Agenda and draft minutes

Corporate Parenting Advocacy Panel
Friday, 22 March 2019 11.00 am

Venue: Room 2 Ground Floor South - Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell, RG12 1JD. View directions

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.


Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary 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 Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.


Any Member with an affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting.  There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of


The minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2018 as a correct record and were signed by the chairman.


Urgent Items of Business

Any other items which, pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.


There were no urgent items of business.


JTAI report


Peter Hodges presented the outcome letter which followed the Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) which had taken place across partner agencies recently.


The theme of the inspection had been child sexual abuse in the family, and had covered the Local Authority, Police, Health and Probation colleagues. Particular focus had been around the MASH and Front Door processes.


The report highlighted lots of good work across partner agencies, and reflected strong leadership and partnership working across the borough.


There were no areas for priority action arising from the report, which was a rare outcome from JTAI inspections.  Partners were developing a joint action plan to ensure that areas for improvement would be addressed.


The Panel discussed the report, and the following points were noted:

·         Any inconsistencies in referral practices from Police and Health would be reflected in the action plan.

·         Currently the Health Visitor post in the MASH was not a full time post, but the MASH was being reviewed currently. Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust  (BHFT) had been commissioned to provide Health Visiting in Bracknell Forest, and so any concerns arising in the MASH could be raised with the manned dutyline at BHFT at any time.

·         Children Social Care would lead on developing the action plan, which would be monitored predominantly by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

·         Members were keen to stress their support for the school nursing service, and hoped that this service could be maintained and developed.

·         Members welcomed the fact that Bracknell Forest maintained strong working relationships with its partner agencies.

·         Members welcomed the positive report, and agreed that children were being kept safe in Bracknell Forest. 


Emotional Wellbeing Services for Children Looked After (verbal)


Debbie Hartrick reported on work ongoing in the CCG to support the Emotional Wellbeing of Children Looked After.


Debbie commented on the increase in children requiring high level services, which were commissioned with BHFT. There had also been an increase in the number of children waiting for autism and ADHD assessments, for which the conversion from referral to delivery was 65-70%. The children referred who were not diagnosed with autism or ADHD also required intervention in other respects.


It was commented that the NHS 10 year plan included a chapter on children for the first time, and had a strong focus on emotional health and wellbeing.


The Local Transformation Plan had established a new Joint Children’s Commissioning Board, and Thom Wilson, Assistant Director: Commissioning was the representative for Bracknell Forest. The Local Transformation Board was looking to reduce variation in provision across Local Authority services, whilst recognising the different demographics across Local Authority boundaries.


Bracknell Forest Council had commissioned Kooth as an early intervention service for young people, which offered anonymous online counselling and support services in a 24 hour service. The support varied from chatroom services for peer support to individual support for young people with higher needs. Kooth had been promoted widely through schools and youth centres.


The themed chatrooms were usually on topic such as bullying and emotional wellbeing. There was not currently a specific theme for Children Looked After, and the Local Authority had requested that this might be looked into. The Panel agreed to write to Kooth and request a theme on Children Looked After. (Action: Cllr Mrs Birch / Lizzie Rich)


Having discussed the matter, the Panel noted the following points:

·        Kooth was available as part of a range of services, and did not replace the need for structured support.

·        Members requested to see the latest Kooth newsletter, and were advised to contact Public Health if they wished to join the mailing list for future updates.

·        Members discussed the eating disorder support service, and asked Debbie to find out where the closest eating disorder support provider for Bracknell Forest children was. (Action: Debbie Hartrick)

·        It was suggested that training around eating disorders could be included in the training given to foster carers.


Members thanked Debbie Hartrick for her update.


Review of Terms of Reference of Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel


The Panel discussed the proposed Terms of Reference including a report to the Leader.


Arising from discussion, the following points were noted:

·        The revised Terms of Reference outlined the Panel’s advocacy role in engaging with Children Looked After. The Panel would make recommendations for changes related to the lives of Children Looked After, to the most appropriate body or decision maker.

·        While the Panel would not function as a scrutiny body, it required some data and performance management function in order to understand the lived experience of children looked after.

·        Scrutiny of performance would be undertaken in Children, Young People and Learning Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

·        It was proposed that the Panel could start a challenge log similar to that maintained by the LSCB, to keep track of any challenges raised and their outcomes to demonstrate the Panel’s impact.

·        Panel Members felt that the Chair should not be the Executive Member for Children, Young People and Learning in order to preserve the Panel’s independence.

·        The Panel requested that the Chair should report back to the Council’s Elected Membership to engage them in their Corporate Parenting role.

·        It was agreed that the Executive Member should remain on the Panel’s membership as a non-voting co-optee as present.



Larchwood Inspection Report


Panel members congratulated Larchwood on another successful and consistent Ofsted report.



Performance Management Information Noting


The Panel noted the latest Performance Management information.


Panel Announcements

27 March 2019 – Life Chances Annual Conferences

30 May 2019 – Big Ballot


Panel members noted the following dates of upcoming events:

·        27 March 2019 – Life Chances Annual Conference

·        30 May 2019 – Big Ballot