Agenda, decisions and minutes

Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 9th October, 2019 4.30 pm

Venue: Ernest Saville Room - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Fatima Butt / Jill Bell - 01274 432227/01274 434580 

Items
No. Item

20.

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 disclosures of interest in matters under consideration were received.

21.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2019 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Jill Bell – 01274 434580)

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2019 be signed as a correct record.

22.

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. 

 

(Jill Bell- 01274 434580)

 

Minutes:

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

23.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

To consider referrals have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.

 

The Committee is asked to note the 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:

There were no referrals to the Committee.

24.

YOUNG CARERS pdf icon PDF 98 KB

The report of the Strategic Director of Children’s Services (Document “H”) provides a requested update on the plans to meet the needs of Young Carers within the Bradford District. The Young Carers Service is a commissioned service which meets the Council’s statutory duty to provide an assessment for Young Carers, as well as providing other resources following assessment.

 

The Carers Resource was successful in gaining the new tender from 1st April 2019 and this report is an update of their progress to date.

 

Previous reports have been presented; the last one was on 13th February 2019.  

 

Recommended -

 

(1)          That the Overview and Scrutiny receive the report for information, note  the progress and  support continued development in our jointly commissioned service.

 

(2)          That the Committee continue to receive annual reports from the service and that these are scheduled  for June 2020  to give the service time to report on a full year of activity.

 

(Cath Dew – 01274 437949)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Strategic Director of Children’s Services (Document “H”) provided a requested update on the plans to meet the needs of Young Carers within the Bradford District. The Young Carers Service was a commissioned service which met the Council’s statutory duty to provide an assessment for Young Carers, as well as providing other resources following assessment.

 

It was reported that the Carers Resource was successful in gaining the new tender from 1st April 2019 and this report was an update of their progress to date.

 

Previous reports had been presented; with the last one being on 13th February 2019.  

 

Members sought clarification in relation to what actually constituted inappropriate care that was being provided by young people. In response, members were informed that inappropriate care involved excessive care, where it was causing harm to the young carer.  Members heard that some young carers were reaching a crisis point in their care arrangements, however intense one to one care was being developed for such young carers to support them.

 

Several members commented on the need to reach out to young carers in all communities, such as the South Asian and Easter European Communities.  Members referred to the £50,000 additional funding that was secured for summer activities programmes to 500 young carers and asked how many places were allocated to young carers from South Asian communities?In response members were informed by officers that they were not able to say how many places had been allocated to Young Carers from South Asian Communities.  However, officers did comment that it was difficult to engage with young carers from the South Asian and Eastern European communities but officers were working with the Children’s Society, in relation to engagement with hidden groups and this would also include those communities to help in identifying young carers.

 

Members asked whether there had been any outcomes from the Equality Impact Assessment that had been undertaken as part of the contract tendering process.  Officers stated that as part of the contract tendering process, there had been no changes to the service provision; hence,  they did not need to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment.

 

There was considerable discussion amongst members about the performance against key performance indicators, as well as the new model for providing care to young carers.  Members were keen to explore this further.

 

A young carer was also in attendance.  The young carer talked about their experience and the support available to them.  They informed members, that as a result of the support that they received from the Young Carers Service, they were able to have a good balance between providing care and support for their own life.

 

 

Resolved –

 

That a further report be presented to this Committee at the meeting on Wednesday 15 April 2020 which focuses specifically on:

 

(a)   Progress being made against key performance indicators.

 

(b)   The new model for providing support to young carers.

 

ACTION:  Strategic Director of Children’s Services

25.

PROGRESS UPDATE FOLLOWING THE OFSTED INSPECTION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES CHILDREN'S SERVICES (ILACS) - OFSTED MONITORING VISIT PREPARATION, PROGRESS AND CONTINUED CHALLENGE pdf icon PDF 93 KB

The Strategic director of children’s Services will present a report (Document “I”)that provides the Committee with a progress update in respect of improvements identified within the Ofsted Improvement Plan, namely:

 

Ofsted monitoring visit preparation, progress and continued challenge

 

Recommended -

 

That the contents of Document I be noted.

 

(Paul Findlay – 07967 682575)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director of Children’s Services presented a report (Document “I”)that provided the Committee with a progress update in respect of improvements identified within the Ofsted Improvement Plan, namely:

Ofsted monitoring visit preparation, progress and continued challenge.

 

Members stressed the importance of having a stable workforce of Social workers and were concerned that Social workers were coming to work for Bradford Council through an agency and that Social workers were leaving for employment offering a higher salary.  This was also highlighted as an area for improvement in the report. In response on the importance of providing conditions to retain Children’s Services Social workers was noted.  Members were informed, that the financial aspects had been reviewed, however it was equally important to create good conditions such as, supervision, training and having case loads that are safe and manageable. Furthermore, it was noted that the first year of employment for a Social  worker was working well, but it became more challenging once the Social Worker became experienced.

 

In a response to a member’s comment about identifying children at risk at an early stage, it was reported that a considerable amount of work had been undertaken in this area and that they were continuing to work with West Yorkshire Police in relation to domestic abuse referrals.

 

Members were keen to understand what approaches were being used to improve staff morale. In response, officers indicated that they actively and openly rewarded staff for their achievements, through the “Shout out Fridays” approach.

 

Members raised concerns in relation to PEP’s, (Personal Education Plans), especially concerning the trends regarding the number of assessments not being completed and whether PEP’s were being robustly monitored. It was reported that PEP’s were a complicated process and that they are also quality assured and monitored.

 

Members of the Committee indicated that that the CAMHS, (Child Mental Health Services), provision needed greater challenge and that waiting lists were too long.  It was felt that the role of Overview and Scrutiny was to interrogate the data and provide challenge as the performance was not good enough.  Members asked what action was being undertaken to improve performance and reduce waiting lists. In response it was highlighted that accountability was being incorporated into the system. This was being done by service managers explaining performance and they would then ask Team Managers to explain performance in their own areas.  Officers assured members that there was challenge when the quality was not good enough.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)          That representatives from the Improvement Board be requested to attend future meetings of the Committee and inform members of progress or otherwise in all areas of the Vital Signs report.

 

(2)          That future reports to this Committee contain detailed information relating to the five programmes under the “Getting to Good”, improvement measure.

 

(3)          That a report relating to the structures and effectiveness of Child Adult Mental Health Services, (CAMHS), be presented to this Committee.

 

ACTION:  Strategic Director of Children’s Services

26.

CHILDREN'S SERVICES OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - WORK PROGRAMME 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

The report of the Chair of the Committee (Document “J”) includes the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2019/20. 

 

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 report of the Chair of the Committee (Document “J”) included the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2019/20. 

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Lead presented the work programme for the committee.

 

There was discussion amongst members about the need to have a focused work programme and that the work programme should reflect key Children’s Services priorities.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Lead highlighted a list of potential Scrutiny Reviews in key Children’s Services Priorities, which could be undertaken by the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)           That the work programme continue to be kept under review.

 

(2)          That a programme of Scrutiny Reviews be undertaken across key areas within Children’s Services which include:

 

(a)   Alternative School Provision, (including Home Schooled Children).

(b)   Looked after Children.

(c)  Children’s Homes.

(d)  Fostering.

(e)  Children’s Mental Health.

(f)   Recruitment and retention of Social Workers.

(g)  SEND, (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).

(h)  YOT, (Youth Offending Team).

 

ACTION:  Overview and Scrutiny Lead.