Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Parenting Panel
Monday, 22nd July, 2019 4.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Jill Bell 

Items
No. Item

1.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2019 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Yusuf Patel – 01274 434579)

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 April 2019 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

Action:           City Solicitor

2.

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. 

 

(Yusuf Patel - 01274 434579)

 

Minutes:

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

 

3.

APPOINTMENT OF NON-VOTING CO-OPTED MEMBERS

The Panel will be asked to consider the appointment of Non-Voting Co-opted Members for the 2019/20 Municipal Year and to make a recommendation to the Regulatory and Appeals Committee.

 

Recommended –

 

That it be recommended to the Regulatory and Appeals Committee that the appointment of Non-Voting Co-opted Members to the Panel for the 2019/20 municipal year be confirmed as set out below:

 

·         Inspector Kevin Taylor – West Yorkshire Police

·         Vacancy – Education

·         Sue Thompson – Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Group

·         Chair of the Children in Care Council

 

                                                            (Yusuf Patel – 01274 434579)

 

Minutes:

The Panel was asked to consider the appointment of Non-Voting Co-opted Members for the 2019/20 Municipal Year and to make a recommendation to the Regulatory and Appeals Committee.

 

Resolved –

 

That it be recommended to the Regulatory and Appeals Committee that the appointment of Non-Voting Co-opted Members to the Panel for the 2019/20 municipal year be confirmed as set out below:

 

·         Inspector Kevin Taylor – West Yorkshire Police

·         Yasmin Umarji (until September 2019) – Education

·         Sue Thompson – Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Group

·         Chair of the Children in Care Council

 

Action:           City Solicitor

 

           

 

 

4.

CHILDREN PLACED OUT OF BRADFORD pdf icon PDF 92 KB

The Assistant Director (Performance, Commissioning & Partnerships) will submit a report (Document “A”) which sets out the numbers of children; services offered; challenges and sufficiency plans.

 

Recommended –

 

The views of the Panel on the option set out in Section 9 of Document “A” are requested. 

(David Byrom - 01274 432986)

 

Minutes:

The Local Authority had a duty to secure, so far as reasonably practicable, sufficient accommodation within its area to meet the need of children whose circumstances were such that it would be consistent with their welfare for them to be provided with accommodation in the local authority area. This was referred to as ‘the sufficiency duty’.

 

The Assistant Director (Performance, Commissioning & Partnerships) submitted a report (Document “A”) which set out the numbers of children; services offered; challenges and sufficiency plans.

 

Members were informed that:

 

·         There had been a significant rise in the number of Children Looked After (CLA) over the last 15 months; the current number of CLA was 1202.

 

·         This was a 23.2% increase, of this increase 15.8% were aged between   10-17.

 

·         There was a good level of own provision compared to purchased provision; 63% of provision of accommodation for CLA was provided by the Local Authority.

 

·         Over the last 12 months there had been a significant increase in the number of CLA placed into purchased provision purely because of the availability of placements in area, a number of these would be outside of Bradford.

 

·         It was essential that own provision needed to be increased.

 

·         CLA numbers were rising locally and nationally, there were a limited number of external providers of foster care and more importantly residential care. There were on average between 400 / 500 referrals per month nationally  to the private residential sector.

 

·         This often meant that despite a children’s social care referral stating a specific need there may be no availability and the best available placement would be taken. This could mean that children and young people were placed at distance into a setting that might not be the best match.  There were a number of actions in place to try to address this including developing   more flexible provision locally; working with the market to have more local provision and increasing the number of in- house Foster Carers.

 

·         There had been increasing instances  of permission to accommodate a young person being given by Head of Service and no placement being available. This effectively meant a child or young person remaining in the current placement.

 

·         Bradford had a block contract of 10 beds with a provider called Hexagon and utilised these within homes in Bradford. This had recently been reviewed and extended for a further year.  As part of the review it increased from 8 beds to 10 as it was good quality provision and the block contract was more cost effective. The commissioning team was currently reviewing to see if there were further opportunities to use block contracts.

 

·         When CLA were placed into a private children’s home out of area, it was important that a risk assessment was undertaken with the local Police, placements teams and safeguarding team in the Local Authority (LA) to ensure that they were aware that a young person was being placed into area. A written notification was sent to the LA so that the CLA nursing team, Virtual School  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

CITIZENSHIP/ACCESS TO PASSPORTS FOR CHILDREN IN CARE AND CARE LEAVERS AND BREXIT IMPLICATIONS pdf icon PDF 77 KB

The Assistant Director (Performance, Commissioning & Partnerships) will submit a report (Document “B”) which provides an update from the report submitted in September 2019 regarding issues of Citizenship and Passports for Children who are in Care in particular regarding children who are EU Citizens and plans to apply for Settled Status or citizenship for those children.

 

Recommended –

 

The Corporate Parenting Panel are asked to note the report.

 

(Rachel Curtis - 01274 435779)

 

Minutes:

The Assistant Director (Performance, Commissioning & Partnerships) submitted a report (Document “B”) which provided an update from the report submitted in September 2019, regarding issues of Citizenship and Passports for Children who were in care, in particular regarding children who were EU Citizens and plans to apply for settled status or citizenship for those children.

 

Members were informed that:

 

·         There were currently 59 children who were EU nationals in care;  some of these children, where their permanence plan was that they would remain looked after separate from their family and they would live in the UK; measures were being put in place to apply for British Citizenship. 

·         For children who continued to live within their own family, or continued to have significant links with their family and home country, it was important that they had the necessary paperwork and identity papers, and that an application for Settled Status was made. The application itself was free, but the documents needed to prove eligibility such as birth certificates and passports did cost money if they were not already in place.

·         Often parents did not have the necessary paperwork or refused to give this to the social worker. Social workers therefore needed to work to get hold of the necessary documentation and if the families did not have the paperwork new copies were needed. This was not straightforward and involved working with the individual embassies or consulates and the children being seen at the embassy (usually in London). Passports could not be issued without identity papers and birth certificates.

·         Some creative work was being undertaken to ensure children had identity papers and passports to allow them to go on school trips etc. 

·         The Settled Status application scheme opened at the end of March and plans were being put in place for children in care to apply for Settled Status, however to submit the application the child needed all the necessary documentation so the focus now was on ensuring this was in place first.   

·         The delay in Brexit had meant that the work regarding applying for Settled Status had become less of a priority but it still needed to happen. All workers of children who were EU migrants had been asked to meet with the Through Care Service Manager in July to update on plans and progress regarding Settled Status or Citizenship for the children they were working with.

 

·         The cost of citizenship applications was at least £1,000 per child.  Significant costs could also be incurred through travel to embassies in London; legal costs needed to be met and there was a shortage of Legal Advisors who specialised in children’s asylum and immigration issues.

 

In response to the information provided, Members commented on the following:

 

·         What did settled status mean for an individual?

 

·         Did settled status allow young people to have access to higher education?

 

·         Was anything being undertaken in relation to the shortage of Legal Advisors who specialised in Children’s asylum and immigration issue?

 

·         The Council needed to lobby the government to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

ONE ADOPTION WEST YORKSHIRE ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 431 KB

The Assistant Director (Performance, Commissioning & Partnerships) will submit a report (Document “C”) which sets out the annual report of the work of One Adoption West Yorkshire.

 

Recommended –

 

That the Corporate Parenting Panel receives this report and continues to support the work of One Adoption West Yorkshire and the local authority to ensure our adopted children and families receive the best possible support.

(Michelle Rawlings - 0113 535 0913)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director (Performance, Commissioning & Partnerships) submitted a report (Document “C”) which set out the annual report of the work of One Adoption West Yorkshire.

 

Members raised strong concerns in relation to the delay in children’s medicals being undertaken in a timely manner. The Assistant Director Performance, Commissioning and Partnerships confirmed that the matter had been escalated and Commissioners in Health and the Hospital Trust were aware of the issues in relation to the time taken for a young person to undergo a medical which was leading to delays in progressing care plans.

 

In response to a Member’s question it was explained that the new Adoption Support Fund portal on the Government website came into force at the beginning of July 2018 and this was much more user-friendly and along with the improved business support processes there had been a higher number of successful applications for therapeutic support for families. In total One adoption had accessed £2.1 million to support 650 adopted children in West Yorkshire.

 

The Chair felt that a verbal report should be provided to the panel on the progress with the delays in medicals being undertaken for young people.

 

Resolved –

 

That the report be noted and the work of One Adoption West Yorkshire and the local authority to ensure adopted children and families receive the best possible support continue to be supported.

 

Action:           Assistant Director, Performance and Commissioning

 

7.

WORK PLAN 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

The Panel’s Work Plan for 2019/20 is submitted for Member’s consideration (Document “D”).

Minutes:

The Panel’s Work Plan for 2019/20 was submitted for Member’s consideration (Document “D”).

 

Resolved-

 

That the 9 September meeting of the Committee be held at Culture Fusion and includes the following items:

 

·         Young People’s feedback from the development event

·         Corporate Parenting Report – Places (leisure facilities for Looked After Children)

·         Report on Emotional and Mental Wellbeing of Looked After Children – (financial element and provision of CAMHS for Looked After Children – requested at the 15 April 2019 meeting of the Panel)

 

Action:           Assistant Director, Performance and Commissioning