Agenda item

OFSTED INSPECTION OF LOCAL AUTHORITY CHILDREN'S SERVICES (ILACS)

The report of the Interim Strategic Director of Children’s Services

(Document ”Y”) provides updated information about the Council’s response to the published OFSTED ILACS judgement with a focus on the Theme Four: Improving the Front Door and MASH arrangements.

 

Recommended –

 

(1)          The Committee notes the continuing risks, issues and challenge.

 

(2)          That the next meeting of the Committee continues the scrutiny of the Front Door in advance of the Ofsted monitoring visit.

 

(3)          A summary outcome of the key findings arising from the Peer Review of the Front Door is brought to the next Committee.

 

(4)          The Committee request that for their next meeting, data and audit information is available on theme four (front door and MASH) to enable a deep dive focus to take place.

 

 

(Jenny Cryer – 01274 432438)

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)          The Committee notes the continuing risks, issues and challenge.

 

(2)          That the 20 March meeting of the Committee continues the scrutiny of the Front Door with the findings of the Ofsted monitoring visit scheduled for 7 and 8 March 2019.

 

(3)          A summary outcome of the key findings arising from the Peer Review of the Front Door is brought to the next Committee meeting.

 

(4)          The Committee request that for their next meeting, data and audit information is available on theme four (front door and MASH) to enable a deep dive focus to take place.

 

ACTION:        Interim Strategic Director of Children’s Services

 

Minutes:

The report of the Interim Strategic Director of Children’s Services

(Document ”Y”) provided updated information about the Council’s response to the published OFSTED ILACS judgement with a focus on the Theme Four: Improving the Front Door and MASH arrangements.

 

It was noted that the first monitoring visit would take place on 6 and 7 March.  Members were advised that the Head of Service left their post just after Christmas and as a result an experienced manager had been put in post who whose work would be overseen by the Interim Assistant Director Children’s Social Care Improvement who had been seconded from Doncaster Children’s Services.

 

It was reported that capacity and demand for Front Door services had increased since the OFSTED inspection.  The number of police officers in the Front Door had reduced that had unintended consequences such as the fragmentation of the Multi Agency Child Exploitation Team.  Negotiations were taking place to increase the police presence.

 

It was noted that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had agreed to increase the number of Health Workers in the MASH from 1 part time to 1 full time.  A secondee had been requested until the post could be filled. 

 

The Youth offer was being looked at to add young people at risk of harm or offending.  There had been a rising number of referrals of families and homeless.  An additional officer had been added to work on youth housing.

 

The MASH Strategic Group was looking at refining the section 47 process of referrals.  Meetings were taking place with colleagues in localities to improve the strategy.  Processes would be simplified without losing the ability to gather information from partners that were co-located.  Reviewing the sharing of documents was being looked into.

 

The following comments and questions were made by members and responses given:

 

·         A member had been working with families that had moved into the area and been placed in bed and breakfast accommodation and were involved with the MASH Team but noted that she had not been informed of the outcome of the cases.  It was accepted that the authority was not were it needed to be but that a start had been made in dealing with issues better.  It was acknowledged that there was a need to strengthen links with the benefits system to protect children in need.

·         Who were discussions taking place with regarding housing?  In house and with the housing provider on how to help families with children.

·         What about families moving into the area?  Negotiations had to take place with providers, however they were often on a list with other vulnerable people.

·         With reference to a question regarding thresholds when reviewing children it was agreed that thresholds were too low and that partners needed to get together to have shared responsibility and understanding.

·         An assurance was requested that risk management around domestic violence and neglect were being undertaken better than in September.  In response it was noted that some improvement had been shown but that it was not consistent and not enough yet.

·         A question was asked about developing closer links with the social worker co-located in the call centre to triage telephone calls before they were transferred to the MASH.  In response it was noted that this would increase the number of referrals being made to the correct place.  It was stressed that families should be referred to the lowest level of service rather than straight to a statutory service.

The Strategic Director noted that the receipt of accurate data was still at the development stage to provide the authority with joined up information which was presently on two separate systems.  She added that changes had already been made in developing quality assurance audits that would give assurance that children at the front door were safe.  Dip sampling was finding more “good” and less “needs improvement”.  She concluded that work at the Front Door and MASH  would continue and that self awareness would be demonstrated at the review.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)          The Committee notes the continuing risks, issues and challenge.

 

(2)          That the 20 March meeting of the Committee continues the scrutiny of the Front Door with the findings of the Ofsted monitoring visit scheduled for 7 and 8 March 2019.

 

(3)          A summary outcome of the key findings arising from the Peer Review of the Front Door is brought to the next Committee meeting.

 

(4)          The Committee request that for their next meeting, data and audit information is available on theme four (front door and MASH) to enable a deep dive focus to take place.

 

ACTION:        Interim Strategic Director of Children’s Services

 

Supporting documents: