Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Llangefni. View directions
Contact: Ann Holmes 01248 752518
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest by any Member of Officer in respect of any item of business.
No declaration of interest was received.
To present the minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel held on 9 September, 2019.
The minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel held on 9th September, 2019 were presented and were confirmed as correct.
The Children’s Services Manager to provide an update with regard to the following arising from the Independent Reviewing Officers’ report to the last meeting –
· Whether the 15 cases which were audited by the Independent Reviewing Officers for up to date assessment were held by temporary or by permanent staff.
· Progress with responding to practice issues.
The Children’s Service Manager (Intensive Intervention) gave a presentation on matters arising from the discussion of the report of the Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) to the Panel’s previous meeting as follows –
• Care and Support Plans under Part 3 of the Social Services and Well-being Act
• That it is an expectation under the Act that the care plans for children who are looked after by the Authority are supported by up to date assessments for the purpose of statutory reviews. In their report to the previous meeting, the IROs highlighted that they had found that from an audit of 15 cases, the assessments were current for 9 children. The Service has carried out a review of the cases of all 157 children and young people in the Authority’s care on 1 December, 2019. This work showed that the assessments for 58 of those children had been updated within the previous 12 months leaving 99 children whose assessments were not current. Children’s Services Social Workers have been advised to update those assessments by 24 January, 2020.
• That the Panel had sought clarification of whether the 15 cases audited by the IROs were held by temporary or by permanent staff. It can be confirmed that as at 20 November all the 157 children in the Authority’s care had a qualified Social Worker allocated to their case; 87% of the cases had a permanent Social Worker whilst 13% had a temporary/agency Social Worker who have been engaged by the Authority to provide cover for maternity leave absences and for one vacant post.
• That as at 20 November, 2019, 154 of the children looked after by the Authority had a Care and Support Plan in place. It is an expectation that the plans are updated twice yearly for the purpose of LAC reviews which are held every six months.
• Practice Issues/Developments
• If there has been a change in a looked after child’s circumstances e.g. a change of placement, the Service does ensure that an assessment is carried out in order to enable the Independent Reviewing Officers to give their views on the suitability of the new placement and whether it meets the child’s needs.
• That following discussions with the Housing Service, a flat has been earmarked to help young care leavers develop independent living skills. Each care leaver will have use of the flat for periods of up to 28 days in preparation for leaving care.
• The Service has appointed 2 new experienced Social Workers who will commence in post in the New Year, the one to fill an existing vacant post and the other who will work specifically with children 15 years of age and over and with care leavers. Additionally, other new posts in connection with Domestic Abuse and Developing Healthy Relationships have been established with the support of an ICF grant.
• The first Cartrefi Clyd registration is making progress with hoped for completion in the New Year.
The Panel considered the update ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
To receive the following service updates with regard to the Authority’s looked after children and young people –
· Education Report (information regarding the educational attainments of looked after children and young people will be presented at the meeting)
· Health Report
· Child Placement Team Report
The following service updates were presented –
• Education Report
The report of the LAC Education Liaison Officer outlining trends, changes and issues in relation to the education of looked after children and young people over the course of the last 6 months was presented for the Panel’s consideration. Data regarding the educational attainments of the Authority’s looked after children and young people was provided separately.
The LAC Education Liaison Officer highlighted the following –
• That there had been a significant decrease in the number of looked after children changing schools with improved planning for those children whose change of schools was unavoidable.
• That the number of looked after children overall has also reduced.
• That the timeframe for completing Personal Education Plans has been extended from 20 days to half term in order to enable schools to better get to know the children who have started new schools or transitioned to secondary school and to complete plans accordingly. Extending the timeframe also enables the outcome of assessments which are carried out within the first 6 weeks of moving to the secondary to be incorporated in the Personal Education Plan allowing for more meaningful targets to be set.
• That the Service is extremely proud of the success of the Authority’s looked after children and young people at the end of their key stages under challenging circumstances.
• Networking meetings continue to be held and provide an excellent opportunity to share good practice with schools.
• Through GwE advisors, extra Mathematics sessions for the Authority’s looked after young people at KS4 will commence in January 2020 which is a positive development since over the years it has been difficult to arrange tutors for the children to provide extra lessons for them in core subjects.
The Panel considered the report and raised points as follows –
• Whilst emphasising that success should not be measured in numbers alone and that it is also about outcomes, quality and well-being, the Panel acknowledged the reduction both in the number of looked after children as well as in the number of looked after children who change schools. The Panel sought clarification of whether the trend is attributable to any particular intervention and if so whether any further improvement can be made.
The Panel was advised that the Authority has invested in the development of a number of early intervention and prevention strategies – Resilient Families, Families First, Team Around the Family - which are aimed at reducing the need for children to become looked after. The Authority also seeks to discharge care orders where assessment confirms that it is in the child’s best interest and it is safe to do so. With regard to school stability, with the new Curriculum and emphasis on well-being, schools now have a better understanding of the needs of Looked After Children. The Learning and Children and Families’ Services have a good working relationship and seek to achieve the best outcomes both for looked after children and ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Looked After Children and Young People STAR Awards
To receive a report back on the highlights of the STAR Awards/Fun Day held at Bodedern Secondary School on 21 September, 2019.
The LAC Education Liaison Officer provided the Panel with a Powerpoint presentation which showed some of the highlights and activities from the Fun Day/Star Awards for the Authority’s looked after children and young people which was held at Bodedern Secondary School on 21 September, 2019.
On behalf of the Panel, the Chair gave her warmest thanks to all those who took part in the event and were involved in the arrangements.
To note that the next Panel meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, 17 March, 2020.
It was noted that the next meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel was scheduled for Tuesday, 17 March, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.