Medway reduces restraint incidents

Medway secure training centre has reduced the use of physical restraint on young offenders and made marked efforts to improve safeguarding arrangements, inspectors have found.

In a report this week, the Commission for Social Care Inspection said Medway, which houses 76 young people, recorded 46 incidents of restraint in March 2006, down from a monthly high of 248 earlier in 2005-6.

CSCI said the STC, one of four in England, had a successful behaviour management system in place, supported by most young people, and priority was given to equipping staff with negotiating skills as well as training in restraint.

It had negotiated a policy for allegations made by young people to be referred to Medway Council  child protection staff within one day, while inspectors said they believed safeguarding was at the “forefront” of thinking at the centre.

It also praised investment in training and mentoring support for newly appointed staff.

However, the report found that none of the centre’s units had suitable facilities for key workers to have confidential  conversations with young people, and senior managers often responded slowly to information requests from advocates and social workers regarding complaints.

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