1.1 The aim of the Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel is to ensure that the Council is carrying out its responsibilities towards children and young people in the care of the Council as a good corporate parent.
2.1 The key objectives of the Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel are to:
Ø Commission a Corporate Parenting Strategy for adoption by the Council and to monitor the implementation of the strategy.
Ø Monitor the Council’s performance as a corporate parent.
Ø Celebrate the successes of looked after children.
Ø Promote awareness of the corporate parenting role within the Council.
Ø Consider arrangements for Member information and training.
Ø Make recommendations to Executive as and when appropriate about matters to do with children and young people in the care of the Council.
3. SCRUTINY MECHANISMS
3.1 The Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel will make use of the following scrutiny mechanisms to assist with maintaining and improving the standards of services for children who are in the care of Bracknell Forest Borough Council.
Ø Examination of key statutory performance measures.
Ø Analysis of key trend data relating to looked after children and making comparisons with other Local Authorities.
Ø Engaging young people who are looked after by the Council to advise the Panel in order to ensure they have an opportunity to influence the development of services.
Ø The use of anonymised case studies to highlight key national or local policy and practice issues.
Ø Keeping under consideration the key inspection criteria against which the Authority will be judged through the Annual Performance Review.
Ø Receiving the Annual Report of the Independent Reviewing Officer.
4. PERFORMANCE MONITORING
4.1 Initially it is proposed that the Panel take a broad approach to monitoring the Council’s performance. This will help to build knowledge and understanding of the wide range of issues involved. Monitoring should have reference to the Joint Area Review Framework which provides for key judgements about whether:
Ø Steps are taken to avoid children and young people having to become looked after.
Ø Looked after children and their parents are provided with opportunities to express their views and these are listened to.
Ø Steps are taken to secure a range of care placements which deliver care and support and develop children and young people’s cultural, religious and linguistic heritage.
Ø Looked after children’s health needs are addressed.
Ø Looked after children are supported in achieving educationally.
Ø Looked after children are enabled to enjoy a range of cultural and leisure activities.
Ø Looked after children are prepared for leaving care and are supported thereafter.
Monitoring should also pick up on the areas of concern identified through consultation with children and young people/carers/staff as part of the research work of the Panel.
5.1 The Panel shall comprise the following Members:
Ø Five Elected Members according to the usual apportionment arrangements.
Ø Substitutes for each of the above.
Ø Executive Member for Children’s Services as a non-voting member.
The lead officer for the Panel will be the Assistant Director for Children’s Social Care supported by the Children’s Participation Officer and other officers as necessary.
The Chief Executive will attend when appropriate, to monitor the support for Looked After Children.
Arrangements will be made by the Panel for the direct and indirect involvement of looked after children and young people.
Members of the Panel will be required to attend appropriate training and be subject to a check by the Criminal Records Bureau.
6. REPORTING MECHANISMS
6.1 The Corporate Parenting Panel will meet every four months and hold an annual conference to celebrate looked after children’s successes and stimulate further improvements to the service. The normal rules for a quorum for Panel meetings shall apply.
6.2 The Panel will have no direct decision-making powers but will make recommendations where appropriate to the Executive.
Support officer: Lizzie Rich. 01344 352253
Fax: 01344 353251