Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Parenting Panel - Wednesday, 26th January, 2022 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Jill Bell/Su Booth 

Items
No. Item

5.

ALTERNATE MEMBERS (Standing Order 34)

The City Solicitor will report the names of alternate Members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed Members. 

 

 (Jill Bell – 01274 434580)

6.

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.

 

                                                                        (Jill Bell – 01274 434580)

Minutes:

No disclosures of interest in items under consideration were received.

7.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 643 KB

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 24 November 2021 signed as a correct record (attached).

 

(Helen Osman – 01274 385629)

Decision:

Resolved that subject to the amendment below the minutes of the meeting held on 24 November be signed as a correct record:

 

·         Throughout: replace “Allipool” with “Alipoor”.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

 

Minutes:

The Panel noted that the Regulatory and Appeal Committee had approved the appointment of Sue Duffy as Chair.  

The Panel noted the following progress on actions agreed at the meeting on 24 November 2021:

·         The Sufficiency Strategy would be considered by DMT [Directorate management team] in the week beginning 31 January 2022 and by the Overview and Strategy Committee on 09 March 2022.  The Chair undertook to advise AD/SRCP on whether it also required the approval of the Executive Committee.  

·         The Chair had discussed the Council-wide Participation Strategy, as it related to Corporate Parenting, with AD/SRCP.  Asked about progress on this document, AD/SRCP said that further discussion was required on timing. 

·         The Corporate Parent checklist had been amended to clarify the distinction between Regulation 44 visits and visits to get to know homes/staff.  A copy of the amended checklist was included in the papers for this meeting.  The Chair would take advice from the Communications Team on its effective communication

Other actions had been completed, would be discussed at this meeting or had been overtaken by events.

 

 

Resolved that subject to the amendment below the minutes of the meeting held on 24 November be signed as a correct record:

 

·         Throughout: replace “Allipool” with “Alipoor”.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

 

 

8.

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 - 01274 434580)

 

Minutes:

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

 

9.

ANNUAL REPORT OF CARE LEAVERS pdf icon PDF 74 KB

The report of the Director of Children’s Services(Document “E”) summarises performance and activity in respect of young people with care leaver entitlement in Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

 

Recommended -

 

Members are asked to consider the report.

 

(Mandy Helm - 01274 438792)

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That Document “E” and the detailed discussion on its contents be noted.  

 

ACTION: Director of Children’s Services

Minutes:

1.         The agenda paper was taken as read.

2.         Asked about the eligibility status of young people who had been the subject of a Special Guardianship Order (SGO), the Care Leavers’ Service (CLS) advised that, where such a young person requested support, the team would consider a package of support for them.  Asked to what extent SGO placements were monitored, AD/SRCP explained that, when a young person exited care due to the making of an SGO, Children’s Services did not routinely remain involved unless the family requested additional support for a period of time: many preferred not to have continuing involvement with Children’s Services, particularly if the child was young.  Asked whether the CLS routinely made contact with these young people when the SGO ended at the age of 18 or 21, CLS advised that they did not: however, SGO carers could contact them if they needed support and advice.

3.         AD/SRCP said that the position would be clarified and arrangements put in hand to signpost young people with SGOs and SGO carers to help and support.

4.         Asked the reasons for the significant growth in the number of children who received leaving care services between March 2020 and November 2021, and the sharp spike in November 2021, CLS agreed that an increase in the number of migrants following the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan might have been a contributing factor.  Asked whether it was possible to tell how much of the increase had arisen from this cause, AD/SRCP said that it was not.  The number of Looked After Children was increasing and, because a large number were entering care at the age of 16 or 17, this was already starting to feed through into the number of young people leaving care. 

5.         Asked whether Covid 19 had led to an increase in the number of young people entering care due to family breakdown, AD/SRCP said that this did not appear to be a significant factor in Bradford.  CLS noted that the Covid restrictions had limited the team’s contact with young people: it was more challenging to monitor how they were doing over virtual platforms than face to face.

6.         The Panel noted that young people had raised with Panel members at the consultation meetings with them in July 2021 and January 2022 their concerns about pathway planning: they had made clear that they did not recognise themselves in the pathway plans.  This needed to be addressed.  Asked to what extent young people had been involved in the work of the CLS, and how they would receive feedback, CLS described how they had changed their processes.  In particular, they had moved to a single IT system so that all information was available on a single platform.  Staff were being upskilled, with an emphasis on ensuring that they listened carefully to young people, rather than expecting young people to listen to them.   The Panel asked to what extent young people had been involved in determining this approach: for example, it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

CORPORATE PARENTING TERMS OF REFERENCE pdf icon PDF 84 KB

The Director of Children’s Services will present a report on the Corporate Parenting Terms of Reference (Document “F”) to inform members and the public the vision and purpose of the Corporate Parenting Panel.

 

Recommended -

 

That the views of the Corporate Parenting Panel on the options set out in Section 9 of Document “F” report are requested.

 

(Philip Segurola - 01274 431867)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

That the Terms of Reference of the Corporate Parenting Panel as set out in Document “F” be agreed.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

Minutes:

1.         The Chair confirmed that the quorum for the Corporate Parenting Panel was three members.  The Panel confirmed that the Terms of Reference provided sufficient flexibility to appoint co-opted members. 

2.         The Panel agreed that Health should be represented at both operational and executive level.  It would be helpful to the Panel to have a line of sight on social, emotional and mental health.  In light of the themed approach that the Panel had adopted, it might not be necessary for and executive level representative to attend every meeting, and the Panel would welcome the attendance at meetings of individuals with particular areas of responsibility to present reports.  The intention was to strengthen partnerships.  CCG would pass on this request, drawing on the support of the Chair as required.

 

 

Resolved

 

That the Terms of Reference of the Corporate Parenting Panel as set out in Document “F” be agreed.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

11.

PROPOSALS FOR CORPORATE PARENTING PANEL pdf icon PDF 73 KB

The report of the Director of Children’s Services (Document “G”) outlines proposals for the operation of Corporate Parenting Panel in 2022.

 

Recommended -

 

That members are asked to consider and agree to the proposals

 

(Philip Segurola – 01274 431867)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That the proposals for Corporate Parenting Panel as set out in Document “G” be agreed.

 

ACTION: Strategic Director of Children’ Services

Minutes:

1.         The Panel noted that, as agreed at its meeting on 24 November 2021, the proposals included formal Committee-based meetings to address statutory, regulatory and strategic issue, alternating with meetings taking the form of a forum led by young people.  Panel members welcomed the emphasis in the paper on engaging closely with young people.

2.         AD/SRCP would liaise with the Secretariat to schedule meetings accordingly, taking account of local election purdah.  The Panel agreed that the next meeting should be held in March 2021, be led by young people and be held in Bingley.  Noting that consultation with young people and foster carers indicated that they did not receive sufficient notice of events, AD/SRCP undertook to ensure that they were notified as soon as a date had been agreed.

 

 

Resolved –

 

That the proposals for Corporate Parenting Panel as set out in Document “G” be agreed.

 

ACTION: Strategic Director of Children’ Services

12.

CONSULTATION FEEDBACK pdf icon PDF 73 KB

A feedback event has been held this month to follow up on the issues identified by a consultation group in the summer of 2021.  The report of the Director of Children’s Services (Document “H”) will provide an opportunity for members to discuss and comment upon consultation feedback event.

 

 (Emily Rhodes – 07582102355)

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

That the consultation feedback contained in Document “H” be noted.

 

ACTION; Strategic Director of Children’s Services

Minutes:

1.         The Chair reported that a further consultation meeting with young people had been held on Monday 24 January 2022.  The discussion had been valuable and they had been content with the Panel’s proposed way forward.  They had raised three key points, which the Chair had undertaken to resolve:

·         The need for functional wifi access in children’s homes

·         Leisure access for under 16 year olds

·         A request for an app that they could use to see their entitlements and related information.

2.         The Panel discussed the scope for a dedicated website for Looked After Children, linked to an app, and agreed that Cllr Dunbar should pursue this with AD/SRCP, who would engage the IT and Participation teams, in consultation with young people. 

3.         The Chair reminded the Panel that the themes that it had identified had emerged from the consultation with young people in July 2021 and an overview of the work of Corporate Parenting Panels in local authorities that had been judged as Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.  Feedback from young people was now needed to ensure that these themes remained appropriate.   AD/SRCP undertook to check this and update the grid as necessary in time for the meeting of the Executive Committee.  Replying to questions, he said that a process would be established to record consultations with young people and convey the outcomes to the Panel.

 

 

Resolved

 

That the consultation feedback contained in Document “H” be noted.

 

ACTION; Strategic Director of Children’s Services

13.

GOVERNING BODY FOR THE VIRTUAL SCHOOL FOR LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN pdf icon PDF 614 KB

The Report of the Assistant Director Schools (Document “I”) recommends Terms of Reference and membership of a Working Group of the Corporate Parenting Panel to act as the Governing Body of the Virtual School for Looked After Children.

 

Recommended -

That the Corporate Parenting Panel agree to establish a working group to act as the Governing Body of the Virtual School and to the proposed Terms of Reference and membership set out at Appendix A to Document “I”.

 

(Jonathan Cooper  - 01274 436401)

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)  That the Corporate Parenting Panel agree to establish a working group to act as the Governing Body of the Virtual School and to the proposed Terms of Reference and membership set out at Appendix A to Document “I”

 

(2)  That the Governing Body should determine the frequency of its meetings

 

(3)  That the following be appointed governors of the Virtual School:

 

Councillor Pollard (lead CPP member for education) – Chair of the governing body

Councillor Knox

Councillor Thirkill

Jonathan Cooper, Head of the Virtual School

 

 

(4)  That the Governing Body should, at its first meeting, recommend a Vice Chair for appointment by the Panel

 

 

ACTION: Strategic Director of Children’s Services

                                   

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

1.         AD/Schools said that it was standard for local authorities to establish a governing body structure for their Virtual Schools.  The School Governor Service had researched models and suggested four options.  In light of advice from the legal department – which had differed from other local authorities’ legal advice – the recommendation was that the Panel establish a working group to act as the governing body.  Draft Terms of Reference for the governing body were set out in the report.

2.         The Panel discussed whether, in light of their responsibilities in relation to the Schools Forum, schools would be in a position to take up the role of governors for the Virtual School.  They concluded that school representatives need not be taken from the Schools Forum: they might, for example, be recruited from organisations such as The Bradford Primary Improvement Partnership, or from schools with a large number of Looked After Children on roll.

3.         The Panel considered whether Looked After Children and/or recent care leavers should be represented on the governing body.  There was a risk that representatives who were comfortable in the formal setting of a governing body meeting would not be fully representative of their peers.  On this basis, the Panel concluded that it would be better to collect and feed their views into the governing body through the Panel’s consultations with young people on education and schooling.

4.         CCG undertook to identify a health representative for the governing body.

5.         The Chair would liaise with the Chair of the governing body and AD/SRCP on other potential governors, which might include a representative of the Foster Care Association, and on a date for the first meeting.

6.         Asked whether it was the intention to reinstate the annual awards ceremony for the Virtual School following its suspension during Covid, AD/SRPC said that he envisaged that there would be an annual celebration of achievement for young people and carers.  The Panel asked that this be added to the list of developments for the Panel.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)  That the Corporate Parenting Panel agree to establish a working group to act as the Governing Body of the Virtual School and to the proposed Terms of Reference and membership set out at Appendix A to Document “I”

 

(2)  That the Governing Body should determine the frequency of its meetings

 

(3)  That the following be appointed governors of the Virtual School:

 

Councillor Pollard (lead CPP member for education) – Chair of the governing body

Councillor Knox

Councillor Thirkill

Jonathan Cooper, Head of the Virtual School

 

 

(4)  That the Governing Body should, at its first meeting, recommend a Vice Chair for appointment by the Panel

 

 

ACTION: Strategic Director of Children’s Services