Agenda and minutes

Corporate Parenting Panel
Monday, 11th June, 2018 2.00 pm

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Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, Llangefni. View directions

Contact: Ann Holmes 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest by any Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.

Minutes:

No declaration of interest was received.

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting - 19 March, 2018 pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To present the minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel held on 19 March, 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel held on 19th March, 2018 were presented and were confirmed as correct.

3.

Matters Arising

Evaluation of Corporate Parenting at the Isle of Anglesey County Council – Independent Reviewing Officers’ Report.

 

-      The Head of Children and Families’ Services to update the Panel on the progress made against the improvement objectives set out by the report of the Quality and Safeguarding Unit presented to the previous meeting.

 

-      The Independent Reviewing Officer to clarify the percentage figures in relation to the findings for pre-review planning and the provision of documents for reviews.

 

 

Minutes:

           The Panel had asked for an update on progress made against the improvement objectives set out in the report by the Quality and Safeguarding Unit presented to the previous meeting relating to the following areas:

 

           Quality of Assessments of LAC

           Putting in place care and support plans for each looked after child

           Robust review and monitoring of implementation and difference made

           Quality and consistency of record keeping

           Focus on permanency planning for looked after children to reduce the number of children being looked after

 

The Head of Children and Families’ Services said since the previous meeting, the paperwork that needs to be completed when a child comes into care has changed completely. The new care and support forms are regionally based and the Service has now begun to work with the new documentation. Implementation of the new arrangements requires that each looked after child receives an assessment and that a care plan is formulated for them. Quality issues and monitoring will be addressed through the new documents; it is the Service’s intention that as the review meeting for each child whom the Authority looks after becomes due, the child will enter the review with the new documentation. The change will consequently take place over the course of about 10 months with any teething problems encountered especially in terms of input by other agencies (the new forms being more focused on the social work aspects) being worked through. Since the last meeting the Service has made progress with permanency planning; it has reviewed a number of plans and progressed a few to Special Guardianship Orders whilst also discharging a few care orders. The Head of Children and Families’ Services said that the position will be reviewed after 6 months of implementing the new paperwork to establish which elements are working and which are not and how they can be developed alongside Education and Health.

 

The LAC Nurse said that an issue from a health perspective is how the LAC health assessments are incorporated within the new document.

 

The LAC Education Liaison Officer confirmed that the information has been shared with schools and correspondence sent to Head Teachers along with the template for the new Personal Education Plans which will form part of the new Care and Support Plans. The expectation is that each looked after child will receive the plan by November, 2018, this will in any case happen as a matter of course for those children changing schools in September.

 

The Head of Children and Families’ Services said that an offer of support with the changes has been made to schools; for schools there is also a new referral form. The service has sought to prepare schools for the changes.

 

The Independent Reviewing Officer said that at the last meeting the IROs had put forward a proposed new social work report template. The new documentation referred to above will cover the aspects suggested by the template and will be the format to be used  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

The Manager of CAMHS to address the Panel.

Minutes:

Dr Trish Girling gave the Panel an overview of the work of the service in Anglesey with children who are looked after with particular reference to –

 

           The Consultation Clinic

 

Three slots of 1 hour each are offered within Social Services for social workers who are working with children looked after or up to 3 years in an adoptive placement. Since January this provision has been extended to children on the edge of care. No direct work with young people is undertaken in this forum.

 

If a child is already known to CAMHS then the child should be discussed with the child’s case manager instead. The purpose of consultation is to support the system around the child to develop stability, security and structure in their lives. These components are considered essential if the child is to become therapy ready to address and resolve past trauma. Direct therapy is not recommended for many children despite difficult behaviours and/or experiences.

 

Over 50 consultations have been held in the last year with some of these being double slots. The reasons for seeking consultation can be varied including foster carers struggling with behaviours; advice required on contact arrangements or help wanted in identifying needs for care plans. Since the service reconfiguration last year the demand on consultation has grown; meeting requests for more time is not possible due to the increased demand on core CAMHS work.

 

Working through consultation rather than directly with the child means that looked after children are not exposed to more unnecessary contact with professionals. Children often report that having many people coming in and out of their lives is confusing and hurtful when they leave. Children with past traumas and attachment difficulties need to form attachments to their current support system i.e. their foster carers, teachers, classroom assistants, and not the “help” coming from an outside source.

 

Some of the difficulties encountered include having to rely on second hand information regarding the children; no guarantee that recommendations will be put into practice; pressure from courts to arrange therapy for a child that CAMHS does not recommend as well as not enough time for more proactive work.

 

           Trauma Recovery Model

 

The model consists of 7 layers of intervention which are worked through to arrive at a position where the child has increased self-determination, confidence and is achieving goals. It is considered necessary to have worked through levels 1 to 4 before a child is ready for specialist therapeutic intervention.

 

           Other Ways in which CAMHS Provides Support

 

           Provision of training for social workers and for foster carers

           Supervision of research involving Anglesey foster carers (a recent example being a qualitative study looking at the role of compassion in foster carers)

           Provision of further advice and consultation through forums such as the Continuing Care Panel

Dr Trish Girling concluded her presentation by outlining two case examples.

The Panel thanked Dr Trish Girling for providing an informative insight into current CAMHS services on Anglesey. In the course  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Hidden Ambitions - A Follow-up Report on Local Authorities' Progress and Good Practice in Supporting Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To present the report of the Service Manager (Intensive Intervention).

Minutes:

A report on the Anglesey’s progress since, and contribution to the Hidden Ambitions report on achieving the best for children and young people leaving care was presented for the Panel’s consideration.

 

Mr Kevin Thomas, Practice Leader reported that the Hidden Ambitions report by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales published in February, 2017 looked at the support available to young people leaving care in relation to housing, education and training opportunities and personal and emotional support. It is not just the support from Children and Families Services that impact on these young people. Once a child is in care, all Elected Members and officers of the Local Authority, as corporate parents, need to be concerned about the child. Care leavers should expect the same level of care and support that others would expect from a reasonable parent. If the Local Authority as a collective body is responsible for their care and support it should also make sure that they are provided with the opportunities they need which will include offering them more than one chance as they come to terms with taking on the responsibilities of adulthood.

 

The Officer said that the Children’s Commissioner for Wales visited Anglesey on 31 March, 2017 when she was presented with information about how the Authority had responded to the Hidden Ambitions report during the 12 months since it was issued. During that time the Authority has continued to develop and strengthen the corporate support for care leavers in the following ways –

 

           By creating an additional permanent Personal Advisor post for care leavers, funded by the Support for Care Leavers grant. This has strengthened the service enabling it to provide timely support for care leavers to help them achieve their ambitions and to make a successful transition to adulthood and independent living.

           By providing care leavers with a Council Tax exemption. Anglesey was the first Local Authority in North Wales to help young people leaving its care by providing them with a Council Tax exemption. Approved by the Full Council, the new policy came into effect on 1 April, 2018 and it provides care leavers (aged 18-21) with a 100% discretionary Council Tax Relief.

           By developing a successful range of housing related support services for young people aged 16-24, which includes 26 units of Supported Housing and 14 units of floating support. The Coedlys Project in Llangefni provides 9 units of supported accommodation for some of the most vulnerable young people. When young people leave their care placement, the Authority aims to ensure their new home is suitable for their needs and linked to their wider plans and aspirations – for example located near their education or work. A joint Housing and Aftercare protocol with Housing Services ensures that the accommodation that is offered to the young person is appropriate.

           By providing work experience. Children and Families Services are involved in a new initiative within the Council called Denu Talent to offer paid work experience for young people to prepare  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Health - Looked After Children Statistics pdf icon PDF 727 KB

To present a report by BCUHB.

Minutes:

A report by the BCUHB incorporating the following statistical information for the period from 1 April, 2017 to 31 March, 2018 was provided for the Panel’s consideration –

 

           The total number of looked after children within and outside the counties of North Wales under the remit of Anglesey Local Authority (165)

           The total number of new LAC placements into North Wales from outside the BCUHB (207)

           Analysis by county of the 456 Live LAC placed from outside North Wales into the various counties within the BCUHB either prior to or during the period (Anglesey – 49)

           A snapshot by county of the Looked After children population as at 31 March, 2018.

           An analysis of BCUHB looked after children placed outside of North Wales as at 30 March, 2018 and their locations.

           An analysis of looked after children from outside North Wales placed in the BCUHB area as at 30 March, 2018 and their locations.

           The timeliness of notifications provided by the North Wales authorities with regard to when a LAC placement commences or changes and also LAC that are placed within BCUHB from outside North Wales – the NHS Wales Notification Pathway for LAC states that notifications must be sent within 5 days of a child being placed.

 

The Panel noted the following –

 

           That the 49 looked after children placed on Anglesey from outside of North Wales is a significant number when added to the looked after children placed on Anglesey by other North Wales counties in addition to the looked after children who come under the remit of Anglesey itself.

           That there is no discernible pattern to the looked after children placed on Anglesey by other authorities.

           That Anglesey compares well with the other North Wales authorities in providing timely notification of placements.

 

The Panel noted the information provided.

 

NO ADDITIONAL ACTION WAS PROPOSED

7.

Service Reports pdf icon PDF 673 KB

To present the following:

 

·        A service update by the LAC Education Liaison Officer

·        A service update by the Child Placement Team

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1       A service update was provided by the LAC Education Liaison Officer

The Panel noted the following –

 

           That a total of 28 Personal Education Plans were completed within timescale while 46 remained due. The LAC Education Liaison Officer said that this is second academic year wherein schools have been responsible for completing the plans and despite being reminded regularly of the requirement, they are not being completed to expectations. It is hoped that the introduction of the Part 6 Care and Support Plans will benefit schools so that the Education section can be completed.

           That the number of non-transitional school changes has risen with 31 recorded in 2017/18 against 17 in 2016/17. The LAC Education Liaison Officer said that this is in part due to a lack of placements but also to children who having been placed in long term homes, are moving to schools within the catchment area which is sensible. Other changes are due to children returning home to live with their families which of itself is a positive change.

 

The Panel noted the information.

 

NO ADDITIONAL ACTION WAS PROPOSED

 

7.2       A service update was provided by the Child Placement Team Manager.

The Panel noted the following –

 

           That although it is considered that there is insufficient placement choice, Graph 1 shows that many of the Authority’s looked after children are in different types of placements on the Island.

           That only one new mainstream family was approved during quarters 3 and 4; however, a great deal of assessment work was undertaken during those periods albeit without being able to bring the work to a successful conclusion.

           That the report emphasises the importance of looked after children having a consistent worker from the Child Placement Team at a time when they have experienced multiple changes of social worker. The Team Manager said that the social worker changes were in evidence in Quarters 3 and 4 and featured in foster carers’ feedback from their annual reviews.

 

The Panel noted the information.

 

NO ADDITIONAL ACTION WAS PROPOSED

 

8.

Next Meeting

To note that the Panel’s next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Monday, 10th September, 2018.

Minutes:

The Panel noted that the next meeting of the Panel would be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, 10 September, 2018.