Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 'C' - The Duke of Lancaster Room, County Hall, Preston. View directions

Contact: Sam Gorton  Tel: 01772 532471 email:  sam.gorton@lancashire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Introductions and Apologies

County Councillor Brown

 

To note who is attending and any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

All were welcomed to the meeting and apologies were received from County Councillor Stephen Clarke, Angela Epps, Stephen Young and Tracey Ellmore.

 

Laura Sales, Director of Corporate Services was also in attendance as well as Sharon Hubber, Director of Children's Social Care.

 

2.

Notes of the Meeting and Matters Arising from 26 November 2019 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

County Councillor Brown

 

To agree for accuracy the notes of the meeting and receive any matters arising.

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as an accurate record and there were no matters arising from them.

 

3.

Lancashire Safeguarding Model pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Sharon Hubber, Director of Children's Social Care, Education and Children's Services

 

To receive information on the Lancashire Safeguarding Model.

 

Minutes:

Sharon Hubber, Director of Children's Social Care gave a brief outline on how work on the implementation of the Lancashire Safeguarding Model, which was due to go 'live' in Lancashire on 1 October 2020 was progressing.  Walsall Council's project was currently 'live' and intelligence informed Lancashire that referrals for child protection plans were dropping considerably as they strengthened their family support.  This is the result that Lancashire would wish to see when they implemented the Family Safeguarding Model.

 

As from April 2020, an experienced practitioner and their support team from Hertfordshire County Council would be on site working with Sharon and her team in Children's Social Care.  A Department for Education Civil Servant Project minder would also be working with Edwina Grant OBE, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services and a senior researcher to look at "what works for children's social care".

 

The Board were briefed on the descriptors behind the Hertfordshire Model which were as follows:

 

·  Changing Child Protection to keep more children safely within their families.

Changing our behaviour with families so they too can change their behaviour and accept support on offer.

 

·  Multi-agency Teams working together to support children and parents.

Multi-agency teams tackling domestic abuse, parental mental health and substance misuse to improve children's lives.

 

·  Motivational Interviewing: Working with resistance and developing family strengths.

A new approach to social work that creates sustainable behavioural change in parents so that children can remain safely at home.

 

·  Family Safeguarding Work: Freeing up Practitioners to spend more time with families.

Reducing bureaucracy, guiding intervention, multi-agency recording, making social work a doable job.

 

Lancashire's descriptors so far were:

 

  Lancashire family safeguarding: supporting families to succeed in Lancashire.

  Linked to our vision for Education and Children's Services in Lancashire: 'Children, young people and their families are safe, healthy and achieve their full potential‘

  Lancashire also need to develop a common narrative, which is currently being worked on.

 

The Board were reminded as to why Lancashire needed to adopt this new way of working and by doing that, it would enable:

 

  More time with families and a whole family response.

  Keeping more high risk families together by reducing physical and emotional harm.

  Improving health and education outcomes for children.

  Strengthening of information sharing.

  Provision of high quality services at lower cost.

  Caseloads of fifteen provide for real social work.

 

Things that would be different were detailed as follows:

 

  Current social workers would cover Children in Need, Child Protection, Children Looked After and leaving care.

  Lancashire Family Safeguarding – would define teams where safeguarding was identified.

  There would be more focus on domestic abuse, alcohol or drug problems or mental health.

  Work as multi-disciplinary teams.

  Separately, focus on the 2000 plus children looked after and young people leaving care.

  Contextual safeguarding which was not family safeguarding.

 

The Board were informed of what would be happening between January and April 2020 on this project, which were as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Future Corporate Parenting Board Meetings (30 mins) pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Barbara Bath, Head of Service, Fostering, Adoption, Residential and Youth Offending Teams

 

To discuss how the Board can revise the way it works, including looking at the Terms of Reference, frequency of meetings, statutory information and membership.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Barbara Bath, Head of Service, Fostering, Adoption, Residential and Youth Offending Services and Laura Sales, Director for Corporate Services led the discussion on how the Corporate Parenting Board could be improved and that it ensured it was delivering statutorily what was requested of the Board.

 

Members looked at the Terms of Reference, focusing on the main functions and purposes of the Board and whether this Board was fulfilling those main functions and if not, how it could achieve them.  Young people also felt that the Terms of Reference should be revamped into a young person friendly version for the whole Board to adhere to.  This was also an opportunity to see how other Corporate Parenting Boards were operating in other Local Authorities and how the Board continued and improved how it listened to our young people's voices and ensured that their voices were heard across the Authority.

 

Discussion ensued as to whether the relevant partners were around the table to enable the Board to achieve its function and also whether young people felt that they needed to be present for the whole meeting, look at having alternate meetings with young people present, or maybe attend for half of the meeting going forward.  Young people were also reminded that they were representing the voice of all children in care and care leavers and that this was something else that needed to be reviewed on how this was being achieved.

 

The Board also felt that there needed to be a mechanism to share its' work with the rest of the Council's corporate parents on what the Board was actually achieving, ie through Full Council and other related meetings.

 

In order for progress to be made on improving the functionality of the Board and to ensure it fulfils its responsibilities, it was agreed that there would be a Corporate Parenting Board Development Day.  The session would be led by the Council's Learning and Development Service and a request was made to all Board members to attend so that ideas and discussions on improving the way the Board worked could be carried out effectively going forward.

 

Resolved:  That a date be set for the Corporate Parenting Board     Development Day at the soonest opportunity and that all   members be invited to attend.

 

 

 

5.

Lancashire County Council's Foster Carers' Charter (10 mins) pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Barbara Bath, Head of Service, Fostering, Adoption, Residential and Youth Offending Teams

 

To receive Lancashire County Council's Foster Carers' Charter which represents the Local Authority's commitment to its role as a Corporate Parent.  The document details the roles and responsibilities of the Corporate Parenting Board, the Fostering Service and the foster carers.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Barbara Bath, Head of Fostering, Adoption, Residential and Youth Offending Team updated the Board on Lancashire County Council's Foster Carers' Charter which represents the commitment of the Local Authority in its role as a Corporate Parent.  The Charter was introduced by the Government in 2011 with principles for the child/children, local authorities and fostering services and also foster carers.  Lancashire's first Charter was developed in 2011 and has been updated periodically since.  The Board were presented with the latest updated version for information and comment.

 

It was suggested that there should be details included in the Charter around an expectation for a young person who goes beyond 18 on "Staying Put" arrangements or permanence.  Barbara agreed to look at including wording for flexibility.

 

The Fostering Annual Report with all the facts and figures would be presented to the Board at a future meeting.  Lancashire's Children in Care Council would have access to the report and they should dissect the report with Barnardo's, in their forums and bring questions back to the Board on behalf of all the children in care across Lancashire.

 

Resolved:  That the Board members reviewed and noted Lancashire County Council's Foster Carers' Charter and that Barbara Bath would consider amending the Charter following the Boards comments.

 

6.

Children in Care and Care Leavers performance information (25 mins) pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Umer Khonat, Business Intelligence Analyst, Business Intelligence Team

 

To receive the Annex 'A' performance data report for children in care and care leavers and receive any issues/comments arising from the report.

 

Minutes:

Umer Khonat, Intelligence Analyst, presented the Children's Services Performance update for December 2019.

 

A heat map was presented to the Board which was full of useful statistics that the Board can utilise and challenge services if required.  The heat map showed information relating to assessments, contacts and referrals, Section 47s, Children in Need, Child Protection, Children Looked After, Care Leavers and adoption information.  This data was also presented to Ofsted and the thresholds contained within it had been agreed by management and were comparators with our North West neighbours and England.  Information was broken down by districts and information was presented in a way that highlighted the positive elements and also the pinch points and again this could be seen clearly within the districts in what was working well and maybe what was not working so well and needed to be challenged and good practice shared amongst districts.  Data quality meetings were also held and Heads of Service in Children's Services come together with the Director of Children's Social Care to try to prevent any blockages in the system and to ensure that areas that were showing as amber, work progressed to ensure they did not run into issues and become red on the RAG rating system.

 

There is also a new data tool that will make the findings more interactive and this is called PowerBi.  Umer agreed to demonstrate this new tool at a future meeting.

 

It was reported that as at December 2019 Lancashire was good at the following:

 

Re-referrals

 

Re-referral rate 20.1% - December 2019.

 

Assessments

 

Timeliness – 6 month rate 85% (on par with national rate), improvement from 78% in 2017/18.  December performance 87%.

 

Children Protection Plans

 

1007 (40.3 per 10,000), reduced from 1329 since December 2018, the rate now remains below the regional (56.5) and statistical neighbour (48.3) and the national averages (43.7 per 10,000).

 

Children Looked After 

 

Short term placement stability – 7.8%.

Visits in Timescale – 87%.

Repeat Children Looked After - 9%.

Number of Children Looked After placed over 20 miles from home outside the local authority boundary – 11%.

 

Placements

 

Increase in Fostering to 61.7%.

Reduction in Supported accommodation to 6.8%.

 

Care Leavers

 

In Suitable Accommodation (19-21 Years) – 89.9%.

 

Private Fostering

 

Visits within timescale– 63%.

 

Caseloads

 

Average caseload – 16.7 for all social workers (November 2019).

 

Highlighted below were the areas that Lancashire needed to improve/challenge on as of December 2019:

 

Section 47/Initial Child Protection Conferences (ICPC)

 

Section 47/Initial Child Protection Conferences within timescale - 62%.

 

Children in Need (CiN)

 

Visits within timescale – 59%.

 

Child Protection (CP)

 

Visits within timescale – 81%.

Repeat Child Protections in 12 months (7.4%) and ever (26%) - off target.

 

Children Looked After (CLA)

 

Rate of Children Looked After per 10,000 – 84.5.

Children Looked After with an up to date Personal Education Plan – 79.2%.

Health Assessments performance - 78.3%.

Dental Assessments performance - 69.5%.

Missing episodes interview completed within 3 days – 54.6% (improved from 44.8% since October 18).

 

Strengths and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Adoption Panel Report pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Barbara Bath, Head of Fostering, Adoption, Residential and Youth Offending Teams

 

This report summarises the work of Lancashire County Council's Adoption Panel over the six months period from 1 April 2019 to 30 September 2019.  Lancashire Adoption Panels are joint panels which means that they compose of both adoption and fostering items, however this report considers just the adoption items.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Barbara Bath, Head of Fostering, Adoption, Residential and Youth Offending Team presented the Board with the Adoption Panel report which summarised the work of Lancashire County Council's Adoption Panel over the six month period from 1 April 2019 to 30 September 2019.  Lancashire Adoption Panels were joint panels which meant that they composed of both adoption and fostering items.  The report before the Board however, considered just the adoption items.

 

The report which was circulated with the agenda, included the number, type and age of the children awaiting an adoptive placement and length of time they had been waiting; the agency's performance against the timescales set out for the two-stage process; progress in the recruitment of suitable adoptive families; the number of children placed for adoption and adopted since the last report; and the number of children whose placement had disrupted or where there had been a change of plan and the child was no longer placed for adoption.  The Board were informed that there had been no disruptions presented to the panel during the last 18 months, which was pleasing to note.

 

The Board also received details, that Lancashire were above average in terms of the time taken between a child entering care and moving into an adoptive family, however, below average in terms of time taken between receiving authority to place and deciding on a match against national figures.

 

Resolved:  That the Board members reviewed and noted Lancashire County   Council's Adoption Panel report.

 

8.

Corporate Parenting Strategy Delivery Plan (5 mins)

Barbara Bath, Head of Service, Fostering, Adoption, Residential and Youth Offending Teams

 

To receive an update on the Corporate Parenting Strategy Delivery Open Actions Plan and update from the Permanence and Children in Our Care Board.

 

Minutes:

This item was deferred to the Corporate Parenting Board Development Day.

 

9.

Any Other Business

County Councillor Brown

 

To receive any other business.

 

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business received.

 

10.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

County Councillor Brown

 

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 at 6.00pm in Committee Room 'C' – Duke of Lancaster Room, County Hall, Preston, PR1 0LD.

Minutes:

The next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, 25 March 2020 at 6.00pm in Committee Room 'C' – Duke of Lancaster Room, County Hall, Preston, PR1 0LD.  This date however may change due to the Corporate Parenting Development Day.  Members would be informed as soon as the Development Day had been finalised.