Agenda and draft minutes

Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 3rd May, 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite, Civic Centre, Poole BH15 2RU. View directions

Contact: Louise Smith, Email: louise.smith@bcpcouncil.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

90.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Geary, Lawton and Northover.

 

Councillors Hilliard and Rocca attending virtually, forgoing any voting rights.

91.

Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.

 

Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Hilliard was substituting for Councillor Geary and Councillor Davies was substituting for Councillor Lawton.

92.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received on this occasion.

93.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 326 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 22 March 2022.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 22 March 2022, having previously been circulated, be confirmed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

94.

Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 505 KB

Minutes:

There were no comments on the action sheet.

95.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:

 

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

 

The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a public statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no public issues received on this occasion.

96.

Children's Services Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 430 KB

BCP Children’s Services was inspected in December 2022 and the outcome was an overall Inadequate judgement. As a result, a Children’s Service Improvement Plan has been produced to ensure Improvement in Children’s Social Care functions in accordance with the statutory direction notice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Children’s Services and the Director of Quality, Performance Improvement and Governance presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A’ to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

 

BCP Children’s Services was inspected in December 2022 and the outcome was an overall Inadequate judgement. As a result, a Children’s Service Improvement Plan had been produced to ensure improvement in Children’s Social Care functions in accordance with the statutory direction notice.

 

The Committee was provided with a brief PowerPoint presentation focusing on the themes of the Improvement Plan and possible areas which they could scrutinise.

 

The Committee discussed the report and presentation, and comments were made, including:

 

  • In response to a query regarding recruitment issues, which is was highlighted was a national issue, the Committee was advised of the challenges faced by the Service and the need for innovation and creativity to improve the situation and make BCP Council an employer of choice. 
  • The recruitment of several social workers from Rwanda was discussed and it was highlighted that candidates from there had a similar social work qualification to that in the UK and that Children’s Services could bring an update at a meeting date in the summer.  The Diocesan representative advised the Committee that the Winchester Diocese Education Board had links with the Rwanda Education Board, which could provide a beneficial link if they could offer any help
  • There was some discussion regarding Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and it was confirmed that the concern from Ofsted related to both the condition of the buildings and the possible risks caused by the decision made to place young people in them.  
  • In response to a query about how the Service plans to ensure the voice of the child is more visible in the future, the Committee was advised that it should be encompassed through all the work on the Improvement plan using a variety of methods to seek the children and young people’s views and should be demonstrated as a strand throughout.  It was noted that a participation worker had been recruited in relation to the written statement of action for education
  • In response to a query about target caseloads for social workers, the Committee was advised that the national average would be a lot lower than the service currently had, but it was not able to reduce caseloads to that level but needed to consider what was reasonable and manageable at this time.  It was highlighted that progress in this area could be scrutinised on a regular basis to monitor improvement
  • In response to a query about apprenticeships and whether there had been any improvements, the Committee was advised that this needed to be considered further by Officers
  • In response to a query about the need to improve the rate of Special Guardianship Orders and Early Help, the Committee was advised that the offer needed to be strengthened.  Once work had progressed, then scrutiny  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96.

97.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 285 KB

To consider the Committee’s Forward Plan.

Minutes:

The contents of the Forward Plan were noted.

 

The Chair advised of the plan to provide the Committee with Permanence Planning training before the June Committee and that further details would be sent out in due course.

 

A Member enquired whether the green paper regarding SEND could be circulated to the Committee Members for consideration and comment. ACTION

 

98.

Dates of Future Meetings

To note the dates of future Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committees as follows:

 

  • 7 June 2022
  • 26 July 2022
  • 20 September 2022
  • 22 November 2022
  • 24 January 2023
  • 21 March 2023

 

All meetings will commence at 6pm and venues to be confirmed.

 

Minutes:

The dates of the future meetings were noted.