Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting
Wednesday, 17th October, 2018 14:00

Venue: Committee Rooms 2/3, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions

Contact: Mr Mark Anthony Galvin  Senior Democratic Services Officer - Committees

Items
No. Item

179.

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

180.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of 11/07/2018

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:           That the minutes of the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting meeting of 11 July 2018 be approved as a true and accurate record.

181.

Looked After Children In Education pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Minutes:

The Group Manager Integrated Working and Family Support presented a report providing Corporate Parenting Committee with an update on the support for Looked After Children in Education (LACE) across the local authority. The report specifically focussed on the support provided to and the attainment outcomes of Bridgend’s Looked After Children for the school year 2017-18. He explained that LAC often under achieved compared to their peers in terms of educational attainment and were less likely to progress into further education or training.

 

The Group Manager Integrated Working and Family Support explained that in May 2018, the role of supporting LACE moved to the Vulnerable Groups Team (VGT). The team worked in close partnership with Children’s Social Care and other Early Help services to ensure LAC were accessing good quality education that met their needs. He added that as at January 2018 there were 278 LAC pupils in Bridgend profiled against the school clusters detailed in the report. The Group Manager Integrated Working and Family Support reported that locally a significant amount of work was being undertaken to ensure the right support for all pupils was achieved. This included the development of the access to education panel (AEP). The panel was created to ensure that all children could access an education that met their needs in a timely manner.

 

The Group Manager Integrated Working and Family Support stated that VGT training included raising awareness across schools on the impact of becoming a looked after child, including the trauma and how this could affect a child’s ability to engage in learning. He explained the role of the authority in the development of a work experience and apprenticeship opportunity for LAC. All year 11 LAC learners had the opportunity to engage in work experience over the summer holidays and 7 took that opportunity resulting in 4 securing an Agored qualification.

 

The Group Manager Integrated Working and Family Support explained that a number of schools had introduced learning support assistants to assist with literacy and numeracy of LAC. This was a positive response and enabled more consistency of support.

 

A Member asked if there had been an increase in the number of LAC. The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing confirmed that numbers were relatively static, possibly down a little on last year.

 

The Group Manager Integrated Working and Family Support provided an update on Bridgend LAC school attainment across the different age groups. He added that generally they were in a very positive position. He identified an error in the way 9 of the 19 children in Level 2 and level 2+ were reported. He referred Members to the two case studies included in the report and concluded that there were no financial implications associated with the report however the LAC PDG distributed to schools for 2018-19 amounted to £240,987.       

 

A Member asked if there were any LAC in pre-school and if the children attending Heronsbridge had been taken out of these results. She also asked if there were any LAC out of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 181.

182.

Review of the Model for Early Intervention Services pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Minutes:

The Family Support Services Manager provided an update on the work completed to date in response to one of the recommendations made by the Institute of Public Care (IPC) specifically around the impact of early help services. In response to the recommendation - to review the impact early intervention services have to ensure that they are making a difference for children and families, existing services available within the Central Hub were reviewed.

 

The Family Support Services Manager outlined the services available within the Central Hub that supported children and young people open to Children’s Social Care. These services included Connecting Families, Western Bay Integrated Family Support Services (IFSS), Rapid Response, Baby in Mind Service and the Reflect Service. He also summarised local authority visits to Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Newport City Council and Carmarthenshire County Borough Council who were deemed to have good early help services. In addition a workshop was held in May 2018 to review existing services, share good practice and identify any perceived gaps in service provision.  The Family Support Services Manager reported that following the visits and the workshop it was apparent that there was no significant difference in the way Bridgend delivered its services compared to those visited. He stressed that a number of new services had recently come into effect and the impact of these would be evaluated in due course.

 

The Family Support Services Manager added that all local authorities commented on the positive joint-working relationship between Early Help and Children’s Social Care in Bridgend. He believed it was evident that Bridgend was more advanced in relation to step up/step down work between Children’s Social Care and Early Help and seamless transitions for children and families. All local authorities appeared to be facing similar challenges.

 

The Family Support Services Manager outlined the matters previously presented to the local authority’s Corporate Management Board in September 2018 for information.   

 

A Member asked if when children were taken into care, the families left behind were given support to make sure it didn’t happen again. The Family Support Services Manager explained that these families were closely supported by Barnardo’s.   

 

A Member asked what support was given to these children to involve them in wider life experiences such as participating in football etc. The Group Manager, Case Management and Transition explained that foster carers were expected to support children and to prepare them for life in a positive way.

 

A Member asked if any Special Guardianship Orders (SGO) had broken down for financial reasons. He was advised that SGO’s did not break down for financial reasons. Existing carers could become SGO’s and the rates would be fixed for 2 years. 

 

The Leader asked if SGO’s were given the same support as foster carers. The Group Manager Case Management and Transition explained that the support given to SGO’s in Bridgend was well regarded. There was a specialist team that focused on this area providing annual reviews and crisis support.

 

The Deputy Leader asked what the impact would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 182.

183.

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

 

Meeting finished at 3 pm.