To receive Report No.46/2020 from the Strategic Director for People.
Report No.46/2020 was received from the Strategic Director for People.
Dawn Godfrey, Deputy Director for Children’s Services introduced the report the purpose of which was to report on the progress made by children’s services since the Ofsted judgement inspection in 2016 and focused visit to children’s service in March 2019.
During discussion the following points were noted:
· Ms Godfrey, the Deputy Director for Children’s Services confirmed that Ofsted were arriving the following week to inspect the service and to follow up on their visit in March 2019.
· The report clearly showed the areas of progress that have been made since the last inspection and that the recommendations made had been addressed.
· There were still areas where improvement had not been as swift as hoped but because of the capacity of the service some changes had to be made incrementally to make sure that they were embedded.
· Although the original inspection had taken place in 2016, much of the remedial activity had not taken place until 2019 because there had been a lack of focus. Staff in key posts had been newly recruited and were now able to deliver the quality expected.
· Ofsted would be able to see the pace of change and the clarity of what was expected. Initial discussions had indicated that they were comfortable with the progress made.
· Councillor Harvey attended Corporate Parenting board meetings and had been reassured by the progress being made and felt that it was a very positive factor that that staff were knowledgeable about each individual’s story and background.
· Councillor Wilby, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services and Education also endorsed the direction of travel the service was adopting and commended staff for the work that they did in an often highly pressurised environment.
· The implementation of new measures had been helped by the Liquid Logic system.
· The service had worked really hard on getting assessments done in a timelier manner. In Rutland all assessments were now completed within the national target of 45 days and many non-complex assessments were done much earlier. 2 years ago RCC was not meeting this target and nationally, many children were still waiting in excess of 45 days.
· Ms Godfrey had inherited a team with a number of first line managers who had had too much delegated down to them. These additional responsibilities had now been stripped back to allow them to concentrate on their core tasks and take accountability and responsibility for them.
· Councillor Begy felt that it would be useful to have previous years’ data alongside the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in order to give a comparison and indicate a direction of travel.
· Attaining a 100% of target in a performance area was not because the target was not stretching enough but indicated that the service had reached compliance levels and so could now build on that quality.
· Life Story work was about capturing what had happened in a child’s life to bring them into the Council’s care, and was used to help children understand who they were and where they had come from.
· In response to a question from Mr French about support for foster carers, Mr Andrews, Director for People replied that supervision and the support role had been increased over the last year, recognising that fostering could be a very difficult job. Foster carers received regular visits from social workers, training courses were run for them and work was ongoing creating a peer support network within the fostering community. Mr Andrews also met regularly with foster carers in an informal setting in order to have a frank and open discussion.
i. NOTED the progress made by children’s services in response to previous Ofsted findings and recommendations and ENDORSED the actions planned and/or completed in relation to the areas for improvement identified, having assured themselves they will deliver the change required.
ii. REQUESTED that performance reports come to Committee on a six monthly basis and that previous years’ data is included to indicate the direction of travel.