Agenda and minutes

Venue: Professional Excellence Centre, Acre Lane, Bromborough

Contact: Nancy Clarkson  Children and Young People's Department

No. Item


09:00 Apologies


Tina Long (represented by Debbie Mayor)

Hazel Thompson

Thelma Wiltshire

Emma Dodd (represented by John Davis)

Councillor Jean Quinn



09:00 Declarations of Interest





09:05 Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 97 KB


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting on the 15th January 2010 be confirmed as a correct record.



09.10 Safeguarding Update Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 80 KB


The existing Safeguarding Board’s last meeting is in March 2010.  A new Board will be formed based on the new requirements and arrangements include a new independent Chair replacing the Director of Children’s Services.  Councillor Phil Davies will be a ‘participating observer’.  New guidance separates the executive and scrutiny role.


Howard Cooper outlined some of the national high profile cases including Doncaster, Birmingham and Sheffield.  In Wirral the quality of working together is better than it has ever been. Locally we have two Serious Case reviews (SCRs) at different stages.  One at the end of the process and one at the beginning.  Howard Cooper has recently commissioned a new SCR not related to a child death. The Chloe Fletcher SCR has been evaluated and the report received two days ago.


Howard Cooper reported that the nature of the report has changed from a brief letter to a longer report style letter.  The SCR evaluates submitted agency reports that contribute to the overall report; each individual report is now graded.  The letter picks up areas of inter-agency working that are missing from the report.  Once received by the Safeguarding Board, there will be full analysis.  The Ofsted Inspector will meet representatives from all agencies involved to go through the findings.  The Executive summary will be published, not the full report, as per the law. 


Howard Cooper commented that in SCRs agencies involved write a management report, some agencies do not do this often e.g. Housing Associations.  Good practice would be development of expertise in organisations in writing reports.  There is now an independent officer who will be reviewing how reports are written and scrutinised.


Kathryn Podmore asked about the action plan and how it will be progressed. Howard Cooper informed the Board that an action plan was submitted with the report and Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) will monitor the delivery of the action plan.  Some actions will fall to organisations within the Children’s Trust.


ShanilaRhooi noted an issue for Health Care professionals regarding how the public can access appropriate mental health help.  Howard Cooper agreed and stressed the importance of role of the GP in safeguarding children and the relationship of children’s services with adult mental health.


Julia Hassall noted the LSCB and Staying Safe Strategy Group were carrying out an audit of the quality of information sharing which would be shared with the Board.


Councillor Phil Davies asked if GPs know the appropriate pathways.  Shanila Roohi said that healthcare professionals understood the pathways but other agencies involved may not understand the correct triggers and contact the right people to raise concerns.  Shanila Roohi noted extensive safeguard training has been carried out through GP practices including reception staff.


Bev Morgan noted that most organisations understood the pathways and would use them.  However the extent of mental health issues is a difficult area to evaluate and judgements are difficult to make as to when it is appropriate to contact agencies.


Julia Hassall informed the Board that the LSCB website  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


09.20 Performance Management Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 132 KB


Nancy Clarkson outlined the report which provides an overview of the progress made against the national indicators relevant to Wirral Children’s Trust.  Overall Wirral is doing well but there are some red or amber areas which were outlined with the corrective action in place in each area.


Resolved: That the report be noted.



09:30 LAA Quarter 3 Report pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:


Nancy Clarkson outlined the position of LAA indicators at Quarter 3.  Although good progress is being made in NEET and teenage conceptions this is not in line with achieving the very challenging nationally set targets.


Resolved: That the report be noted.



09.40 Annual Review of the Children and Young People's Plan pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:


Nancy Clarkson presented the annual review of the CYPP.  Each year an annual review is produced.  Bev Morgan requested adding information about the Third Sector. Councillor Phil Davies thanked Nancy Clarkson for her work in co-ordinating the review.


Resolved – That with the addition of information about the Third Sector the annual review be approved.



10.10 Wirral Children's Trust Commissioning Strategy pdf icon PDF 118 KB


Howard Cooper introduced the report as an important item; a step change is required in developing the Board’s role as commissioners.  The purpose of the paper is to identify key steps required to be in place to make a transition.


Peter Wong and Rose Curtis presented to the board. A Children’s Trust is, in part, a commissioning partnership, commissioning services for children and young people and their families.  Strategic Commissioning is a key means by which the Children’s Trust partners come together to make a reality of the duty to co-operate and drive cultural change. Components of successful commissioning include:

·  Clear leadership

·  Effective governance

·  Understanding of commissioning

·  Ability to commission workforce development leading to behavioural change amongst frontline staff

·  Clarity about the difference between commissioning and provider functions at all levels

·  Able to demonstrate ‘contestability’ e.g. ‘make or buy’ decisions

·  An agreed vision for the shape of the Children’s Trust system

·  Capacity for change


Howard Cooper suggested that the emphasis should be change for more effective outcomes and added value.


The role of the Children’s Trust Board and Executive were outlined. The Children’s Trust Board undertakes a governance role:

·  Setting strategic direction and priorities for services to children, young people and their families.

·  Joint planning, commissioning and alignment of resources at a strategic level.

·  Responsible and accountable for the performance and commissioning decisions made by all planning and commissioning groups in children's services.


The Children’s Trust Executive undertakes the executive role, taking responsibility for:

  Advising the Board to support decision-making.

  Performance management.

  Implementing agreed strategies and plans.

  Preparing and reviewing the Children and Young People’s Plan.

  Developing improvement priorities and strategies to meet expectations of CYPP


The paper provided three options to the board:

Option 1 Virtual Joint Commissioning

Option 2 Joint Commissioning – targeted areas

Option 3 Joint Commissioning – whole system


In addition three recommendations were presented to the Board to assist in defining the option for Wirral:

·  That the newly established Children’s Trust Executive is not changed and that further development of its executive role is explored.

·  That the Board resolves not to seek pooling of all budgets at this stage, rather that piloting of pooled budgets in no more than three key priority areas is taken forward.

·  That partners provide details and clarity on how appropriate separation of commissioning and providers responsibilities is managed and maintained.


Howard Cooper suggested that the Council could learn from NHS Wirral in the separation of commissioning and provider responsibilities.


Adrian Hughes referred to the continuum of children with complex needs and how important it is to work together early at neo natal stage.


Andy Styring raised the issue of resources being required for new structures and Adrian Hughes suggested there was currently duplication in the system so additional resources were not necessarily a pre-requisite.


Debbie Mayor outlined that the paper did not suggest a new remit but that the proposed mapping work would outline the next steps.


Peter Wong believes that the appropriate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


10:55 Social and Economic Wellbeing Strategy Group pdf icon PDF 100 KB


Sheila Lynch presented the Strategy Group Report. Key Achievements were outlined and include:

·  Therapeutic programmes delivered by the third sector (TCP) successfully re-engaging young people into mainstream education.  Programmes are also delivered specifically for young mums.

·  Roll out of eight Diploma lines in September 2009 with approximately 180 learners participating.

·  Development of FE provision with increased entry points to meet learner needs and respond to the January Guarantee.

·  The Wirral Apprenticeship Programme ‘initial 100’ has been delivered and a further 50 apprenticeships agreed (to be targeted for NEET young people).


  The NEET information was presented in detail including February monthly NEET figures indicate 8.78% (937 young people).  NEETs are the lowest they have been in February for 4 years which is significant progress. The aspiration is 6.9% so there is still significant distance to travel.


  In addition to increasing the pace of NEET reduction other key challenges outlined include the Child Poverty Bill and the associated new duties and to support the raising of the participation age in 2013. Areas for further partnership involvement include reviewing the membership of the SEWB Group.


  Sue Drew asked about linkage to other blocks including WEDS.  Shelia Lynch the strategy lead for SEWB is a member of the WEDS board. Cross LSP Block working is being developed related to the new Child Poverty Bill including development of a needs assessment and a strategy.


  Kathryn Podmore reported that due to economic situation there could be a decrease in university places.


Councillor Sheila Clarke asked about NEET children in care and Sheila Lynch reported that through targeted initiatives good progress has been made with this group.


Resolved – That the report be noted.



11.25 Education, Employment and Training Strategy pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:


  Sheila Lynch outlined the refreshed EET Strategy.


  Resolved: That the Board endorse the strategy.



11.35 Stepping up to Social Work pdf icon PDF 54 KB


This is a national pilot programme offering an employment based route to qualifying as a social worker related to a career change.  A consortium of local authorities through the Learn Together Partnership led by Wirral was successful in their bid, the only partnership in the north-west of England to be successful. The programme will commence with assessment centres in May 2010. Wirral is aiming to engage with up to seven of the candidates as part of the programme.


  Resolved: That the report be noted and the Board would promote awareness of the programme.



11:45 Aiming High Commissioning Report pdf icon PDF 88 KB


A national scheme for providing short breaks for children with disabilities through commissioning VCF sector involved in providing a number of the services. Three areas were not able to be commissioned:

-  Sitting Services

-  Enablement Support Scheme

-  Emergency Support Scheme


As funding is time limited recommendations have been made in these areas to ensure services are provided, the report outlines these. Richard Longster and Andy Styring commented on the positive aspects of the proposals.


Resolved: That the Board recommends the Stage 2 commissioning proposals.



11.55 Getting to the Core - Wirral Children's Trust and Link Forum Conference


Peter Brandrick provided the board with a flyer for a joint Link Forum and Children’s Trust ‘Getting to the Core’ Event on the 1st July 2010.  The event would celebrate and develop the links between the Children’s Trust and the Link Forum.


  Resolved: That the Board would promote awareness of the event.



11:58 Any Other Business


Councillor Phil Davies expressed the thanks of the Board to Sue Drew as she moves to a new post as Director of Public Health in Knowsley.


Howard Cooper expressed the thanks of the Board to Chris Batman and Alan Stennard who are retiring in March.  Both have contributed to outcomes for children and young people in Wirral.



12:00 Date and Time of Next Meeting

28th May 2010, 09:00 – 12:00


Friday 28th May 2010, at the Professional Excellence Centre, Acre Lane.