Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting - Thursday, 8th April, 2021 14:00

Venue: remotely via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


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.




·         Councillor Huw David declared a personal interest in item 4, “Update on the Establishment of a National Fostering Framework and Current Work in relation to In House Foster Care Provision” as he was a WLGA spokesperson involved in discussions around the National Fostering Framework appointed to the WLGA by BCBC, but had not been involved in recent years.

Councillor Nicole Burnett declared a personal interest in item 4, “Update on the Establishment of a National Fostering Framework and Current Work in relation to In House Foster Care Provision” as she was a member of the Foster Panel and had been appointed by BCBC. 


Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of 04 02 21



RESOLVED:            That the Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee Corporate Parenting dated 4 February 2021, be approved as a true and accurate record.


Update on the Establishment of a National Fostering Framework (NFF) and Current Work in relation to In House Foster Care Provision pdf icon PDF 104 KB


The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing welcomed the opportunity to talk about fostering in Corporate Parenting Committee and highlighted that for Bridgend, the foster care service was an essential part of what the Council did to be good corporate parents. This year had been an extraordinary year, especially for the foster families and children. The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing thanked foster carers for everything they had done throughout the pandemic, acknowledging them as unsung heroes for that period.

In Bridgend the fostering service, led by the Group Manager - Placements and Provider Services, was part of a whole system approach to provision for children and young people. The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing stated that they wanted to continue to grow the foster care service both in recruitment and also in retention and the figures around recruitment, the stability of placements and the retention of foster carers were encouraging.

The Group Manager - Placements and Provider Services presented a report, the purpose of which, was to update the Corporate Parenting Committee regarding the progress of work undertaken on establishing a National Fostering Framework in Wales along with updated information about Bridgend Foster Care service provision and the fostering service review and developments that were underway. He concurred with the comments made by the Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing and thanked the foster carers and the team supporting them in a particularly difficult year.

The Group Manager - Placements and Provider Services explained that the report followed on from previous information brought to the Corporate Parenting Committee by the Head of Services back in 2018. He outlined phase one, phase two and phase three where regional development managers were appointed throughout Wales to engage with the national work streams and coordinate plans for delivery in their areas. The Group Manager - Placements and Provider Services outlined the current position and that since April 2019, Bridgend was part of Cwm Taf Morgannwg Regional Partnership/Health Board. The Regional Development Manager post for this region was hosted by Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) CBC. To support the implementation of the National Fostering Framework across the region a strategic group had been stablished to provide overview and scrutiny in order to monitor the performance of the NFF work-streams at a local and regional level. The strategic group was supported by an operational group to deliver the identified priorities and a regional Work Programme had been agreed that supported the National Fostering Framework.

The Group Manager - Placements and Provider Services was pleased to report that as of the 1st April the Regional Front Door went live and they had already taken phone calls on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council with enquires from people who wanted to be foster carers and there had been a first visit to a new prospective foster carer. The next area of work was to develop a regional ‘Local Authority Offer’ and all three LA’s had completed the national core offer template designed by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 227.


Looked After Children in Education pdf icon PDF 86 KB


The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support explained that the purpose of the report was to provide 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 Bridgend’s Looked After Children for the school year 2020-2021.  


The Group Manager, Family Support provided some background to the current position and then explained that as at 19 March 2021, there were 271 statutory school age pupils who were looked after by the local authority, 64 of these were educated out of county.  The role of supporting LACE sat within the Education Engagement Team (EET) and this provided a single point of contact for all agencies including schools, Children Social Care (CSC) and other services for information, advice, training and guidance for vulnerable learners including LAC. The team delivered training to the schools and remained a point of contact for the schools designated teacher relating to Personal Education Plans (PEPs) and any other issues presenting for LAC. The EET worked with each school cluster to develop a clear and coherent plan to support LAC via their PDG. This included the appointment of a school-based counsellor to acknowledge the impact of becoming looked-after, could have on learning, Learning Support Officers (LSO) delivering ‘Thrive’ training to promote educational attainment for looked-after children and mental health and trauma training for staff to consider how behaviour could present itself within school for children who had entered the care system.


The Group Manager, Family Support explained that to support LAC, the local authority via EET had access to PDG funding. This year, the funding had been used to offer additional education to those looked after children most in need of extra support. To date, 33 looked after children had accessed additional tuition via a school teacher over the course of the pandemic. This support ranged from one hour a week to six hours per week dependent on their needs. Support had focussed on literacy, numeracy and practical skills such as forest schools and online music projects. The EET also delivered training to schools and partners in respect of the impact of trauma and how this could affect a child’s ability to engage in learning. The team facilitated mental health first aid training to schools in response to the impact on LAC emotional wellbeing. He added that PDG plans produced by schools in Bridgend had been noted in a recent Estyn thematic review regarding good practice with looked-after children (eg tracking of pupils and dedicated transition work). In particular, Brynteg School and Penybont Primary School were identified as implementing good practice models for those learners. The local authority had also been central to the development of work experience and apprenticeship opportunities for LAC. This was developed as a pathway for those learners leaving education in the summer with the aim of securing an employment opportunity. All Year 11 looked after learners were presented with the opportunity to engage in work experience over their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 228.


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.