Agenda and minutes

Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 20th June, 2019 1.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Rosalyn Patterson - E-mail 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor S Craig, Councillor P Craig, Councillor Oxberry, Councillor Weatherley, Cheryl Lain and Maveen Pereira.



Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 77 KB

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


RESOLVED    -           The minutes of the last meeting held on 4 April 2019 were

agreed as a correct record.



Constitution pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Report of the Chief Executive


RESOLVED    -           The Committee agreed the constitution of the Committee and

the appointment of the Chair and Vice Chair for the current municipal year.



Role and remit pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Joint report of the Chief Executive and the Strategic Director of Corporate Services & Governance


RESOLVED    -           That the remit and terms of reference be noted.



Foetal Alcohol Update pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Report of the Clinical Lead Paediatrics, Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust


The Committee received an update report on the work underway to review the diagnoses of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).


It was reported that it had been identified that there was some potential diagnosis without the relevant diagnostic criteria being clearly evidenced, therefore some children and young people were recalled for face to face appointments with clinicians. The focus of the recalls were on LAC, this was done through their Review Health Assessment.


The figures provided were as at April 2019, showing how many cases were reviewed and how many of those were rescinded or confirmed.


The point was made that previously the Committee had been told that there was practically an epidemic in relation to FASD, but now this seems to have been scaled down. It was confirmed that from Dr Palmer’s database not all of the cases fulfilled the diagnostic criteria and there was a lot of cases with missing evidence. It was confirmed that, of the 223 cases, 56 appointments were offered to LAC, this was due to clinician capacity, therefore there still remains 160 cases that are not known as of yet.


It was questioned as to whether there is any impact on Education Care and Health Plans for those young people who have had their diagnosis rescinded. It was noted that for these cases there are still additional needs however FASD cannot be evidenced. For the cases with no FASD evidenced but additional needs clinicians have referred them for such things as ADHD and learning disabilities.


It was questioned what the situation is in relation to those cases with outstanding information. It was confirmed that some young people have had genetics bloods taken and this can take eight weeks to progress. For some cases further discussions are ongoing with Social Workers, attempts have also been made to contact birth mothers, however to date nobody has got back in touch.


The review is ongoing until January 2020 when all Annual Review Health Assessments will be complete. Initially the upper end of the age scale has been a priority.


RESOLVED    -           (i)         That the report and the progress to date be noted.


                                    (ii)        That a further update be brought back to Committee at

a later date.



Youth Justice Service Priorities and Performance pdf icon PDF 252 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Care, Wellbeing and Learning


Committee received a report on the Youth Justice Service key priorities for 2018/19 and performance from April 2018 to date.


In terms of progress over the past year it was reported that the contract to provide the Liaison and Diversion scheme within Gateshead has been awarded to Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW). The impact of this is being awaited and it was requested that information on this be brought back to a future meeting.


The Restorative Service Quality Mark (RSQM) was awarded and approved for a further three years. Adverse childhood experiences are routinely discussed in assessment and the Trauma Recovery training is planned for March 2020. This training will help staff to incorporate appropriate responses to trauma within young person plans.


It was reported that the number of first time entrants is decreasing, the figures are positive in terms of the regional figure. There are two young people in custody, this is below the Northumbria PCC regional average and the national average.


In terms of re-offending the Gateshead figure is below the Northumbria PCC and national averages. Of this cohort 75% of re-offences were committed by males and 25% committed by female offenders.


The proven offences were by young people aged 12-18 years old, they were predominantly by 17 year olds with the average age of offender being 15.5 years old. There were no offenders aged 10 or 11. In relation to the type of offending the majority were public order and violence against the person, which includes common assault up to serious harm. Criminal damage is the next highest offence.


It was reported that the You Only Live Once (YOLO) project is being funded nationally by the Home Office to tackle knife crime. This has just been launched across the Northumbria Police Force area. The Youth Justice Service is working with Newcastle and Sunderland Football clubs, referrals are made into the project and the young person is assessed and referred into either football club to be mentored to reduce the risk of offending. It was pointed out that the funding is very recent and already a number of young people have accessed the project. It was requested that further information be brought back to Committee on the YOLO project.


Committee was advised that Susan Butler, Youth Justice Service Manager has now retired and Linda Kelly is now the new Service Manager.


The Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2019-2020 will be submitted to the Ministry of Justice in August. This will set the proposals for the year ahead and the key priorities for the Youth Justice Service.


It was questioned whether any of the cases of violence against the person was towards parents or carers. It was noted that this information would be sought and reported back, it was also acknowledged that Gateshead is a forerunner in terms of child to parent violent programmes. Gateshead has recognised this risk where many local authorities do not.


It was also questioned as to whether a high proportion of offenders  ...  view the full minutes text for item F6


Children and Families - Making Gateshead a Place Where Everyone Thrives - End of Year assessment of performance and delivery 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Care, Wellbeing and Learning

Additional documents:


Committee received a report on the year end assessment of performance and delivery for the period 1 October 2018 to 31 March 2019 in relation to the Council’s Thrive agenda.


For children and families 31 overarching strategic indicators have been identified to measure performance in respect of the Thrive agenda, 19 of which have improved (58%). The indicators fall under the following three thrive pledges;


·         Put people and families at the heart of everything we do

·         Tackle inequality so people have a fair chance

·         Work together and fight for a better future for Gateshead


In terms of the ‘putting people and families at the heart of everything we do’ pledge it was reported that Complex Child in Need and Wrap around service has now embedded a model for safeguarding teenagers. This is showing positive signs of how the service is working with these young people. Another achievement is that the service restructure within Assessment and Intervention has reduced the number of potential changes in Social Workers.  All three actions identified in the last report have all progressed as anticipated. 


Actions for the next six months in relation to this pledge include the development of forums within Children and Families Service to gain views of families, and using online tools to gather families feedback for service improvement within Early Help.


Under the ‘tackle inequality so people have a fair chance’ pledge improvements have been made for six of the indicators but declined for seven.  It was noted that reporting and oversight of children’s issues through the Health and Wellbeing Board has improved. Public Health has been working on tackling smoking in pregnancy through a task and finish group. Training has also been undertaken to schools to ensure children and young people with hearing and vision impairment can be supported to have equal access to the curriculum. It was reported that the development of the audit process within Children and Families and Early Help and the writing of plans will continue to be developed following the feedback from the last Ofsted inspection.  In terms of work over the next six months this will focus on the updating of core practice standards for Social Work and Early Help staff to build consistency of practice for families.


In relation to the ‘work together to fight for a better future for Gateshead’ improvements have been made for all seven indicators.  Following service restructures and reviews this has resulted in empowering families through an improved Child in Need offer. There has also been a safe reduction in the number of children who are looked after and subject to a Child Protection Plan.  It was acknowledged that there is still more to do regarding the development of the Domestic Abuse Service, however the service has received favourable feedback at the last Ofsted inspection.  In relation to the actions for the next six months it is proposed that the service builds on the work from the Team Around the School model, linking mental health professionals to schools. Work  ...  view the full minutes text for item F7


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Joint report of the Chief Executive and the Strategic Director of Corporate Services and Governance

Additional documents:


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


RESOLVED    -           (i)         Committee noted the provisional programme.


                                    (ii)        Committee noted that further reports on the work

programme will be brought to the Committee to identify any additional policy issues, which the Committee may be asked to consider.