Agenda and minutes

Venue: Professional Excellence Centre, Acre Lane, Bromborough

Contact: Nancy Clarkson  Children and Young People's Department

No. Item


13:30 Apologies


Peter Brandrick

Sue Brown

Paula Dixon

Kathryn Podmore

Thelma Wiltshire

Gillian Thomas (represented by Jo Beet)



13:30 Declarations of Interest


Councillor Meaden’s daughter works for Children’s Services.


13:35 Minutes of Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 101 KB


Councillor Sheila Clarke welcomed new members to the Board – Councillor Chris Meaden and Jane Owens, Chair of the Wirral Governors’ Forum.


Jane Owens noted that she would be able to ensure information from the Children’s Trust is shared across the schools arena.


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting on the 28th May 2010 be confirmed as a correct record.



13:45 Contact Point Update


Mark Ellis updated the board on Contact Point arrangements.  The team have decommissioned local users and security tokens are in the process of being retrieved.  Work is ongoing to ensure the data protection act is upheld.


  Cabinet Office Structural Reform Plan ICT Strategy will support the Department for Education in reviewing Contact Point with a timescale for June – December 2010.


  Alongside that, the Munroe review will evaluate how ICT can contribute to strengthening good practice in social care.  This will inform the Contact Point Review.  Final report due in April 2011.


  The Chair requested an update at a further meeting when more information was available. 


Resolved: That a further update be provided to a future Board meeting.



13:55 Commissioning Update


Peter Wong was unable to attend the meeting.  This item is a standing item and will be revisited at the next meeting.


Resolved:  Commissioning item to be discussed at the next meeting.



14:05 Safeguarding Update Year End pdf icon PDF 63 KB


Howard Cooper updated the Board.  The LSCB has been reformed with a new Independent Chair.  There is a national review of Serious Case Reviews. Currently executive summaries and action plans are published, however there has been a proposal that full reports should be published but not individual management reviews.  All cases after the 10th June will be included in this change.


  In Wirral there is a SCR ongoing relating to a family; no child deaths were involved.  Independent management reports are with the independent author.  The report will be sent to Ofsted in October.  Agencies are already taking action in response to this review.


  The Munroe Review will also consider Serious Case Reviews (SCRs).  Professor Munroe works with the Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) and North West authorities have previously commissioned a project from the SCIE.  Wirral is involved in the project and is a pilot authority in trialling new SCR methodology.  It is an appreciative enquiry method and effectively draws out relevant information.  A conference has been run with the other pilot authorities Lancashire and Salford. Wirral is submitting information to the Munroe Review.


  Resolution: The report is noted.




14:30 Wirral Children's Trust and LSCB Safeguarding Protocol pdf icon PDF 33 KB


The protocol had been discussed in detail at the previous meeting. The protocol was now ratified by the Local Safeguarding Children Board and was provided to the Children’s Trust Board to be formally adopted.


Resolution: The board formally adopted the Children’s Trust and Local Safeguarding Children Board protocol.



14:40 Annual Review of the Memorandum of Understanding pdf icon PDF 176 KB


Nancy Clarkson introduced the annual review of the memorandum of understanding. The new Children’s Trust Board and LSCB protocol was embedded into the memorandum.


Tina Long suggested and the Board were in agreement that the memorandum is sent to the Chief Executive of each partner organisation to maintain awareness of the work of the Children’s Trust.  All organisations have given a commitment in Wirral to work through a multi-agency approach to maximize outcomes for children, young people and families of Wirral.


  Resolution: With minor amendments the memorandum is endorsed and will be provided to partner organisations.



15:15 Child Poverty Act 2010 pdf icon PDF 65 KB


Nancy Clarkson updated the board on the implications arising from the Child Poverty Act and work currently underway in Wirral to fulfil the new statutory requirements.


  Bob Gittins stated that financial support is the key to tackling poverty and that the current effect of public sector cuts should feature on the LSP risk register.


  Jo Beet raised the importance of partner early involvement. Marie Armitage would like to inform any commission regarding health inequalities work and identifying areas for investment which can have the largest impact with evidence based examples of what could be done.


Councillor Sheila Clarke agreed that to make an impact the commitment of all organisations was required.


  Resolution:  The Board noted the report.





15:30 Positive Contribution Strategy Group Annual Report pdf icon PDF 98 KB


Maureen McDaid updated the board on the work of the Positive Contribution Strategy Group.  This is a well attended multi-agency group with a wide range of statutory and non-statutory partners. Underpinning the group is an infrastructure of additional groups of children and young people through which the development of decision making processes and engagement are carried out.


  Key achievements were outlined with very positive results in a range of areas including reducing anti-social behaviour and first time entrants into the youth justice system; improved play opportunities and active engagement in democratic process.


  Councillor Chris Meaden noted that the work of the children and young people at the Youth Parliament event is exceptional.


  Jane Owens and Councillor Sheila Clarke noted how outstanding the young people were leading the opening of the Youth Hubs.


  Bob Gittins noted Restorative Justice is now in place in the Police Custody Suite which will have a positive effect for young people.


  Howard Cooper noted that next year will be challenging:

·  Funding will be an issue.

·  National Volunteer Service – every 16 year old in the country volunteering in the summer.  This will be a very large enterprise.

·  The Big Society Trust will entail more work for the Third Sector.

·  There are potential developments for new youth initiatives regarding a successful youth model in Bolton.

·  Developments are also underway regarding the Third and Voluntary sector organizations working across the districts to enhance the offer for young people.





16:00 Staying Safe Strategy Group Annual Report pdf icon PDF 114 KB


Julia Hassall updated the Board on the Staying Safe Strategy Group (SSSG).  The group has a very broad multi-agency representation.  Each meeting focuses on specific area and the impact and outcomes being delivered.


  A key area is to safely reduce the number of LAC.  An Integrated Preventative Services Group has been formed this year to enhance the impact on this priority indicator and reports directly into Staying Safe Strategy Group.


  A wide range of key recent achievements were outlined within each staying safe priority area.  Key issues being addressed by the SSSG were outlined and key challenges ahead were outlined.


  A key focus area is ensuring that appropriate thresholds are being applied to referral into social care.  (NI68).  A range of initiatives have been applied to ensure good practice in this area.  An in-year improvement occurred to give year end 74% which exceeded the LAA target; a significant impact.


  Remodelling social work delivery is a further key area where significant developments are taking place.  This has led to a range of benefits including more support for the ‘team around the child’ philosophy, improved co-ordinated responses, meeting needs earlier and improved links with the local neighbourhood.


Jane Owens noted the issues with the recruitment of social workers.


Julia Hassall noted that 17 newly qualified (NQ) social workers were recruited.  These usually go into frontline teams.  There is now a NQ programme run through the CWDC which provides extra supervision and providing 80% of cases of qualified social workers.  With the new Social Care Structure there are experienced managers as well as advanced Social Work practitioners in each team to support newly qualified social workers.


Richard Longster asked what proportion of children in care don’t have permanence. Of 648 children in care 100 are fostered with a family member, ideally the relative can take special guardianship to make it a permanent arrangement. 85 are on care orders but living with parents; these can be reviewed and approximately 10 have recently come back into care.  The remaining 53 are in care homes and others in foster care. There are very small number waiting for the adoption to be ratified. Some are very settled with their foster carers who will not be moved. The clear aim is for children to have very clear plans that lead to permanence.


Resolution:  The report is noted.



16:25 Any Other Business


(12) (i) Councillor Clarke proposed Councillor Meaden as the Deputy Chair of the Children’s Trust Board. This was agreed by the Board.


  Resolution: Councillor Meaden is the Board Deputy


(12) (ii) Marie Armitage is retiring from Public Health from September. Fiona Johnston will be replacing her. Councillor Sheila Clarke thanked Marie Armitage for her contribution to the board.


(12)(iii) Health White Paper 2010


  Tina long updated the board on the recent publication of the White Paper which sets out plans to reform the NHS.  Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts (PCT) will be abolished by 2013 subject to a law change.  At the moment the PCT is responsible for commissioning.  The responsibilities will be devolved to GP Consorting.  On Wirral there are currently 3 defined health areas. Of the budget, 95% of £6 million will sit with GP consortia.


  Marie Armitage updated the board on public health.  A national public health service will be formed and the public health resources will sit with the LA and a health and wellbeing board will be established.  On Wirral we have a Health and Wellbeing board as part of the LSP.


  A number of further documents will follow to outline detail.  There will be a public health White Paper in December.  A consultation paper is on the website.


  Tina Long noted that it would be important for the Children’s Trust Board to discuss this further.  An additional area is the community service area such as health visitors.


  By April 2011 all PCT provider areas will cease.  There are a number of options in this area such as social enterprise, hospitals or children’s services.


  Further discussion is required regarding how the best outcomes for Children and Young People in Wirral can be achieved.


  Howard Cooper raised the enormous impact these proposals will have in tandem with proposed public sector cuts.


  The Board agreed to arrange a half day special meeting on how this change will affect services.




12(iv)  Local Government and Area Based Grant Cuts


  Howard Cooper updated the board on Area Based Grant cuts.  There is a proposed £6.2 billion reduction overall; £1.2 billion in Local Government mainly Area Based Grant, the highest proportion in Children Services. Children’s Services total ABG in Wirral 2010/11 is £12 million. The Council will decide on how the ABG cuts will be apportioned.


  Bev Morgan commented on the concern in the Third Sector of public sector cuts and wide scale changes.


Tina Long requested that Howard Cooper call a strategic meeting of organisations on how Wirral should be positioned to deliver excellent outcomes for children and young people regarding the implications of government proposals.


Richard Longster noted the Children’s Trust Board were guardians of Wirral children and young people and should take the initiative in furthering discussions in this area.


Howard Cooper noted that the Secretary of State indicated he may remove the statutory requirement to have a Children’s Trust and Children and Young People Plan.  Local areas should develop arrangements that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


16:30 Date and time of next meeting:


The next meeting is the 24th September 2010, 9:00 – 12:00.