In Care out of Trouble
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Carolyn Entwistle, Senior Manager, Hannah Blower, Team Manager and Michael Nunn, Senior Manager, Fostering, Adoption, Residential and Child and Youth Justice Services were welcomed to the meeting to raise awareness of the statutory guidance and agencies responsibilities in the reduction of criminalisation of children looked after and care leavers. The Board were also updated with Lancashire's response to the statutory guidance and to have a shared understanding of the impact of the criminalisation of children and strategies in place to divert and prevent criminalisation of children looked after and care leavers.
Carolyn Entwistle outlined that within the service there are three principles:
i) Take a child first approach
ii) A trauma informed Service
iii) Take a restorative approach
Detailed in the presentation was some background as to what the In Care and Out of Trouble agenda is. As of 4 November 2020 children looked after open to Lancashire's Child and Youth Justice Service is 58 (27%) of the caseload including out of area children. Lancashire children looked after is 43 (22%).
Further details in the presentation were:
· What have we done so far?
· Strategy – what do we want to do to achieve our long term goal? (included with the agenda papers)
· Our goal is to reduce offending by Lancashire children by…
· Action Plan – how are we going to do it? (included with the agenda papers)
Hannah Blower presented the "Reducing Criminalisation through Prevention and Diversion" PowerPoint and provided further information on:
Lancashire Child and Youth Justice Service's Offer
· What is the Lancashire Prevention Service?
· Who can refer?
· What can the Prevention Service help with?
Child-First, Trauma-Informed, Restorative
· Key Service principles
· The model
· Child and Youth Justice Service is tracking all children supported by the Diversion Service and Between 1 October 2019 and 1 November 2020 (83 children were supported via a Community Resolution with Child and Youth Justice Service Intervention (Diversion Programme) of which there were 11 children looked after that were prevented from entering into the criminal justice system and receiving criminal outcomes. Of the eight children that went on re-enter the system, none were children looked after.
· Next steps
Hannah also presented a case example of some work that was carried out in conjunction with Residential Services to keep a child out of the criminal justice system.
Mike Nunn concluded the presentations with a PowerPoint "Preventing the criminalisation of looked after children in Residential Care" and it was noted that within Residential Services, the Police call out was still too high and there was more work to do on this. Contained within the presentation were further details on:
· Core principles – these are being revisited.
· Knowing our children – the in-house service has the lowest number of call-outs to the Police across Lancashire.
· Listening to our children
· Principles in Practice – Extracts from reflective conversations with child and staff during debriefs
Sharon Hubber, Director of Children's Services commented that it was really refreshing to see that as an organisation it is accepting that things need to improve or that things are seen from a different viewpoint that maybe was not always child focussed and it takes great courage to stand up and share that and change the way things have previously been done and also get staff to change their mind-set.
A request was made for a breakdown of figures of Police call-outs to care homes in control of the Council and it was agreed that Mike Nunn would provide this information for the Board.
In terms of private homes and young people placed out of the area, part of the review of the protocol is that the Commissioning Team will engage with the Children's Homes that the Council are commissioning, to sign up to the protocol which is the plan of the next review. The challenge is when a child is placed in Lancashire from another area, however all children that are brought to the Services attention will be offered prevention and diversion support.
The Leaving Care Team are included in the In Care Out of Trouble agenda and are doing some of this work with Probation and the Prison Service and they are wanting to work in a more trauma based way as well, which is really positive as that has not always been the case.
Resolved: i) That the Corporate Parenting Board approved and signed off the 'Reducing offending by Children in Care and Care Leavers Strategy (Appendix 'A' of the agenda item) and take a lead role in monitoring, implementation and development of the action plan (Appendix 'B' of the agenda item).
ii) That Mike Nunn would provide a breakdown of Police call- outs to care homes in control of the Council to the Board.
Date of decision: 24/11/2020
Decided at meeting: 24/11/2020 - Corporate Parenting Board