Agenda and minutes

Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 5.00 pm

Venue: Function Room, Fifth Floor, Easthampstead House, Town Square, Bracknell. View directions

Contact: Amanda Roden  01344 352253

Items
No. Item

17.

Declarations of Interest

Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or an Affected Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs Barnard indicated that she was the spouse of an Executive Member.

18.

Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of 26 June 2013.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2013 be agreed as a correct record.

19.

Panel Announcements

Looked After Children’s Award Ceremony

Minutes:

On the 30 October 2013 there would be a ceremony for the sons and daughters of foster children and information would be circulated regarding this. There would be an acknowledgement of the input of sons and daughters into fostering.

(Action: Sheila McKeand)

 

The adoption reform agenda had led to Bracknell Forest working with other local authorities in Berkshire towards a centralised team in relation to adoption reform plans. It was still a work in progress to see if it was possible and different options were being considered.

 

The Looked After Children Achievement Ceremony was held on 2 September 2013 and was well attended. Another event was being planned for older children and care leavers nearer to Christmas. Combining these events was considered not logistically  possible due to the wide age range of the children and young people involved.

 

The Chairman congratulated those involved on a good event.

20.

Looked After Children's Educational Achievements and Destinations

Bob Welch, Chief Adviser, Learning and Achievement and Kashif Nawaz, Assistant Virtual School Head would present a report on Looked After Children’s Educational Achievements and Destinations.

 

Report to be Tabled

Minutes:

Bob Welch, Chief Adviser, Learning and Achievement and Kashif Nawaz, Assistant Virtual School Head presented a report on Looked After Children’s Educational Achievements and Destinations.

 

The data would be checked with the schools to ensure the grades were correct. Two years: Early Years and Key Stage 1 were difficult to compare year on year. Grades had been more successful this year and there had been a positive result in relation to Key Stage 1 assessment regarding average point score. Key Stage 2 had achieved its target. Young people had attempted a range of qualifications to access further employment or education.

 

It was queried whether there was an issue around providing support to those young people placed at a distance from Bracknell Forest. Progress levels and measures had been considered and would be identified in discussions with schools. There were a number of indicators which could be investigated further. Attendance and progress were monitored throughout the year with tracking in-year and at the end of Key Stages.

 

Panel members could send comments on the information to Kashif. This topic would be considered further at the next meeting of the Panel in December including correlation regarding academic numbers, attendance data, and progress levels.

21.

Health of Looked After Children Annual Report

Sharon Hickson, Designated Nurse for Looked After Children would give a presentation on the Health of Looked After Children Annual Report for Panel Discussion.

Minutes:

Sharon Hickson, Designated Nurse for Looked After Children presented the Health of Looked After Children Annual Report.

 

The Health of Looked After Children Annual Report was a statutory requirement and there was a multi-agency approach. The report referred to Slough and Windsor and Maidenhead local authorities as well.

 

In April 2012, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted inspected Windsor and Maidenhead; Berkshire was different to other counties in that it covered three local authorities. Windsor and Maidenhead was rated as good but was not able to demonstrate building on this due to the number of children becoming looked after. There were capacity issues at present and a new whole time equivalent nurse had been recruited.

 

There was a pan-Berkshire multi-agency group established from the Strategy and a survey of young people to identify what services they accessed to aid in bringing services up to national standards. There was a back-to-basics approach focusing on performance and assessments.

 

Young people were found not to be as engaged once they left care; funding for a specialist care leaver post was a possibility. A cookery course had been run in Windsor and Maidenhead and had worked well. Authorities were learning what young people would engage with.

 

The current team structure in NHS Berkshire East for Looked After Children was one doctor, one nurse, 1.9 full time equivalent nurses, and one administrator. A further full time equivalent nurse had recently been recruited.

 

There had been a change in that assessments for children placed within twenty miles outside Berkshire were now to be completed by the health team. Bracknell Forest had 70% of children placed in Berkshire, whereas Slough had 70% of children placed outside of the area.

 

The service model for looked after children included an initial health assessment and a six month or annual review assessment. Where children were placed a distance away from the area, for example North Wales, it was not always practical to bring a child back for a health assessment, so in this instance a local provider would be sought to undertake the health assessment where the child lived. A health assessment would consider safety, health, drugs and alcohol, identifying needs, and referring a child on where needed. It was reviewed by Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) every six months.

 

The audit in relation to Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (BHFT) was outcome focused regarding clinical governance. Gathering outcomes data was being investigated. A tracking tool would be developed and the aim was for this to be ready in six months, by which time the team hoped to have a clearer idea of what was needed in regard to health promotion.

 

Participation and engagement was considered to be important and the team were keen to hear the views of young people involved. Young people had contributed to the process of interviewing nurses to identify suitable candidates.

 

A form of consultation which was not too onerous was sought, such as a feedback questionnaire. Performance monitoring was undertaken monthly, and the Life Chances  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Regulation 33 Visits pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Sonia Johnson, Service Manager, Specialist Services would give a presentation on Regulation 33 Visits for Panel Discussion.

Minutes:

Sonia Johnson, Service Manager, Specialist Services presented a report on Regulation 33 Visits.

 

Regulation 33 Visits were a requirement and were undertaken a minimum of once a month. Premises and records were looked at during visits and children and parents were interviewed if possible. There were no significant issues at Larchwood, it was a good well run unit and the children enjoyed attending the centre. Some children had attended Larchwood for a number of years and were now grown up; the unit needed to adjust for the wide age range of children attending. The average age of children attending the unit was 14 years and some children were more able than others.

 

Approaching adulthood work needed to be undertaken and transition visits for 17-18 year olds. The Transition Lead in Larchwood liaised closely with Waymead to ensure a smooth transition.

 

The Chairman thanked Sonia and panel members were thanked for their useful viewpoints after visiting Larchwood.

23.

Larchwood Statement of Purpose and Annual Report pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Sue Hall, Team Manager, Children with Disabilities Team would present reports on The Statement of Purpose for the Larchwood Short Break Unit for 2013 and the Annual Report 2012 – 2013

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sue Hall, Team Manager, Children with Disabilities Team presented reports on The Statement of Purpose for the Larchwood Short Break Unit for 2013 and the Annual Report 2012 – 2013.

 

In relation to the Annual Report, feedback and impact on young people had been positive. The garden was a popular subject and outdoor spaces had been upgraded which were useful for wheelchair users, amongst others. A safety surface had been laid. Progress made by young people was measured through bespoke ‘goal ladders’; sensory wheels provided different experiences. The young people had participated in a number of trips, they had chosen, during the year to places such as the London Eye. It was important to keep in touch with friends who moved onto adults provision, and young people at the unit recently enjoyed a Disney themed event.

 

Some homeless families used the upper part of the unit and there was liaison with the Housing Team regarding this. An Ofsted visit was awaited by a new inspector; there had been a change in regulations but the unit hoped to maintain its outstanding status. The provision of sleep counsellors would hopefully continue dealing with issues about sleep, but the parenting group would build on this service in regard to parenting. The aim was to expand but there was a capacity issue.

 

The Panel praised the unit for its work and wished everyone there well.

24.

REVIEW OF BRACKNELL FOREST IRO SERVICE AGAINST RECOMMENDATIONS IN "TAKING UP THE CHALLENGE. OFSTED THEMATIC INSPECTION OF THE WORK OF IROS. JUNE 2013" pdf icon PDF 92 KB

The Panel would consider the report on the Review of Bracknell Forest IRO Service Against Recommendations in ‘Taking up the Challenge. Ofsted Thematic Inspection of the Work of IROs. June 2013’ which benchmarks practice in Bracknell Forest against the Ofsted recommendations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sandra Davies, Head of Performance Management and Governance in Children, Young People and Learning, presented a report on the review of the Bracknell Forest IRO Service against recommendations in ‘Taking up the Challenge. Ofsted Thematic Inspection of the Work of IROs. June 2013’.

 

The Ofsted Review looked at ten local authorities and 111 cases. Bracknell Forest had been benchmarked against key findings and the Children, Young People and Learning Department was reasonably happy with the IRO (Independent Reviewing Officer) service in Bracknell Forest. There were further areas for development in relation to excessive workloads, and further budget pressures would be put through the Council for IRO support.

 

There were communications day-to-day with IROs and social workers but these were not always recorded; ways to improve this were being considered. How to improve the dispute resolution process was being considered as well. There was a need to record the important elements of conversations. Capacity in the team was being looked at to fulfil functions. A child friendly version would be created. The Children, Young People, and Learning Department had eight years worth of reporting but they were only required to undertake this for the past three years, so there was a good body of data available.

 

Care plans were being looked at in advance, and reviews could be brought forward. There were issues in relation to staffing and caseloads regarding complex families.

25.

Report on Missing Looked After Children in Bracknell Forest pdf icon PDF 45 KB

The Panel would consider a report on Missing Looked After Children in Bracknell Forest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sheila McKeand, Head of Service for Looked After Children, presented a report on Missing Looked After Children in Bracknell Forest.

 

Children placed far away from Bracknell Forest were the biggest concern in relation to missing looked after children. There were 18 children reported missing in a 16 month period; the majority of these cases might be for a couple of hours rather than overnight and the local police were helpful in trying to resolve cases. The Looked After Children Team would be expected to be informed of missing children even if they were placed outside of the area.

 

The definition of missing was ‘anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established, and where the circumstances are out of character or the context suggests the person may be subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another’.

 

There was 24 hour reporting in relation to missing children; the police would be contacted and then the Emergency Duty Service.

26.

Report on the Bracknell Forest Edge of Care Panel pdf icon PDF 43 KB

The Panel would consider a report on the Bracknell Forest Edge of Care Panel

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sheila McKeand, Head of Service for Looked After Children, presented a report on the Bracknell Forest Edge of Care Panel.

 

Practitioners would hold a level of concern about all children and young people open to Children’s Social Care and the issue of whether or not a child should become looked after might be considered for many at some point in their involvement with the Service.

 

The ‘Edge of Care’ status criteria were used for children or young people who:

 

  • Were open to Children’s Social Care;
  • Had a Child in Need or Child Protection Plan;
  • Considered likely to need to become accommodated should the current intervention not succeed;
  • Had recently left care to return to live with their parents and were still in need of specialist support.

27.

Exclusion of Public and Press

To consider the following motion:

 

That pursuant to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, and having regard to the public interest, members of the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the following item which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information under the following category of Schedule 12A of that Act:

 

(1)        Information relating to any individual   (Items 13 & 14)

Minutes:

RESOLVED that pursuant to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, and having regard to the public interest, members of the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the following item which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information under the following category of Schedule 12A of that Act:

 

(1)        Information relating to any individual   (Item 21 & 28).

28.

Performance Management Information

Lorna Hunt, Chief Officer Children’s Social Care would present the latest performance management information.

 

Report to Follow

Minutes:

Lorna Hunt, Chief Officer: Children’s Social Care, presented the latest performance management information.

 

Adoption took time through the system and some children had significant needs. There was a recruitment article in the local press. Over 70% of children were in local placements in Berkshire. There were a few sibling groups but otherwise it was fairly consistent across areas. There were approximately 108 children in care at present. The aim was to improve dental checks data. A key concern in relation to looked after children was the timeliness of work, and there were budget pressures in this area.

 

A report on care leavers would be provided to panel members.

(Action: Sheila McKeand/ Steve Lambert)

29.

Dates of Next Meetings and Forward Plan

18 December 2013     Family Justice Review

Adoption Six Month Report

                                    Children in Care Council Annual Report

Bracknell Forest Council’s Pledge to Looked After Children and Participation Standards

26 March 2014            Regulation 33 Visits

                                    Participation Strategy Annual Review

Minutes:

18 December 2013                 Family Justice Review

Adoption Six Month Report

                                          Children in Care Council Annual Report

Bracknell Forest Council’s Pledge to Looked After Children and Participation Standards

 

26 March 2014                        Regulation 33 Visits

                                                Participation Strategy Annual Review