Venue: E4 Room B, Fourth Floor, BCP Civic Centre Extension, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth, BH2 6DY
Contact: Claire Johnston - 01202 123663 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive any apologies for absence for the meeting.
There were no apologies received.
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.
There were no substitute members. The Chairman welcomed Sara Scholey, Interim Service Director for Corporate Parenting and Permanence
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.
Any other members of the Board may declare an interest for the purpose of transparency.
There were no declarations of interest received
Confirmation of Minutes
To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 12 September 2022.
The minutes of the meeting held on 12 December were approved as a correct record subject to the following amendments:
That at minute 19 the word Ignite be amended to Insight.
That at minute 19 the word dedicated be amended to designated
This report aims to provide a summary of the work of the Participation Team over the three months since the last Corporate Parenting Board meeting
The Participation Officer and Members of Insight and Unite 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. The report aimed to provide a summary of the work of the Participation Team over the three months since the last Corporate Parenting Board meeting. A number of areas of activity were highlighted, including:
· Both the Children in Care and Care Experienced groups had continued to recruit more members. Several had come through connecting with foster carer coffee mornings. For the 12-17 age range there were 8 active members and a further 3 in the 8-11 age range.
· Unite were meeting every other week and currently had four active projects including a welcome box for children coming into care and projects on allowances and transport.
· Unite had worked on a celebration event which had gone reallt well. The Chairman of the Board had attended and had been able to congratulate everyone. Plans were already underway for an even better event next year.
· Work was also underway on the website for children in care to access important information and support.
· Insight was also working on a number of projects which included working on the website and producing a money management guide and training for staff to utilise the mental health directory to provide greater support.
· The group were meeting in the 333 hub and the opening of this had been an important event. The 333 hub was nominated for and won a national award. There was also now a young person working as an ambassador with the same organisation.
· The group had also worked with the IRO team on feedback from the consultation. Insight had worked on redesigning the consultation forms and final designs were in circulation.
· Insight had also produced business cards with a slogan and contact information. Members of the Board and Officers were asked to distribute these to young people as appropriate.
· Young people had been attending the training for trainee social workers.
· It was noted that there was no one place where information on allowances was available for young people. The different places where this was held had been identified. Jo Fry undertook to discuss this with Alison Maylor to move this forward.
· Insight was also planning on making a glossary for all of the different terms used in meetings. The plan was to go through past papers and to put together tips on working with care leavers and children in care. The long-term aim was to create a full pack for young people
· The Director of Chidlren’s Social care commented that it was great to hear that so much was going on and asked how the development of roles within the groups would work. It was notes that the roles would be focused around things like a housing champion and these would be voted on by the others in the group. It was noted that it would be ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
IRO Scrutiny Report
To providean updateon progressof improvementwork regarding the statutory function and impact of the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer service.
The Quality Assurance Manager presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.
The purpose of the report was to ensure that improvement work was in linewith Ofstedfindings and statutory requirements and toprovide anupdate onprogress ofimprovement workregarding the statutory function and impact of the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer service. The Board raised a number of points which were responded to including:
The Co-Chair for the meeting commented that they were impressed by the report and it was good to see the feedback had been taken on board.
A Member asked if the reasons for the Increase in the male population in care was known. It was noted that the numbers of unaccompanied asylum seekers would be part of the increase but would need to be looked into further to see if there were any other factors involved.
Information was sought regarding the impact of the lack of staff retention on children and young people in care. It was noted that Council had recently agreed a pay increase for frontline staff Hopeful that the agreed pay increase for frontline staff in children’s social care and social work staff and it was hoped that this would lead to greater staff retention. The service was doing all it could do retain consistency for young people. There was also a recruitment campaign beginning in the new year and it was hoped that this would see an improvement on members of staff within the IRO service.
It was suggested that it would be good to have the consultation forms available in a digital app format. It was noted that this was being looked at, possibly through a QR code. It was suggested survey monkey may be an option.
It was also suggested that it may be helpful to include the meanings or definitions for some of the terminology used such as ICO for interim care orders.
It was noted that the male / female categories always added up to 100 percent and it was question whether there was a recording for those who non-binary were. It was explained that there wasn’t and that this was something which would need to be looked into.
It was noted that some young people did not know or had never seen their IRO. It was noted that this was an area which was greatly improving and that some of this information related to older experiences from some years ago.
Housing Update for Care Experienced Young People
This report outlines that:
A range of activities that support the housing offer for care experienced young people has made good progress over the past 6 months.
A Youth Homelessness Board governance structure is in place to oversee the development of the key operations for this work.
Additional resources have been secured to provide housing support to care experienced young people in partnership with key stakeholders.
New housing delivery provision dedicated for care experienced young people is on target to provide additional permanent homes, with young people already benefiting from this provision.
The Interim Director of Housing presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. The Board was advised that a range of activities that supported the housing offer for care experienced young people had made good progress over the past 6 months.
A Youth Homelessness Board governance structure was in place to oversee the development of the key operations for this work and additional resources had been secured to provide dedicated housing support to care experienced young people in partnership with key stakeholders. The work was on target to provide additional permanent homes for care experienced young people. The Board raised a number of issues in the subsequent discussion, including:
Properties meeting standards. It was noted that all 51 properties had been inspected and some young people had been moved. There was a programme in place to visit all properties so that the service could absolutely guarantee that the accommodation was of the quality expected. This would be fed back to the youth homelessness board.
There had been really good partnership conversations with housing and the team had changed the path that it was moving forward on.
The Board was advised that a large part of this came from a young person who was happy for their experience to be used as a learning point. There was concern that there was a need to be cautious that the young persons voice was heard to ensure that what the young people wanted was being done.
A Board member was concerned that the report was not very data rich and suggested that it needed more detail to help inform about the experiences of children and young people. This would help explain what the reality of the offering was, e.g. were the flats too far away, not on bus routes, etc.
It was clarified that the difference between a house share and a HMO was that there would be an identified carer who could visit for 6 hours per week. The property would be overseen by Children’s social care. The technicalities of this were being looked into but they would not be clinical of have a security guard, they would have a homely feel and very different from an HMO.
A young person representative asked about the cost of living impact to young people in their supported housing. It was noted that this was now starting to be heard and people were really struggling with increases in utility bills. Foodbank vouchers and gas and electric vouchers would be available but there was also a need to look at innovative way to help address the situation. A member noted that the Council had a very useful webpage which included support available to people. It was suggested that Citizen’s Advice may also be able to help.
It was suggested that the next report should contain greater analysis and number to support the information.
Children in Care Improvement
• Feedback from Children in Care Practice week held 14-18th November 2022 (presentation)
The Service Manager for Children’s Social Care shared a presentation with the Board from, the Children in Care Practice week. The Board was advised that the week had looked at a multitude of issues and included a wide range of participants. A lot of work went into ensuring everyone would get the best from week. There was lots of information available for learning throughout the service and it provided developmental opportunity for all of those from the review team at practice week who were then invited to undertake reviews of practice. The key lines of enquiry were outlined to the Board and the next steps to take things forward were explained.
A Board member asked how many participants there were altogether. It was noted that there were significant numbers taking part this included 260 staff attending reviews, 10 observations taking place with young people, 25 practice learning reviews completed and further feedback.
The Chairman thanked the Service Manager for her report.
Virtual School Annual Report
The attached report gives an overview of the academic year 2021-22 for children in care and care leavers. The report includes successes, areas that we have been focusing on, areas we are looking to develop and priorities for the next academic year. Educational outcomes are shown in the report along with an outline of spend for the Pupil Premium Grant.
The Virtual School Headteacher presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'D' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. The Board was advised of the successes of the young people in care and care leavers and the work that has been undertaken by the Virtual school and the priorities for the next academic year. The report and summary report provided an overview of the academic year 2021-22 for children in care and care leavers. Educational outcomes were outlined n the report along with the spend for the Pupil Premium Grant. The Virtual School Head explained that the summary report provided a more visual and accessible format for young people which was welcomed. It was hoped that this could be published on the website so that it would be accessible for everyone throughout the year.
The Virtual School worked with a range of different people, including working with young people who were parents and pregnant. A number of highlights from the report were outlined to the Board which included that:
Some of the areas for improvement included the lack of pupil voice within a number of Personal Education Plans and there was ongoing work to minimise the number of children out of school. The Virtual Head outlined the ways in which improvements were being driven and noted that alternative provision was always made available.
A number of issues were raised in the Boards’ discussion which included:
IRO access to the PEP (Personal Education Plans) system was requested. It was noted that business support should now be sending all PEP documents to children in care business support which should then be uploaded onto Mosaic. The Virtual School Head advised that they would look into this but this issue should have been resolved.
It was noted that it was excellent that 88 percent of children were going into further education. It was asked whether they continued to be monitored and whether they remained in education and if their final outcomes were tracked. All were allocated to virtual school worker until year 15. Work continued on PEPs for years 12/13 and education employment plans, tracked young people right up to year 14.
An issue was raised regarding trauma informed teaching and attachment training. It was noted that there was inconsistency with some of the schools that the virtual school worked with. There had been an annual conference with over 100 attending from various schools across BCP. Understanding trauma and teaching, support and training was available for this and there was buy in through quite a few schools. There needed to be more understanding from schools around PACE but this was being followed up on with the feeding into schools of what strategies they should be using.
Members asked about the ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council Children's Services Complaints and Representations Annual Report 2021 - 2022
To provide an update on the complaints and representations made to BCP Council about Children’s Services in 2021/22.
The Quality Assurance Manager presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'E' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. The Board considered the report which provided an update on the complaints and representations made to BCP Council about Children’s Services in 2021/22.
The Board was advised that there had been a significant increase in stage 2 complaints, receiving 14 in the last year. This had put considerable pressure on the service. Some of the complaints were upheld and these were fed into some of the changes which have been made.
There had been an increase in the number of complaints related SEND, including transport for children and young people. It was noted that this was a complex area as it cut across a number of different service areas.
The service had undertaken discussions with the Fostering and Children in Care teams in response to issues raised concerning communication of what support and resources are available for young people once they were starting university.
It was noted that there had also been a few compliments related to good service from social workers.
A Member commented that they were unaware that you could put in a compliment. In response to a question about how a complaint could be made the Board was advised that anyone was able to make a complaint and they could be supported through an advocate. It was suggested that this would be useful to include within an information pack for children in care. It was noted that both compliments and complaints could be made through digital means.
In response to a question the Board was advised that the main learning around complaints was the importance of communication. This was an issue across the Board in particular how people could find information. One of the other main issues raised through complaints was changes in social workers, or IROs and the impact of this.
There was also a case of a child who hadn’t been deemed looked after but challenged this and was successful this had led to reviewing cases of other young people who had not been deemed looked after.
A Councillor commented that it would be useful to have training for Councillors in how to make or pass on a resident’s complaint. It was agreed that this could be looked into in terms of training for new Councillors.
To consider and amend the Board’s Forward Plan as appropriate.
The Board’s Forward Plan as circulated was noted. There were no further comments made.
Future Meeting Dates
The Board is asked to note the future dates arranged for meetings of the Board as follows:
Monday 13 March 2023
Monday 19 June 2023
Monday 11 September 2023
Monday 11 December 2023
Monday 11 March 2024
The dates for the future scheduled meetings of the Board were noted
Children in Care and Care Experienced YP report including sufficiency – Data and Analysis report
No questions were received on this report
Response to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel National Review Nov 22
No questions were received on this report.