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Contact: Mr Mark Anthony Galvin Senior Democratic Services - Committees
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members’ Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008.
There were no declarations of interest.
To receive for approval the minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting dated 18 January 2017
RESOLVED That the Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting dated 18 January 2017 be approved as a true and accurate record.
To be accompanied by a Presentation from a representative(s) of ‘Voices From Care’.
The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing presented a report on Hidden Ambitions – A Children’s Commissioner for Wales report and updated the Committee on the position of Bridgend County Borough Council in relation to the recommendations within the report.
The Children’s Commissioner had been working with the Welsh Government and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) to explore ways that they could help care leavers achieve their ‘Hidden Ambitions’. Her report concluded with a series of recommendations which if realised, would ensure Wales became a country that truly enabled “every young person to be the best that they could be”. In Bridgend there was a Sixteen plus team which played a pivotal role in delivering the BCBC response to the recommendations.
In 2016 the Commissioner consulted care leavers, and surveyed every Local Authority across Wales to establish what opportunities they currently provided.
To deliver the suggested improvements the Children’s Commissioner stated that she would:-
· Visit every Local Authority’s executive leadership team across Wales in 2017 to discuss what they currently offered to support care leavers to achieve their ‘hidden ambitions’ and what they planned to put in place;
· Monitor the progress Local Authorities made;
· Monitor the progress of the Welsh Government in supporting care leavers;
· Continue to listen to care leavers about their experiences and whether they were getting the help they needed.
The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing reported each of the nine recommendations listed in the report and the Council’s position or planned action. Progress had been made under each recommendation, more in some areas than others.
A member stressed the importance of clear guidance and advice when it came to finance and gave as an example the problems that adults serving in the forces experienced when they left because they were inexperienced when it came to organising their own finances. The Team Manager, Sixteen Plus, explained that it was particularly difficult for foster carers to allow children to take responsibility for their finances and a huge problem for 18 year olds. The “When I’m Ready” scheme had been available in the last year and addressed the gap where 18 year olds were not ready to be independent. It was geared towards those in education rather than NEETS and it allowed the foster carer to continue to provide care and bridge the gap until supported accommodation was available.
The Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help stressed that all recommendations were important and these might not be enough to solve the issues. Housing was imperative when it came to the transitional period and helping find employment. Apprenticeships and traineeships were also imperative going forward. Carers were also appreciative of transitional support and younger carers in particular were not getting support in terms of education as they left school at the end of the day to start work at home.
The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing reported that targets for supporting young carers into apprenticeships were in the business plan but there was a lot ... view the full minutes text for item 151.
To consider any other item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should be reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.