Agenda, decisions and minutes

Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 23rd March, 2022 4.30 pm

Venue: the Banqueting Hall - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Fatima Butt / Jill Bell 

Items
No. Item

85.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

No disclosures of interest in matters under consideration were received.

86.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 February 2022 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Jill Bell/Kanwal Amrez –07970 43716 / 07929 070288 )

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 February 2022 be signed as a correct record.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

87.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Jill Bell/Kanwal Amrez –07970 43716 / 07929 070288)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict
documents.

 

88.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

To consider referrals that have been made to this Committee.

 

The Committee is asked to note the referrals and decide how it wishes to proceed, for example by incorporating the item into the work programme, requesting that it be subject to more detailed examination, or refer it to an appropriate Working Group/Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no referrals to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

89.

MONITORING OF THE CHILDREN'S SOCIAL CARE IMPROVEMENT PLAN pdf icon PDF 225 KB

The report of the Strategic Director of Children’s Services (Document “AA”) will presnet the improvement plan that has been revised to make it more outcome focused and more streamlined so we can quickly accelerate the improvement Ofsted require in key areas and make sure that we see better outcomes for children and young people.

 

 

Recommended –

 

That the Committee notes the contents of this report and the progress being made.

 

 

(Marium Haque – 01274 436625)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

1.    This Committee requests that the next Improvement Plan report focuses specifically on Priority 2 – Caseloads across all Social Work Teams.

 

2.    That future Improvement Plans contain an outcomes column, which illustrates improvements being delivered.

 

ACTION: Strategic Director for Children’s Services

 

Minutes:

The report of the Strategic Director of Children’s Services (Document “AA”) presented the improvement plan that had been revised to make it more outcome focused and more streamlined so that the improvement Ofsted required in key areas could be accelerated to ensure that better outcomes for children and young people were seen.

 

It was reported that the Corporate Parenting Strategy had been drafted and would be reported to this Committee in June.  With reference to engagement with Councillors to understand and fulfil their Corporate Parenting responsibility it was noted that work was being undertaken with members of the Corporate Parenting Panel.  Work would also be undertaken to broaden member involvement in Regulation 44 visits with the intention to ask members for expressions of interest to become lay visitors of children’s homes. 

 

It was stressed that it was important to have as wide an audience as possible regarding Corporate Parenting.  There was a need to identify ways for members to understand how their role as Corporate Parents impacted on their role as Councillors for by example in tapping into their other areas of interests such as housing or green spaces.  With reference to the engagement with looked after young people it was reported that the format of the Corporate Parenting Panel had been changed with half of the meetings being led by Young People, the first of which had been held in the previous week and a number of actions had been raised which would be reported back.  One of the issues that arose was the turnover in social workers and the impact on young people and the young people expressed a wish to be actively involved in getting the right staff and retaining them.  It was intended to reinstate the involvement of young people in the recruitment and interviews of Social Workers.

 

A number of members referred to the RAG (Red Amber Green) rating used in the improvement plan.  A member asked why a number of key milestones were marked green when they were yet to be delivered and asked whether there was confidence that the rating given was robust.  The Strategic Director responded that the lower level operation actions came below the high level plan and that external oversight was given outside Children’s Services.  She added that each area had a number of actions under it.  She stressed that green meant that the authority was on track to deliver.  She pointed out that the previous plan was criticised for being over complicated and activity based and there had been a need to move to a plan that focused on outcomes and urged members to allow officers to work with the current plan that had been seen by Ofsted, the DfE and the Commissioner who were all happy with it.  She stressed that the emphasis was about delivering outcomes that impacted on the lived experience of children rather than recording actions.

 

In response to a question about reducing the number of cases held by individual social workers it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

YOUNG CARERS pdf icon PDF 333 KB

The report of the Strategic Director of Children’s Services (Document “AB”) provides an annual update, specifically focusing on performance, targets and standards, as requested.

 

The Young Carers Service is a commissioned service which meets the Council’s statutory duty to provide an assessment for Young Carers, as well as providing other resources following assessment. The Carers Resource currently holds the contract.

 

Appendix 1 shows the actual data from Quarter 3 and Appendix 2 is a graphical representation of some of the key data.

 

Recommended -

 

(1)  That the Committee receive Document “AB for information, note the progress and support continued development in our jointly commissioned service.

 

(2)  That the Committee to continue to receive annual reports from the service.

 

(Cath Dew – 01274 437949)

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved -

 

(1)  That a further progress report be presented in 12 months, which includes measures of performance and details of outcomes delivered.

 

ACTION: Strategic Director of Children’s Services.

 

Minutes:

The report of the Strategic Director of Children’s Services (Document “AB”) provided an annual update, specifically focusing on performance, targets and standards, as requested.

 

The Young Carers Service is a commissioned service which meets the Council’s statutory duty to provide an assessment for Young Carers, as well as providing other resources following assessment. The Carers Resource currently holds the contract.

 

Appendix 1 to Document “AB” presented the actual data from Quarter 3 and Appendix 2 was a graphical representation of some of the key data.

 

The following questions were asked and answers given:

 

·         Do the issues regarding raising awareness relate to identifying Young Carers or awareness of the service?

o   The issue relates to the fact that a lot of young people do not identify themselves as Young Carers

 

·         Are schools supportive and co-operative in identifying Young Carers and making referrals?

o   Carers Resource is well established and used in schools.  The challenge is in young people identifying themselves as carers.

 

·         Is there any information on the impact on Young Carers attainment?

o   This information is not available.

 

·         A question was asked about grants and the holiday activity fund.

o   Work is undertaken with the Voluntary Sector that have access to charitable funding.  It was noted that a needs and demand assessment would be undertaken at the end of the contract.

 

·         Is the appropriate balance being struck between one to one, group work and awareness raising?

o   Each of these is given equal weight and if one to one support is required it will be provided.

 

·         Will Young Carers get support if they have short term caring responsibilities?

o   There is no definitive length of time and it is self-declared based on the young person’s circumstances at the time.

 

The following questions were asked, to which the Head of Service would respond to all members of the Committee following the meeting:

 

  • How are Carers resource working with the Youth Service?
  • What work is being undertaken to reassure parents that it is OK to be a young carer?
  • As the number of Young Carers are rising have discussions taken place with the CCG’s regarding funding?
  • Is there any indication of the number of potential Young Carers who have yet to be identified?
  • What is the reason for the statement that youth club timings continue to be an issue?

 

Resolved -

 

(1)  That a further progress report be presented in 12 months, which includes measures of performance and details of outcomes delivered.

 

ACTION: Strategic Director of Children’s Services.