Decision details

PCC DN - Independent review of SARC CYP case management -Dr Alex Chard YCTCS

Decision Maker: Director for Police, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, GM Deputy Mayor, Treasurer GMCA

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The reasons for the decision are:

From working with St Marys SARC, our provider of therapeutic support services of rape and other sexual offences for children and young people, a number of agreed challenges have been identified in this sector that require fully scoping in order to identify ways forward. This includes a lack of capacity to regularly monitor waiting lists, to review suitability, assess risk, and refer victims to more appropriate services where necessary. There is also a gap in terms of GM wide local protocols between SARC and Children’s Services/CAMHS.

There is recognition that there is significant complexity and high levels of need of the children and families that utilise the St Marys SARC service, with many unknowns about the collective profile of children and parents and the appropriateness of current pathways. GMCA Police and Crime Team have engaged with external consultants and particularly the NHS Integrated Care to scope out an independent review of SARC CYP case management.

This proposed review will deliver the following outcomes:
• Recognition of the importance and responsibilities of the range of partner agencies (health, education and social care) towards these children and their families;
• A clear articulation of the extent of the need of children (and parents) on the waiting list including how they profile in the range of children’s and adult services.
• A clear plan to safely reduce the child waiting list for CYP SARC counselling services;
• Options appraisal for the prompt delivery of services to children on the waiting list and the capacity within SARC to deliver this;
• Adequate escalation process for all agencies

This joint independent review will be conducted with a collaborative “critical friend” approach that draws on the expertise of the service to co-create a reflective learning process. This will include:
• Review of CAHMS eligibility in each area
• Identification of potential barriers from triage to onward referral
• Review of multi-agency safeguarding responsibilities
• Deep dive case review
• Review current case management systems and mechanisms to analyse patient demographics and trend data
• Consideration of the needs of parents including addressing their possible traumatisation and potential re-traumatisation in the context of their own history;
• Consideration of the role of SARC and other services in helping to educate parents on how to keep their children safe from further harm;

The review will be undertaken by Dr Alex Chard, Director YCTCS Ltd. He is a systemic organisational consultant, independent academic and professional author. He has a Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice and is a member of the Society of Authors and the Institute of Directors. is recognised as a national expert in this field and has extensive experience including undertaking reviews into 2 London boroughs and reporting to a Home Office Minister.


£60k be committed from NHSE GM Health & Justice Budget to fund an Independent review of case management of SARC Children Young Persons therapeutic support for rape and other sexual offences. This is to be conducted by Dr Alex Chard, Director YCTCS Ltd.

Publication date: 09/05/2024

Date of decision: 04/04/2024