Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting
Wednesday, 24th January, 2018 14:00

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions

Items
No. Item

160.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members.

 

 

Minutes:

None

161.

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.

 

 

Minutes:

None.

162.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of 18/10/17

Minutes:

RESOLVED:              That the minutes of the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting 18 October 2017 be approved as a true and accurate record.                    

163.

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales - Self Assessment January 2018 - Children's Social Care pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Children’s Social Care presented a report informing the Cabinet Committee of the self-assessment that all authorities were being asked to undertake in relation to looked after children and the care leavers profile, placement sufficiency and stability and the impact of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 and regulatory requirements on out of authority placements. The completed assessment had to be returned to the Care Inspectorate Wales by 26th January 2018.  

 

The Head of Children’s Social Care outlined the data/key findings contained in the assessment. She explained that they had been unable to work on the assessment before 1st January 2018 because figures as at 1st January 2018 had been requested. The assessment was not yet complete but she had captured some of the headlines and her observations on the findings.  She explained that the aims of the self-assessment were to capture the complexity of the profile of looked after children and care leavers across Wales and to encourage authorities to evaluate the effectiveness of its arrangements and to identify any issues impacting on looked after children and care leavers.

 

The Head of Children’s Social Care outlined the seven themes of the self- assessment which were profile, placement stability and sufficiency, care and support, placement panels and notification arrangements, early intervention, safeguarding and the workforce.  

 

With regards to the profile, the Head of Children’s Social Care reported that BCBC had the fourth highest number of looked after children at the end of March 2017. All authorities had seen an increase in the number of looked after children and this appeared to be a theme across Wales.

 

The Head of Children’s Social Care explained that there had been a reduction in the number of children placed with independent foster carers from 22% at the end of last year to 18.3% in January 2018. She added that 69.7% of children had been placed inside the local authority, an improvement of previous years although the number of children who had 3 or more moves in the last 12 months remained a challenge. 

 

The Head of Children’s Social Care reported that following preventative work with partner agencies and in particular the police, there appeared to be a downward trend reducing risks to looked after children. Also 20% of looked after children were receiving therapeutic services.

 

The Head of Children’s Social Care explained that the next steps included a qualitative analysis of the data, and incorporating that information in the self-assessment to be submitted to CIW by 26th January 2018. There would then be a performance challenge meeting with CIW possibly in March when the information provided would be interrogated. Field work inspections would then be undertaken in six authorities but BCBC had not received notification that it was one of the six.  The findings and analysis would then be used to inform a national overview report, a CIW annual analysis of local authority social services performance and CIW inspections of Local Authority Social Services and regulated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 163.

164.

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales - Inspection of Children's Services January/February 2017 - Action Plan Update pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing presented a report on the updated Action Plan following the inspection of Children’s Services in January/February 2017. She explained that the inspection undertaken in Children’s Services in Bridgend focussed on how children and families were empowered to access help and care and support services and the quality of outcomes achieved for children in need of help, care and support and/or protection including looked after children.  The inspections were carried out on the weeks commencing 30 January 2017 and 13 February 2017.

 

The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing outlined the inspection, the sample of cases taken and the individual and group interviews with managers, Members, partners and service providers. The CIW reported their findings on their website, to the Minister for Health and Social Services and presented a report and action plan to Scrutiny Committee 2 in July 2017. A commitment was also made to bring the report to Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting.

 

The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing reported that Inspectors had found that the authority had worked hard in the context of the Social Services and Well-being Wales Act 2014, to reshape its services. The inspection found that the workforce were committed to achieving good outcomes for children and families but staff morale was variable across the service and needed to be nurtured at a time of significant change. Bridgend should continue to focus on how they could retain staff for longer and have more timely recruitment of experienced staff. These and other points were addressed within the action plan.  

 

A Member asked what steps had been taken to improve staff morale, were exit interviews carried out and what did these identify.  The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing explained that a piece of work had been undertaken on recruitment and retention and supporting social workers. There was regular communication with staff and access to senior managers, a supportive training programme, mentoring schemes for social workers and managers and a new supervision policy to ensure consistency in approach. Caseloads were also carefully monitored to avoid staff being overwhelmed by work. Exit interviews were undertaken and positive feedback had been received about the support given. Most staff left for promotion or to work closer to home.  

 

The Leader thanked the Corporate Director and said that he was encouraged by progress made. There were some outstanding actions and a number related to the development of the multi- agency safeguarding hub. The leader asked for an update on the development of the hub. The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing explained that the only matter delaying progress was accommodation. The team were working already “virtually”. The favoured accommodation had been found and agreed. The District Valuer has visited the property and reported back and paperwork was due to be signed off by Corporate Management the following day. She anticipated that the MASH would be in situ by 1st April 2018.  

 

A Member asked what an acceptable caseload level was and what the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 164.

165.

Urgent Items

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.

 

 

Minutes:

None

166.

Exclusion of the Public

The Minutes relating to the following item is not for publication as it contains exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 12 and 13 of Part 4, and Paragraph 21 of Part 5, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007.

 

If following the application of the public interest test Cabinet resolves pursuant to the Act to consider this item in private, the public will be excluded from the meeting during such consideration.

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:            That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business as it contains exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 12 and 13 of Part 4 and Paragraph 21 of Part 5 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007.

 

Following the application of the public interest test in consideration of this item, it was resolved that pursuant to the Act referred to above, to consider the item in private, with the public being excluded from the meeting as it would involve the disclosure of exempt information of the nature as stated above.

 

167.

Approval of Exempt Minutes

To receive for approval the exempt minutes of 18/10/2017.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:              That the exempt minutes of the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting 18 October 2017 be approved as a true and accurate record.