Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Parenting Panel
Monday, 20th July, 2020 4.30 pm

Venue: remote

Contact: Jill Bell 

Items
No. Item

48.

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.

 

                                                                        (Sheila Farnhill – 01274 432268)

Minutes:

No disclosures of interest in matters under consideration were received.

49.

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. 

 

(Sheila Farnhill - 01274 432268)

 

Minutes:

No appeals to remove the restriction on a report or background paper had been received

50.

EU SETTLED STATUS AND CITIZENSHIP FOR CHILDREN IN CARE AND CARE LEAVERS pdf icon PDF 103 KB

The report of the Deputy Director, Children’s Social Care (Document “H”) provides information regarding the issues regarding addressing EU Settled Status for Children in Care and Care Leavers and issues regarding application for passports and citizenship. 

 

Recommended –

 

That the Corporate Parenting Panel are asked to note this report.

 

(Rachel Curtis – 01274 435779)

 

 

Minutes:

The report of the Deputy Director, Children’s Social Care (Document “H”) provided information on the issues regarding addressing EU Settled Status for Children in Care and Care Leavers and also their applications for passports and citizenship.

 

Members were advised that since the last report to the Panel there had been a change in focus because of Brexit in order that the correct documentation was in place for all children in care to ensure that they had settled status by the June 2021 deadline.  This had proved difficult when children did not have the required documents and had required considerable input to secure the relevant documentation.  The complex process of obtaining settled status for children of a number of nationalities was outlined by way of illustration.  It was noted that other Local Authorities were also experiencing the same difficulties as Bradford regarding the complexities of the process.  I was noted that new guidance had been published in April which involved  more rigorous tracking process and that a member of staff was now in post to help with applications for settled status.  It was noted that an alternative was to apply for British citizenship which was a more straight forward process but cost £13,000. There were 10 children who had gained British citizenship and a number of cases were pending.

 

The Chair stressed the need to ensure that all 81 looked after children had settled status by the June 2021 deadline.

 

A member referred to the route to apply for settled status where there are no documents and was advised that Rotherham had been successful in pursuing this approach and that Bradford was following their lead.  It was noted that UK-Butterflies, a non-profit organisation that works with Eastern European families, was pursuing the issues that the Polish Government did not recognise British Care Orders to assist in resolving this issue.

 

It was noted that there was now someone in post and that time was not wasted trying to find documentation and a paper route was started straight away if there was no documentation.

 

A member asked for reassurance that documentation would be kept for all looked after children so that their status could be permanently documented.  The importance of being able to document the status of looked after children was acknowledged and it was noted that every child was reviewed every 6 months by the Independent Reviewing Officer.  Government guidance required that a track be kept of all records.

 

A member stressed the importance of sharing best practice with other Local Authorities.  She sought clarification on the financial implications of the additional work for Social Workers and was advised that a small amount of funding had been made available to Local Authorities.

 

The Children and Families Portfolio Holder asked for assurance that Bradford would be compliant by June 2021.  The Deputy Director Children’s Social Care confirmed that finance had been allocated and that centralised dedicated resources had been put in place.  He accepted that progress in Bradford had been slow  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

ONE ADOPTION WEST YORKSHIRE ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The report of One Adoption West Yorkshire (Document “I”) provides an overview of the adoption service activity from April 2019 to March 2020.

 

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 report of One Adoption West Yorkshire (Document “I”) provided an overview of the adoption service activity from April 2019 to March 2020.  The key issues in the report were highlighted for members.

 

The following questions were asked by member and answers given:

 

·         Should the letterbox service be picked up more frequently than fortnightly ?

-       The letterbox was now being picked up weekly but the vast majority of correspondence was by email and there had been no impact or delay.

·         The time taken to do medicals had been raised before by the Panel but while appreciating the Covid19 had made an impact members required more than an assurance that discussions were taking place with  CCG’s to get back to normal.

-       The frustration in getting medical appointments was acknowledged and it was noted that virtual medicals were being accepted.  GP’s were not seeing this as a priority piece of work which had been raised with CCG’s and they in turn had agreed to circulate the concerns to GP’s

·         Were the issues regarding accommodation not anticipated and will they be resolved?

-       The issues were due to increased staffing capacity, however since 18 March staff had all worked from home and looking ahead it was unlikely to be an issue as home working continued.

·         What progress had been made in enabling information to be shared with Kirklees through the portal?

-       Portal work with Kirklees was not moving at a significant pace but information was able to be accessed when needed.

·         Are virtual medicals robust enough?

-       Virtual medicals were for adopters not children and were considered robust.  Children’s medicals posed an on going challenge in terms of capacity, however confidence was expressed that they were not holding up children with an adoption plan.  The Health Co-opted member added that long standing work was being undertaken on medicals for adults and children and that Covid 19 had presented challenges.  She noted that a meeting would take place shortly to investigate what could be done to speed things up and that avenues were being explored to meet demand and reduce timescales in the future.

·         12 children have been waiting for last 18 months for adoption since March 2020 how many of them are subject to placement order (free for adoption) and how long they have been subject to placement order- what are the ages of the children waiting for adoption? And How old are the children?

-       All 12 are subject to placement orders.  Their ages could be provided for members.  11 of the 12 were hard to place ie over 5 years old, sibling groups, having a disability of BAME.

 

·         OFSTED had expressed concern about long drift and delays in adoptions, what was being done to ensure that no further drift and delay occurred?

-       Monthly tracking meetings were being held with One Adoption and Bradford to identify any cases that drift and delay.

·         When will training be live and what has been the uptake?

-       Virtual adopter  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

WORK PLAN 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The Corporate Parenting Panel’s Work Plan for 2020/2021 is submitted for the Panel’s consideration (Document “J”).

 

 

Minutes:

Members discussed the Work Plan for 2020/2021.

 

 

Resolved –

 

(1)          That Children Placed out of Bradford Report be moved to 7 September 2020.

 

(2)          That the remaining agenda items for 7 September be discussed with the Chair with a view to facilitating the attendance of young people at the meeting.

 

ACTION: Assistant Director Performance Commissioning