. This is to enable us to provide the best possible services to children, young people and families to support children to have the best life they can.

We're committed to understanding what life is like for all the children and young people we work with and to understanding their family. This is so we can facilitate the best help and support from professionals and family and friend support networks.   

In addition to our own internal assessment of the quality of our work with families, we actively seek out feedback from children and families to help us improve our service to them. We work alongside the Medway Safeguarding Children Partnership (MSCP) to help us work well with partner organisations and for their independent assessment on the quality of our work with families.

Practice Development Service

We're responsible for practice development and improvement through:

  • audit and quality assurance
  • learning and development opportunities
  • targeted support for practitioners and managers.

In addition, the service supports:

  • students and newly qualified social workers
  • policy and participation work
  • the embedding of our practice model, Signs of Safety
  • recruitment and retention
  • development of our first line managers.

In addition to quality assurance and practice improvement, the service has a strong focus on staff care and wellbeing. Together we work to help create a culture where good practice can flourish and our staff, at all levels, feel valued and supported.

The team consists of:

  • a practice development service manager
  • a principal social worker
  • practice development leads
  • a project officer.

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) team

We oversee and co-ordinate the management of allegations made against professionals who work with children. We offer advice and guidance to all Medway organisations that provide a service to children, including the voluntary sector. We also deliver all aspects of education safeguarding and manage a team of designated social workers based at HMP YOI Cookham Wood.

Our team consists of:

  • a safeguarding service manager
  • LADOs (local authority designated officers)
  • an education safeguarding officer
  • a support officer
  • designated social workers.

Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) team

We're passionate about building strong relationships with children and young people, and have high aspirations for them, for now, when they are with us, and for the future. We provide independent oversight of the care they receive to ensure they have the best opportunities and life chances to thrive.

We aim to ensure permanence for our children to enable them to grow up to be the best they can be. Our statutory duties include chairing the child’s review, and ongoing monitoring of the child’s care plan. 

Our team consists of:

  • an IRO service manager
  • independent reviewing officers.

Read our annual report from the IRO.

Child Protection (CP) Conferencing Chair team

We facilitate child protection conferences in situations where parents are struggling to provide a safe and nurturing home for their children.

We work with families in a strengths-based, non-judgmental way. This ensures families know clearly what our worries are and what they need to do to address those worries. This is to enable them to have the best opportunity to make changes that will support their children.

We are working to embed the Signs of Safety approach into our conferences, work with families and to provide independent oversight and scrutiny.

Our team consists of:

  • a CP chair service manager
  • CP conference chairs
  • a child in need reviewing officer.