Agenda and minutes

Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 30th June, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Via Skype

Contact: Louise Smith 

Media

Items
No. Item

71.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

None received.

 

72.

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:

None received.

 

73.

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:

Councillor Maidment declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 6 – Youth Justice Plan 2020-21 as an employee of the National Probation Service.

 

74.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 489 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 10 March 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 10 March 2020, having been previously circulated, be signed by the Chairman and confirmed as a correct record.

 

75.

Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 337 KB

To consider the actions from the last meeting.

Minutes:

The Chairman referred to the action sheet and advised that some of the actions may yet to be completed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

76.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s2305/Public%20Items%20-%20Meeting%20Procedure%20Rules.pdf 

The deadline for the submission of public questions is Tuesday 23 June 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is 12.00 noon, Monday 29 June 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 12.00 noon, Monday 29 June 2020.

Minutes:

None received.

 

77.

Youth Justice Plan 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To present the Youth Justice Plan for 2020/21. There is a statutory requirement to publish an annual Youth Justice Plan which must provide specified information about the local provision of youth justice services. This report summarises the Youth Justice Plan for 2020/21, with a copy of the Plan appended. The Youth Justice Plan needs to be approved by the full Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Manager of the Dorset Combined Youth Offending Services and Service Director for Children and Young People’s Social Care 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 purpose of the report was to present the Youth Justice Plan for 2020/21. There was a statutory requirement to publish an annual Youth Justice Plan which provides specified information about the local provision of youth justice services. The report summarised the Youth Justice Plan for 2020/21, a copy of the Plan was appended. The Youth Justice Plan needs to be approved by Cabinet and full Council.

 

The Committee discussed the report and comments were made including:

 

  • The Portfolio Holder for Children’s Service advised that she would take any recommendations from the Committee on to Cabinet and Council and in response to a query regarding resettlement planning following custodial sentences, the Committee was advised that this was a very problematic area due to behaviours and challenges with individuals but that tighter and more effective planning between the Youth Offending Service (YOS) and Social Care should help to mitigate those issues
  • In response to a concern regarding the figures relating to first time entrants to the system, the Committee was assured that rates locally had reduced and that a coordinated approach was being implemented to help reduce it further.  The Corporate Director advised that the whole partnership was committed in working together to make an impact in this area and that the proposed model was currently being reviewed through two children who did receive custodial sentences to ensure lessons were learnt.  A Member requested an update on the progress of this in 6 months.
  • The Committee was advised that the YOS response was not being impeded by a reduction in funding and that the service had successfully managed a reduction in funding by finding more efficient and effective ways of working.
  • In response to a query regarding transitioning from YOS to the National Probation Service (NPS), the YOS Manager advised that it had a seconded Probation Officer as part of its team and consideration was always given as to when it would be appropriate to hand supervision over to the NPS once a young person turned 18, bearing in mind the services differing aims and focuses. Work was also being undertaken regarding young adults who come into the NPS as an adult, but who had been previously known to YOS and how that young person is dealt with
  • In response to a query regarding data relating to the mental health of the users, it was advised that a number of users fell short of receiving an official mental health diagnosis being affected by issues such as early trauma and attachment issues in early years and a significant number of users had cumulative issues which would then build in to a larger problem.  The YOS followed the Youth Justice Boards recommendations to use enhanced  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

78.

Update on impact of Covid-19 pdf icon PDF 265 KB

This report provides an update summarising Children’s Services response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and to provide assurance as to how we will continue to work with partners to meet the needs of children, young people and their families during the course of the pandemic.

Minutes:

The Service Directors, Children’s Services, 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 report provided an update summarising Children’s Services response to the Covid-19 pandemic and aimed to provide assurance as to how they would continue to work with partners to meet the needs of children, young people and their families during the course of the pandemic.

 

The Committee discussed the Report and comments were made, including:

 

  • In response to a query from a Youth Parliament Member regarding how Covid was affecting their peers especially those with exams next year.  It was highlighted there was anxiety amongst them about returning to school and how they will catch up. The Committee was reassured by the actions of the service to try and mitigate any concerns, which included resource sharing through the educational psychologist team with schools to help them deal with the transition.  It was also planned to offer an increased service to schools in September to help schools and pupils adjust and adapt to the new challenges the creation of a multi agency wraparound for teachers and pupils to ensure a collective of professionals were available to support those children.
  • The Committee was advised that social services had been reviewing all care plans for its vulnerable children, including unaccompanied asylum seekers, who were subject to social care intervention, including working closely with foster carers and if the child was not in school, supporting them now and to assist in a return to school.
  • In response to a query regarding the delay in the process of a child receiving an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), the Committee was advised that due to the pandemic, there had been some immediate impacts on how the service had been able to manage its duties.  The reasons why the EHCP processes had been delayed were detailed including an inability to do face to face assessments and the redeployment of relevant professionals to front line services.  The Committee was advised that there had been a challenge ensuring all affected parents were communicated with regarding this and work was being undertaken to rectify this.
  • In response to a query about the support being provided to children who were currently subject to an EHCP, it was highlighted that a multi-agency meeting had been arranged to consider how to manage the children getting back to school in September whilst considering social distancing rules. In addition, there would be catch up tutoring offered which schools would receive extra funding for
  • In response to a statement that some children had thrived in a home learning environment, whilst acknowledging that most children were best suited to a school environment, it was hoped that this would be a good opportunity to consider a broader offer including more flexible curriculum delivery models
  • In response to a concern regarding the low numbers of vulnerable children currently in school, the Committee was reassured  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

79.

Children's Services Learning and Improvement Plan – Establishment of Working Group pdf icon PDF 212 KB

The children’s overview and scrutiny committee requested the ability to understand the key elements of the children’s services Learning and Improvement plan.

To support this an overview of the Learning and Improvement Plan will be presented in Appendix 2.

It is further purposed to the Children’s Overview and Scrutiny committee that the most effective way to oversee and scrutinise the progress of the Learning and Improvement Plan is through a dedicated working group.

A draft Terms of Reference for a working group are attached for consideration, Appendix 1.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services 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.

 

Following a recent meeting, it was highlighted that the Committee requested the ability to scrutinise Children’s Services Learning and Improvement Plan and it was felt that a Working Group of the Committee would enable this scrutiny and oversight to occur.

 

The Committee welcomed the proposal and felt that the Working Group should be made up of five Members and should be established as soon as possible.

 

In response to a query regarding Youth Parliament Member participation, the Committee was advised that all the discussions and work undertaken at this Working Group would be fed back to the Committee for consideration.

 

The Chairman advised that an email would be sent out for nominations to sit on the Group.

 

RESOLVED that a Working Group of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee be established to oversee the progress and impact of the Learning and Improvement Plan.

 

80.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To consider the Committee’s Forward Plan

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that the Forward Plan had not yet been updated following the Work Programming Session in March.  It was anticipated that this work would be undertaken prior to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

81.

Dates of Future Meetings

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

·       28 July 2020

·       22 September 2020

·       24 November 2020

·       26 January 2021

·       23 March 2021

 

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

Minutes:

The dates of the future meetings were noted.