Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting
Wednesday, 29th May, 2019 10:00

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

Contact: Mark Anthony Galvin  Senior Democratic Services Officer - Committees

Items
No. Item

194.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor T Giffard.

195.

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.

196.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of 06/03/2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED:                      That the Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting dated 6 March 2019, be approved as a true and accurate record.

197.

Child Practice Review pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To be supported by a PowerPoint Presentation

Minutes:

The Head of Children’s Social Care introduced a report, that provided Committee with information in respect of the most recent Child Practice Review from Bridgend.

 

Following this introduction, the Group Manager, Safeguarding and Quality Assurance then gave a power point Presentation for the benefit of Members, that covered the following key areas of the covering report.

 

In 2013, Child Practice Reviews replaced what were known as Serious Case Reviews (SCR).   This new process stems from the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales report published in October 2009 - Improving Practice to Protect Children in Wales: An Examination of the Role of SeriousCase Reviews. This work was pivotal to where we are today, and concluded that action was required to replace the SCR process which had become ineffective in improving practice and inter-agency working.

 

The guidance sets out arrangements for multi-agency Child Practice Reviews when a significant incident has occurred where abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected.

 

The overall purpose of reform of the review system is to promote a positive culture of multi-agency child protection learning and reviewing in local areas.  The Regional Safeguarding Children’s Board is responsible for ensuring that reviews are carried out effectively. Future reviews concerning any Bridgend children will come under the Cwm Taff Morgannwg Children’s Safeguarding Board.

 

Concise Reviews: a ‘concise’ Child Practice Review is carried out in cases where abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected and the child has:-

 

  died; or

  sustained potentially life threatening injury; or

• sustained serious and permanent impairment of health or development; and 

   the child was neither on the child protection register nor a looked after

   child on any date during the 6 months preceding –

  the date of the event referred to above.

 

Extended Reviews: an ‘extended’ Child Practice Review is carried out in cases where abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected and the child has:-

 

  died; or

  sustained potentially life threatening injury; or

  sustained serious and permanent impairment of health or development; and

   the child was on the child protection register and/or was a looked after

   child (including a care leaver under the age of 18) on any date during the

   6 months preceding –

  the date of the event referred to

 

She further explained that on 17 April 2019 Bridgend County Borough Council published a Child Practice Review.  The review commenced January 2018 and was commissioned by the Western Bay Safeguarding Children’s Board following the identification of concerns where the above criteria for a ‘concise review’ was met. This review relates to a 9 week old child who died during the night whilst co sleeping with his parents.

 

The subject of this review was a 9 week old child who died in November 2017 whilst co-sleeping with his parents. Following an inconclusive post-mortem examination and a coroner’s inquest concluding an open verdict, the death was viewed as a result of Sudden Infant Death  ...  view the full minutes text for item 197.

198.

Approaches to Consultation and Engagement with Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Minutes:

The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing submitted a report, that provided Committee with an update in respect of the approaches being used within the local authority to engage and consult with care leavers. The report also provided an update on the Care Inspectorate Engagement event which took place with care leavers in November 2018.

 

In conjunction with this item, representatives from Voices From Care Cymru (VFCC) were present at the meeting to give a power point presentation. This organisation provided organised events through which engagement with young people was encouraged, more particularly those that were in/leaving a care environment. The organisation was also supported by an Advisory Group that covered different regions of Wales, with a contingency of members on this group being care leavers.

 

The Chairperson then invited Ms. Deborah Jones, Chief Executive and Chris Dunn, Programmes Manager from VFCC, to present their submission.

 

The presentation covered the following themes:-

 

Introduction:

 

·       The organisation worked with Care Experienced Young People from across Wales;

·       The organisation was led by young people;

·       It provided opportunities for young people to influence decisions about their lives and also the lives of care experienced young people on a national basis;

·       It looked to build a strong care experienced community;

·       Services included – participation; influencing and wellbeing;

·       The organisation was based in Cardiff; established in 1990 and had a staffing compliment of 13

 

Organisation Values:

 

Being Young-Person Led

 

Everything VFCC does is guided by care experienced children & young people. Our Board of Trustees is split between young people and professionals and we regularly consult children and young people on issues that are important to them.

 

Equality For Everyone In Care

 

We believe that care experienced children & young people should have the same chances and opportunities as their non-care experienced peers. They should not have to face stigma, discrimination and barriers in life because of their care experience.

 

Creating A Care Family

 

VFCC provides the opportunity for care experienced children & young people to meet, grow, learn and develop long lasting friendships.

 

Being Aspirational

 

VFCC wants care experienced children & young people to be everything that they can be. We want to inspire them and nurture their potential.

 

Celebrating Individuality

 

VFCC is a unique organisation and we recognise and celebrate the individuality and diversity of the children & young people we work with. We see that the different backgrounds, experiences and views ofcare experienced children & young people help us to develop as an organisation and better represent the wider care population

 

Key Initiatives:

 

  1. Regional Groups;

 

  1. Local Participation Groups;

 

  1. National Advisory Groups;

 

  1. Proud to Be Me;

 

  1. CareDay Event;

 

  1. Summer Celebration;

 

  1. When I Am Ready Project; and

 

  1. Sing Proud Choir

 

VFCC influenced work such as Siblings Relationships; Passports (ie supporting ID), Supporting Young Mums and providing a Corporate Parenting role.

 

The representatives advised Members that the top 3 topics young people shared with VFCC were:

 

·       The stigma of being care experienced

·       Support avenues when leaving care

·       Emotional wellbeing issues

 

Support mechanisms such as the above, helped prevent individuals needing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 198.

199.

Looked After Children - National Technical Group pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing presented a report, in order to inform the Cabinet Committee of the work being undertaken by Welsh Government to develop reduction expectation plans with each local authority across Wales.

 

The report also described the process in place to take this forward and the local activity underway to progress this.

 

A presentation on the local headline data/key findings contained in the preparatory framework documents was attached at an Appendix to the report. This had been shared with Welsh Government

 

The report confirmed, that as at March 2018, there were 6,407 looked after children in Wales. This was an 8% increase on the previous year. Over the past 15 years, the number of looked after children has increased by 34%; this increase cannot be attributed to austerity alone.

 

In 2018, the number of children starting to become looked after decreased by 2%, however the number of children leaving the care system also decreased by 10%.

 

National data also highlights some other noteworthy patterns. For example, 24.6% of looked after children are placed out of county (1,575) and 5% are placed outside Wales (320). There will be good reasons why some of these children are placed out of area (e.g. placement with family or friends or the development of regional approaches to specialist provision), but it is recognised that others are placed further afield because there is no suitable provision locally. Some of the underlying issues have begun to be addressed through the National Fostering Framework, the Children’s Residential Care Task and Finish Group and other work strands within the Improving Outcomes for Children programme.  However, Welsh Government also wants to take this opportunity to explore with local authorities the factors that influence decision making around out of county and cross-border placements, to ensure that more children can be placed closer to home where this is in their best interests. It was confirmed that there were more LAC in Wales than in England, however, there was no concrete evidence that could fully confirm this.

 

The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing, advised that Welsh Government would like to work in partnership with local authorities across Wales to better understand the context in which organisations are working and to co-produce realistic and bespoke reduction expectation plans which focus on safely reducing the numbers of children in care whilst continuing to improve outcomes for those already in or leaving care. This will require close analysis of existing data at a local, regional and national level to help better understand the pressures within the system and how these can be best relieved.

 

A visit to Bridgend County Borough Council took place on 10th May 2019 where officials from Welsh Government met with the Chief Executive, Corporate Director of Social Services and Wellbeing, Cabinet Member for Social Services and Wellbeing, Corporate Director of Education and Family Support, Head of Children’s Social Care, Head of Education and Family Support, and colleagues from legal.

 

A conversation framework developed from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 199.

200.

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.