Agenda, decisions and minutes

Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 29th July, 2021 4.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Fatima Butt / Jill Bell 

Items
No. Item

25.

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. 

 

Minutes:

There were no alternate members.

26.

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 declarations of interest were made for matters under consideration.

27.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2021 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Fatima Butt/Jill Bell – 01274 432227/4580)

28.

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. 

 

(Fatima Butt - 01274 432227)

 

Minutes:

No requests were received to remove the restriction on a report or background paper.

29.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

The Committee is asked to note any 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:

No referrals were received.

30.

APPOINTMENT OF NON-VOTING CO-OPTED MEMBERS

The Committee is asked to confirm and recommend to Council the appointment of the following non-voting co-opted representatives for the 2021/2022 municipal year:

 

NON VOTING CO-OPTED MEMBERS:

Teachers Secondary School Representative: Tom Bright

Voluntary Sector Representative: Kerr Kennedy

Children’s Social Care – Dr Samina Karim

 

                                                                        (Fatima Butt – 01274 432227)

 

Minutes:

 

NON VOTING CO-OPTED MEMBER

 

Tom Bright – Teachers Secondary School Representative

Dr Samina Karim: Children’s Social Care Representative.

 

Resolved –

 

That the appointment of the following non-voting co-opted representatives for the 2021/2022 municipal year be recommend to Council:

 

 

NON VOTING CO-OPTED MEMBERS:

 

Dr Samina Karim - Children’s Social Care Representative.

Teachers Secondary School Representative - Tom Bright.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

 

                                                            (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

 

 

31.

APPOINTMENT OF VOTING CO-OPTED MEMBERS

The Committee is asked to confirm and recommend to Council the appointment of the following voting co-opted representatives for the 2021/2022 municipal year:

 

Fauzia Raza - Parent Governor Representative

Joyce Simpson – Church Representative (CE)

 

                                                                                    (Fatima Butt – 01274 432227)

 

 

Minutes:

VOTING CO-OPTED MEMBERS

 

Joyce Simpson – Church Representative (CE)

Fauzia Raza – Parent Governor Representative

 

Resolved –

 

That the appointment of the following voting co-opted representative for the 2021/2022 municipal year be recommended to Council:

 

Fauzia Raza - Parent Governor Representative.

Joyce Simpson – Church Representative (CE).

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

 

                                                            (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

32.

OFSTED MONITORING VISIT - 28-29 APRIL 2021 (Help and Protection) pdf icon PDF 208 KB

The Deputy Director of Children’s Services will submit Document “A” which reports on the outcome of the Ofsted’s Inspection of Children’s Social Care Services from the 17 to 28 September 2018 and the fifth of a series of Monitoring Visits which took place on the 28 to 29 April 2021.  

 

The findings were published by Ofsted on the 4 June 2021.

 

Recommended -

 

            That the contents of the letter from Ofsted (Document “A”) be noted.

 

                                                                        (Miniza Hussain – 01274 432904)

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The purpose of the report was to inform Children’s Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee members with an outcome following the Ofsted Assurance Visit, which took place from 28 to 29 April 2021.  This was the fifth monitoring visit since Bradford Council Children’s Services was judged inadequate in October 2018.

 

Children’s Services Officers informed Councillors that the focus of the visit was on children in need and children who are subject to a child protection plan.  A copy of the Ofsted Assurance Visit letter, was also appended for members.

 

Members learned that the Ofsted letter had recognised a number of improvements relating to:

 

§  Since 2018, a new permanent senior leadership team had been put in place and was driving improvement;

§  An improved front door service and revamped training programme;

§  Improvements in quality assurance and performance management;

§  Significant investment to increase social work and managerial capacity;

§  The newly commissioned agency social work teams have been incrementally introduced and are beginning to have a positive impact on some children;

§  Quality assurance and management information have continued to improve in the last six months.

 

Children’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee members were encouraged at these improvements, however members were extremely concerned at the areas of weakness in achieving consistently good practice, as set out in the Ofsted Assurance Visit letter. Particularly those areas that relating to:

 

§  The pace of improvement being too slow for children and families, but OFSTED did recognise that this had been exacerbated by the breadth of the inadequacy and challenges associated with maintaining service delivery during the pandemic;

§  In particular, the progress on the quality of core social work practice has been too slow to show the impact for children and families and there have been four previous monitoring visits, which have all reported on the slow pace of change in improving the quality of core social work practice;

§  Although the service had been restructured and there has been significant investment in staffing and service improvement planning, due to the breadth and depth of the inadequacy identified in 2018, this had not led to sufficient positive change for some children;

§  Delays in the identification of risk, need and early intervention and where risks are identified, this does not always result in timely progression to an initial child protection conference and if needed, resultant multi-agency protection plan.

§  The recruitment of experienced social workers remaining a challenge;

§  Some children’s cases are not taken to conference quickly enough, meaning that there has been a delay in the needs of those children being considered and to having a mutli-agency plan in place to reduce the risk;

§  There is variability in how rigorously the social worker uses the child’s plan to check progress to avoid drift.

§  Inspectors felt that Initial Child Protection plans were too long and complex for parents to understand.

§  As well as this, Inspectors also identified that some Child Protection Plans were closed prematurely and resulted in needs remaining  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

CHILDREN'S SERVICES OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE DRAFT WORK PROGRAMME 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

The report of the Chair of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Document “B”) presents the Committee’s Draft Work Programme 2021-22.

 

Recommended-

 

(1)  That members consider and comment on the areas of work included in the work programme.

 

(2)  That members consider any detailed scrutiny reviews that they may wish to conduct.

 

                                                            (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Overview & Scrutiny Lead talked through the draft work programme for the Children’s Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee, as well as the programme of detailed Scrutiny Review that the Committee has agreed to undertake.

 

Also mentioned by the Overview and Scrutiny Lead, were the unscheduled topics and resolution tracking from 2020-21.

 

There was also discussion in relation to the recent important developments after the agenda for this meeting had been published, which required detailed scrutiny.  These areas were the Valley View Home Closure, Child Sexual Exploitation Thematic Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Private Fostering.

 

Members discussed agreed the work programme for the Committee and agreed that the following topics also needed to be included in the work programme:

 

§  Valley View Home Closure;

§  Child Sexual Exploitation Child Safeguarding Practice Review;

§  Private Fostering;

§  Better Start Bradford.

 

 

Resolved –

 

The Committee discussed and agreed the 2020-21 work programme and recommended that the following topics also be included in the work programme:

 

§  Valley View Home Closure;

§  Child Sexual Exploitation Child Thematic Safeguarding Practice Review;

§  Private Fostering;

§  Better Start Bradford.

 

Action:  Overview & Scrutiny Lead.

 

                                                                        (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)