Agenda and draft minutes

Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 26th September, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose

Contact: Joanna Morley  01572 758271

Items
No. Item

265.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Mrs Burrows and Mr French. Miss Waller attended as a substitute for Mrs Burrows and Mr Cantley as a substitute for Mr French.

266.

RECORD OF MEETING

To confirm the record of the meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee held on 27 June 2019 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The minutes of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel held on 27 June 2019, copies of which had been previously circulated, were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

267.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

268.

PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS

To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from Members of the Public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 217.

 

The total time allowed for this item shall be 30 minutes.  Petitions, declarations and questions shall be dealt with in the order in which they are received.  Questions may also be submitted at short notice by giving a written copy to the Committee Administrator 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.

 

The total time allowed for questions at short notice is 15 minutes out of the total time of 30 minutes.  Any petitions, deputations and questions that have been submitted with prior formal notice will take precedence over questions submitted at short notice.  Any questions that are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting and be the subject of a report to the next meeting.

 

Minutes:

No petitions, deputations or questions were received.

269.

QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE FROM MEMBERS

To consider any questions with notice from Members received in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rules No 219 and No. 219A.

Minutes:

No questions with notice had been received from Members.

270.

NOTICES OF MOTION FROM MEMBERS

To consider any Notices of Motion from Members submitted in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule No 220.

 

Minutes:

No notices of motion had been received from Members.

271.

CONSIDERATION OF ANY MATTER REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE FOR A DECISION IN RELATION TO CALL IN OF A DECISION

To consider any matter referred to the Committee for a decision in relation to call in of a decision in accordance with Procedure Rule 206.

 

Minutes:

No matter had been referred to the Committee for a decision in relation to a call in of a decision in accordance with Procedure Rule 206.

272.

ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN

To appoint a vice-chairman of the Committee.

Minutes:

Nominations for the position of Vice-Chairman of the Committee were sought from the Members of the Committee who were present. Mr Ainsley was nominated by Mrs Harvey and seconded by Mr Begy. No further nominations were made and Mr Ainsley received a unanimous vote in favour of his appointment.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Mr Ainsley be APPOINTED Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee.

273.

CHILDREN'S SERVICES PERFORMANCE REPORTING pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive Report No.143/2019 from the Strategic Director for People.

Minutes:

Report No.143/2019 was received from the Strategic Director for People.

 

Mr Wilby, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services and Education opened this item by commending the officers working in Children’s Services who were working extremely hard with limited resources and, when compared with other East Midlands Councils, were performing well. The Deputy Director for Children’s Services, in conjunction with the Portfolio Holder, would be focusing on further improving performance by introducing procedures that enabled officers to work ‘smarter’ with the limited resources that they had.

 

Mark Andrews, Strategic Director for People, went on to introduce the report the purpose of which was to demonstrate to the Committee a selection of key performance indicators (KPIs) relating to children’s services in Rutland, with a view to some or all of these being reported to the Committee on a quarterly basis in the future.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         There were a number of acronyms used in the report and more clarification was needed for future reports.

·         The figures needed to be shown in comparison to the previous year and other Councils in order to show the direction of travel and to put the data in context.

·         The targets were set around the performance of services rather than the impact on beneficiaries.

·         Members suggested that figures for the number of mental health assessments, the level of truancies, staff retention and the number of foster parents, also be shown.

·         The virtual school head report was an excellent source of information and Members commented that in the short time that the virtual school head had been with the Council she had transformed the system.

·         The next virtual school head report was being finalised and would be available in November.

·         School Attendance records needed to be included as it was the Council who prosecuted parents not the School.

·         A more in-depth report would be provided by officers with further explanation of the figures once the Committee had decided which performance figures it wanted to concentrate on.

·         As Rutland was so small in comparison to other authorities, often the percentages reported could give a skewed impression.

·         The Deputy Director for Children’s Services had been in post for four months and was working on embedding a performance culture in the department with a clear management framework and performance indicators.

·         Social workers were embracing the new culture and performance clinics were being held fortnightly.

·         As the KPI report was finessed members would be able to see progress over time.

·         The latest percentage figure for care leavers who were in Education, Employment or Training (EET) was 63%. One of the ways in which the service was supporting care leavers who were full time parents was by helping them with parenting skills as often they had had their own disruptive parenting experience. Officers wanted to get this right first rather than put pressure on them to access education. However, there were opportunities available through children’s services and the Rutland Adult Learning Service and this could be on a very part-time  ...  view the full minutes text for item 273.

274.

FOSTERING SERVICE ANNUAL REPORT 2018/19 AND CHILDREN LOOKED AFTER AND CARE LEAVERS SUFFICIENCY STATEMENT 2017-20 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To receive Report No.151/2019 from the Strategic Director for People.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No.151/2019 was received from the Strategic Director for People.

 

Dawn Godfrey, Deputy Director for People – Children’s Services introduced the report the purpose of which was to provide the Committee with information on the activity of the fostering service and how the local authority was meeting its statutory sufficiency duty in relation to children looked after and care leavers.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         Members requested information on the number of new foster parents, not just the total number, as they wished to see how effective the recruitment process had been.

·         The 15 Rutland foster families referred to in the report included families where there was a single parent as well as couples.

·         Potential foster parents who had been through the Council’s training sometimes declined to take children with more challenging needs as they did not have the skills, or the inclination to develop those skills, to look after them. Additionally there were instances where work commitments meant that they could not take, for example, a younger child who was not attending school.

·         Foster parents received a retainer whilst waiting to foster and the full allowance when they had a child placed with them.

·         There were currently no Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers (UASC) 16 and over placed with Rutland Carers. For religious and cultural reasons, most UASC were  placed in Leicester or Loughborough

·         Members were pleased to see that a ‘staying put’ option was available to children aged 18-21 years old in order for them to remain in their placement. Foster Carers received a lodging allowance which was lower but which resulted in a better outcome for foster children.

·         From a current cohort of 31 care leavers, there were 22 young people engaged in employment, education or training and of these, 5 were enrolled in university and completing their degrees. This equated to 16.1% which compared to a national average of only 6%.

·         In the past 12 months Rutland Schools had received regular training and meetings with the Virtual School Head in order to improve and monitor the quality of the approach to Children in Care. Some designated teachers were new to the role and officers had to ensure that they were fully aware of what they needed to do.

·         The forthcoming Virtual School Head Annual Report would address many of the concerns expressed.

·         RCC funded laptops for Rutland Children looked After (CLA) but it was very clearly dependent on educational need, progress and attainment.

 

RESOLVED:

 

The Committee:

 

1.    NOTED the contents of the Fostering Service Annual Report 2018/19 and the Children Looked After and Care leavers Sufficiency Statement 2017-20.

2.    ENDORSED the actions planned in relation to the focus and direction of travel of future fostering recruitment.

 

275.

YOUTH OFFENDING SERVICE pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To receive Report No.148/2019 from the Strategic Director for People.

Minutes:

Report No.148/2019 was received from the Strategic Director for People.

 

Mark Andrews, Strategic Director for People, introduced the report the purpose of which was to update the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee on the Youth Offending Service contract and the statutory functions commissioned through Leicestershire County Council. The report also provided the Committee with information on the current service specification and delivery arrangements, including the preventative work provided through the contract.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         Community Safety came within the remit of the Adults and Health Scrutiny Committee but Members asked whether it would be better suited to the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee. Officers felt that there were pros and cons for both camps as there were very few young people in the justice system but there were undoubtedly more links between young people and Anti-Social behaviour. The Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee were well placed however to review how resources were being used and allocated to prevent offending.

·         On a cost per head basis the Youth Offending Service did not seem to offer value for money but when compared to setting up and running a Rutland only service it was very good value.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Committee:

 

1.    NOTED the arrangements for the delivery of Youth Offending Services in Rutland.

 

2.    REQUESTED that a report on how resources were being used and allocated to prevent youth offending be brought to a future meeting of the Committee. The report was to consider whether the Council’s Early Help Services met needs.

 

276.

REVIEW OF THE FORWARD PLAN AND ANNUAL WORK PLAN pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To consider the current Forward Plan and identify any relevant items for inclusion in the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee Annual Work Plan (attached), or to request further information.

 

The Forward Plan can be found on the website using the following link:

 

https://rutlandcounty.moderngov.co.uk/mgListPlans.aspx?RPId=133&RD=0

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the Forward Plan and discussed substantive items for inclusion in the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee Annual Work Plan.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         Last year, the Task and Finish Group report on Mental Health had recommended that Resilient Rutland report back to the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee to give an update on the progress and impact within schools that their project had had.  Private schools had the resources and a structure in place to offer a level of pastoral support that Rutland state funded secondary schools could not and so Members felt it was important for the Committee and residents to be able to see how the lottery grant monies were being used to promote resilience in schools.

·         Officers requested that Members be specific about what they wanted included in the reports for the sport and transport items listed within the draft work plan.

·         It was noted that a report on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) High Needs Funding had come before the Committee in March 2019 but new Members of the Committee wanted to see a further report in order to review progress of the project. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

The Committee,

 

1.    AGREED that Resilient Rutland would be invited to report to the Committee at the end of this municipal year, allowing time for the project to ‘bed-in’ and to accommodate delays to the project schedule.

 

2.    AGREED that Councillor Begy would supply Officers with the scope for the report on sport for children.

 

3.    REQUESTED that the Governance Officer circulate copies of Report No.55/2019: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) High Needs Funding for background information before scoping work for a future report.

 

277.

LEICESTERSHIRE AND RUTLAND LOCAL SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN BOARD ANNUAL REPORT 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To note Report No.145/2019 from the Chairman of the Leicestershire and Rutland Local Safeguarding Children Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No.145/2019 was taken without debate.

 

The Committee NOTED the report.

278.

ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS

To receive any other items of urgent business which have been previously notified to the person presiding.

 

Minutes:

No other urgent business was received.

279.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

28 November 2019 at 7pm.

 

Minutes:

Thursday, 28 November 2019 at 7pm.