Agenda and minutes

Corporate Parenting Sub Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 17th October, 2019 4.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Rosalyn Patterson - Email:  rosalynpatterson@gateshead.gov.uk, Tel: 0191 433 2088 

Items
No. Item

CP10

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor McMaster, Councillor Oxberry, Councillor McCartney, Councillor Davison, Councillor Gallagher and co-opted member Malcolm Hedley.

 

CP11

Minutes pdf icon PDF 203 KB

The Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting held on 4 July 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED    -           That the minutes of the last meeting held on 4 July 2019 be

agreed as a correct record.

 

CP12

Young People's Presentation

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from young people and representatives from One Voice. They presented to Committee the work they had undertaken, including attending Senior Officer Team meetings to speak about being corporate parents.  The older care leavers also cooked for senior managers, including the Chief Executive and Strategic Directors.

 

It was also noted that some older care leavers became part of the interview panel to appoint staff to the Care, Wellbeing and Learning (CWL) Service, this involved appointment of Independent Reviewing Officers amongst others. It was acknowledged that this was invaluable input.

 

Committee then took part in a group exercise which looked at what type of information young people wanted their Social Worker to know about them.

 

RESOLVED    -           That the information presented be noted.

 

CP13

Performance Overview pdf icon PDF 799 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Care Wellbeing and Learning

Minutes:

The Committee received a report outlining performance data for the period up until end of August 2019.

 

It was reported that at the end of August there were 400 LAC, this was a 5.3% increase since the end of March. It was noted that this figure tends to fluctuate between 380 – 400 and as of today the number stands at 386 LAC.

 

The rate of LAC is currently 101 per 10,000, it is anticipated that this will be in line with the regional average. It was acknowledged that there is a small band of fluctuation in terms of admissions into care but there has been 15% less admissions over the last two years.  The majority of children coming into care do so due to abuse or neglect, this equates to around 90% of those entering care.

 

In relation to the reasons for discharge it was reported that, over the last 12 months, fewer young people are returning home and fewer young people leaving care on their 18th birthday. Although there has been an increase in children leaving care following a child arrangement order or special guardianship order. It was noted that the number of adoptions remains consistent.

 

In terms of duration of care, these are generally increasing with more children are being looked after for slightly longer.  64% of LAC are in mainstream fostering placements.

 

Committee was advised that performance indicators are generally positive, however timescales for reviews, while remaining strong in way of overall performance when benchmarked to other areas, had declined in the most recent period. Action had been taken by the service to ensure issue did not happen again.

 

RESOLVED    -           Committee noted the content of the report.

 

CP14

Progress in relation to reducing the number of LAC and Children subject to Child Protection Plans pdf icon PDF 678 KB

Report of Strategic Director, Care Wellbeing and Learning

Minutes:

A report was presented on the work underway to reduce the number of children subject to Child Protection Plans.

 

It was reported that the number of CPP has reduced to 244 this week, this is the lowest since July 2018. Since January 2019 there has been a change in the way the Social Work team operates; the Assessment and Intervention Service now assesses families and continue to work with them under child in need arrangements. Trends are monitored through monthly performance clinics.

 

In this years Ofsted inspection the service was judged as ‘good’ in relation to the progress of children who need help and protection.

 

It was reported that domestic abuse is the most significant factor in children being on CPP’s for over two years. In response to this a series of Practice Innovation Groups have been set up to look at different ways of working with families who experience domestic abuse.

 

It was noted that the cohort of LAC is fairly static and young people are remaining looked after for longer, therefore the impact on the service is great.  In terms of the cohort the gender split has remained fairly consistent, with 56% being male.  The greatest proportion of LAC are within the 10-15 year old population, although there has been an increase in the 0-4 year old age group becoming looked after.

 

Committee was advised that over 25% of the current LAC cohort have been in care for more than five years which is consistent with previous years.

 

In terms of early permanence performance is good, with double the amount of Special Guardianship Orders. Adoption numbers remain very static.

 

It was reported that over the last year a number of measures have been implemented to ensure care planning is right at the earliest stage. These measures include; monthly care team meetings to ensure stable and secure placements and look at section 20’s, audits on performance data, bespoke packages of support and practice innovation groups.

 

It was acknowledged that while numbers remain consistent, data has changed, for example there are now more family and friend placements with a number of improvements in a lot of areas.

 

In terms of court proceedings it was reported that 62 cases were issued last year, there has been a 43% decrease this year compared with last, with only 36 cases being issued to court. This reflects the impact of work at an earlier stage to prevent them coming into Care is being effective.

 

It was questioned why there has been an increase in the number of 0-4 year olds becoming looked after. It was noted that there is a high number of under two’s, however this is usually the ones that can be turned around quickly.  It was acknowledged that those young people 14 years and over are particularly challenging as many come into the service having had no previous contact.  Work is ongoing to establish whether something is required earlier on specifically for teens.

 

It was also questioned as to what is  ...  view the full minutes text for item CP14

CP15

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Joint Report of the Chief Executive and Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report setting out the provisional work programme for the municipal year 2019/20.

 

RESOLVED    -           (i)         That Committee endorsed the provisional work

programme for 2019/20.

 

                                    (ii)        That Committee noted that further reports will be

brought to the Committee to identify any additional issues which the Committee may be asked to consider.

 

CP16

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Committee may wish to pass a resolution to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the following item on the grounds indicated:

 

Item                                         Paragraphs of Schedule 12A to the Local

Government Act 1972

 

  X                                                        1

Minutes:

RESOLVED    -           That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during

consideration of the remaining business in accordance with the indicated paragraphs of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

CP17

Regulation 44 Report and Residential Placement Sufficiency Update

Report of Strategic Director, Care Wellbeing and Learning

Minutes:

The Committee received a report outlining Ofsted regulation 44 independent visits and inspection outcomes carried out in the Council’s children’s homes between April and June 2019.  The report also looked at developments within the service, linked to the placement sufficiency strategy for 2018-2021.

 

RESOLVED    -           That Committee noted the contents of the report.