Agenda and minutes

Corporate Parenting Sub Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 11th October, 2018 4.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Melvyn Mallam-Churchill - Email: 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillors McMaster, Weatherley and Clelland.



Minutes 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 -              That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2018 be approved as a correct record.


Young People's Presentation


The Committee heard from several young people on some work that they had undertaken to raise funds.


The young people had been offered some match funding by the Council.  In order to raise funds the young people made soap and crocheted cloths and also were able to get money through the key fund.


The young people described how lots of planning had gone into the fund raising and they worked as a team to achieve their goals.  The funds paid for a trip to London and the team visited the Houses of Parliament and went to see Aladdin.  There were some new members of the group so it was a good opportunity to get to know each other.


The group are currently making some short video clips to go on the website which describe what it is like to go into foster care and help people who are new to the system.   One Voice Youth Network have also developed an email address for non-urgent questions. 


The Regional Children in Care Council are currently looking at two areas, Rights and Entitlement and Contact (Family Visits).  The children have been looking at Contact, including whether venues are suitable, whether a different name should be used.  The young people spent some time in separate groups with members of the Committee and updated them on some of the work they had done so far.


The Committee thanked the young people for their time and their input into the meeting.


RESOLVED    -           That the information in the presentation be noted.



Looked After Children Performance Overview pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Report of the Service Director for Children & Families


The Committee received a report on the statistics relating to looked after Children in Gateshead covering the period up to the end of August 2018.  The report and presentation focussed on presenting key characteristic data and the data is themed as follows:


·         How many looked after children do we have, and how does that compare to other areas

·         How many children entered care and how many children and young people left care

·         What are the characteristics of our current looked after population


At the end of August 2018 Gateshead had 409 Looked After Children, this is an increase of 4.1% from the end of March 2018.  Those 409 children came from 230 individual families.  A flow of 106 children entered care since March 2018 and 86 left care in the same period.  On average over the last twelve months, 15 children entered care and 14 left care per month.  Overall activity for admissions and discharges over the last twelve months was lower than the previous twelve, 352 compared to 369 in the same period last year.  In September 2018 Gateshead had  11 children entering care and 10 leaving so it appears the numbers are slowing down.


The circumstances for individual children coming into care vary, the recorded primary need code shows that the largest category is Abuse and Neglect, 168 of all of the admissions in the last 12 months.  Factors identified whilst the cases were being assessed included, domestic violence, mental health issues and neglect.  There has been a slight decrease in the number of children leaving care and returning home, although there has been an increase in the number of children leaving care on special guardianship and child arrangement orders.


The majority of children are placed in mainstream fostering placements, there are still a high number of children in family and friends places.  The aim is to use very few independent foster agency placements although the numbers are slightly higher.  There has also been an increase in the number of children who have to be placed in independent residential placements.


There are currently 197 children placed out of borough, however, 150 of those are in Gateshead owned provision.  135 of those placed out of borough are located within the North East.


With regards to performance there are three indicators where targets have been met.  There are two indicators which are not meeting targets and 2 indicators have been revised and are new to have no targets.


8 out of 409 (1.96%) looked after children experienced 3 or more placement moves in the previous 12 months.  At the same time last year there were 6 out of a total of 391 (1.35) looked after children.  Gateshead’s performance compares favourably with the national picture where around 10% of children have experienced 3 or more placement moves on average.


There were 109 out of 133 children who have been looked after for over two and a half years who have been living in the same placement for at least 2 years  ...  view the full minutes text for item CP44


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 113 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Committee were presented with the work programme report.  It was noted that the Fostering and Adoption reports will be presented at the January meeting.  The reports going forward will be brought to the July meeting of the Committee.


RESOLVED -  That the information contained within the report be noted.


Exclusion of the Press and Public

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


Item No


Paragraph of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972







RESOLVED -  That the press and public be excluded during consideration of the following item.


Regulation 44 Report

Report of the Strategic Director for Care, Wellbeing & Learning


The Committee received a report outlining Ofsted Regulation 44 independent visits and inspection outcomes carried ou in the Council’s children’s homes between June 2018 and September 2018.


Since the last meeting Blaydon Children’s Home have been inspected.  The formal report has not yet been published, however, initial feedback is that it will receive a Good.  It was noted that there is some work to do in respect of Risk Assessment which need to be updated daily.  Fire drill records are required for AM/PM.  The other issue raised was about staff handovers and when staff were made aware of risks.


RESOLVED -  That the information contained within the report be noted.