Agenda and minutes

Corporate Parenting Sub Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 16th January, 2017 1.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Rosalyn Patterson - email: 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Ann Page and Jeremy Cripps.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 214 KB

The Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting held on 10 October 2016


The minutes of the meeting held in 10 October 2016 were agreed as a correct record.


Education of Looked After Children - REALAC Virtual School Annual Report pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Report of Interim Strategic Director, Care Wellbeing and Learning

Additional documents:


The Committee received the Annual Report of Education of Looked After Children -REALAC Virtual School. The report covers service provision and activities undertaken to support the education of looked after children. The Committee received detailed information on:-


Achievement data

Personal Education Plans

Support from Education Psychology

Pathways to work for LAC


RESOLVED - that the information and achievements to date be noted.


Adoption Annual Report pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Report of Interim Strategic Director, Care Wellbeing and Learning

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report summarising the activity of the Adoption Service for the year ending March 2016 with particular reference to proposed developments in adoption.


The Committee received the most recent annual report produced by the Service covering the year April 2015 – March 2016. The report April 2016 – March 2017 is due to be completed in early summer 2017.


The 2015/16 annual report provides details of the numbers of children successfully adopted during that period with an accompanying breakdown in terms of age and gender. There was an increase in the number of children matched to their adopters in comparison to the previous year, with a high proportion of children being recruited and assessed by Gateshead Adoption Team.


For the current year, April 2016 to the time of writing the committee report, 17 children have been successfully adopted with adoption hearings pending for a further four children. A further 14 children are also placed with their adoptive families awaiting adoption and the Service is currently family finding for 10 children.


The annual report for 2015/16 highlights some of the factors that had a bearing on both family finding and adopter recruitment during that year, such as the reduction in the number of Placement Orders for adoption that were granted by the courts.


The Service has been fairly consistent with regard to the number of enquiries in relation to adoption that is has attracted and an analysis of the figures from the past four years suggests that the ability to attract enquiries from prospective adopters form the whole of the north-east region has been maintained.


The report also includes several positive comments from the recent Ofsted report of March 2016 in relation to various aspects of the adoption process and the support provided by the Service to adoptive families, both before and after the granting of the Adoption Order.


Feedback from adopters at various stages of the process continues to be positive. The level of adoption placement breakdowns of children placed by the Service continues to be extremely low, a rate of no more than one a year, and usually involving children with very complex needs and challenging behaviours.


Requests for adoption support from families continue to increase, partly as a reflection of the more complex needs and backgrounds of children being place for adoption and increased public awareness of new initiatives such as the national Adoption Support Fund.


At the time of preparation of this report the pressure and demand on the Adoption Support Fund has been so great that a ‘cap’ of £5,000 per child/family has recently been introduced with local authorities expected to meet the costs for anything over this level or to match fund.


The 2015/16 report draws attention to some of the proposed changes for the way adoption services could be delivered in the future. The publication in January 2016 of the Department for Education document ‘Vision for Change’ outlines an expectation for local authorities to move to a system by 2020 whereby  ...  view the full minutes text for item CP19


Missing From Care Annual Report pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Report of Interim Strategic Director, Care Wellbeing and Learning


The Committee received a report which provided an updated summary of missing from care episodes from December 2015 to November 2016 and an update regarding protection and monitoring of child sexual exploitation.


The Committee were advised that in order to identify the type of missing activity there are three main categories of missing episodes outlined in the missing children and young people procedure, ‘Absent’, ‘Missing’ and ‘Absonder’. In addition a missing strategy for each young person may be different depending upon the management of assessed risks relating to the young person. 


Risk assessment and categories of risk were also highlighted as well as overall data figures between December 2015 and November 2016. The Committee were advised that from January 2016 Northumbria Police have begun to differentiate between a “missing” episode and an “absent” episode in their recording.


Other information provided to Committee included MSET, Return Interviews, Case Scenarios and Child Sexual Exploitation, Sanctury South and practice developments.


RESOLVED - that the Committee continue to receive an annual report on missing                        from care issues within Learning and Children.




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


  7                                                        1


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.


Regulation 44 Report

Report of Interim Strategic Director, Care Wellbeing and Learning


The Committee received a report outlining Ofsted regulation 44 independent visits and inspection outcomes carried out in the Council’s children’s homes between September 2016 and November 2016


RESOLVED - that the information be noted