Agenda and minutes

Venue: Professional Excellence Centre, Acre Lane, Bromborough

Contact: Nancy Clarkson  Children and Young People's Department

No. Item


09:00 Apologies and Introductions


Present: Councillor T Smith (Chair) Councillor W Clements, Cllr C Meaden, J Hassall,

J Webster, P Sheridan, S Dainty, K Podmore, G Price, M Kilcoyne, B Morgan, K Coxhead,

V Harrison, J Welsh, J. Owen, L. Loughran, I. Batman


In Attendance: N Clarkson, E. Taylor, K. Druker, T. Woodhouse


Cllr Smith welcomed the members and noted apologies had been received from R Longster,

Sandra Christie, V. McGee, J. Martin, B. Walker, G. Batchelor, S. Edwards.


Cllr Smith brought the group’s attention to the photographic display by Wirral schoolchildren and encouraged the members to take time to view the exhibition during the course of the meeting.  Karen Druker informed the group that this was just one area of work being undertaken to promote the achievements of the young people and advised that the photographic exhibition is scheduled to be shown at the Williamson Art Gallery.


Cllr Smith extended thanks to Karen and her team and asked that congratulations be passed



09:05 Declarations of Interest




09:05 Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 739 KB



The minutes of the last meeting were confirmed as an accurate record of the meeting.


Action no. 5 (24 September Board meeting).

It was confirmed that the letter had been sent to Public Health England.  Action closed.


Action no. 5 (19 November Board meeting).

K. Coxhead to submit a report (to include funding sources) to the March Board (outstanding).


Action no. 11 (19 November Board meeting).

D. Gornik to submit an update on Targeted Services to a future Board meeting (outstanding).


All other actions had been completed.



09:10 Behaviour Update - Powerpoint presentation


The Board received the presentation on the recent work undertaken on the Wirral Integrated Behaviour Strategy.  The group was advised that the Strategy was first brought to the Board in January 2013, and also reported to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee in March 2013.  Since then a number of initiatives have been established to support the basic tenets of the Behaviour Strategy.  Future developments will include the collection and analysis of data for fixed term as well as permanent exclusions to establish an overall trend individually and borough wide.  Support and advice for schools in developing inclusive practice would be established; the development of shared support mechanisms between schools to avoid exclusions would be encouraged; closer working between other agencies to publicise pathways and practices which assist schools supporting struggling pupils and to embed the hard to place, protocol in primary schools.


In response to questions regarding the number of exclusions attached to one school, S.Dainty advised that all the necessary support measures had been put in place.


J. Hassall stated that Wirral has a much higher number of children in care and is a key strand in early intervention involving all partners.  She further confirmed that schools do work with parents in order to avoid any escalation of problems regarding attendance or other issues.  It should be noted by all partners that the Strategy sits within the community and all were asked to work together to embed the principles.  K. Podmore advised that Mental Health issues are now increasing amongst the younger population and suggested that the work of the Strategy group be widely disseminated.


Cllr Smith commented that in his opinion too many children are statemented too early. However he was advised that the new head of Targeted Services would be working on prevention services.


Resolved: The Board noted the work of the group.




09.25 Child Poverty Update: School Community Hub Project pdf icon PDF 199 KB


The Board received the report which outlined the progress in respect of the establishment of a school community hub.  This approach was based on enhancing the role of schools and to create a platform for them to act as a catalyst for transforming local communities.


Following the required commissioning and procurement process two schools were appointed and received funding of £50,000 to pilot the project.  The Child and Family Working Group would act as a stakeholder group for the project and quarterly updates would be submitted to the Board. There was an opportunity for all partner agencies to submit child poverty items to be discussed on the Board agenda as required.


Cllr Smith thanked all involved for their work on this project and looked forward to receiving progress reports.


The opportunity was taken by L. Loughran to remind the group that places are available on the Child Poverty ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions.  It was also suggested that the name of the Organisational Development (OD) of each partner agency link person be advised.


Action: a) All members to submit details of OD link person to T. Woodhouse.

    b) Consideration by partners regarding discussion of child poverty at each meeting.

    c) Quarterly update reports to be submitted to the Board.


Resolved: The Board noted the report.



09.45 Staying Safe Annual Report pdf icon PDF 83 KB


The Board received the update report and a copy of the C&YP Plan performance was tabled.


The group was advised that the aim of the Staying Safe Workstream was to improve children’s safety and narrow the gap in outcomes experienced by our more disadvantaged children.  The progress on the current priorities for 2013/14 was outlined in the report being:


  • To support those children and young people who require extra help at the earliest opportunity
  • To improve outcomes for children in care and care leavers
  • To improve outcomes for children and young people in need of protection


The report also outlined the areas requiring further partnership involvement being the


  • Development and implementation of the MASH model
  • Development of a corporate safeguarding model across children’s and adult services.  Within both these areas partners need to ensure that there are clearly defined lines of accountability and governance arrangements so that safeguarding systems remain strong. 
  • Auditing of child protection /child in need cases as we develop a more multi-agency approach to this work.
  • Consistent application of levels of need across the continuum from TAF (Team around the Family) and CIN (Children in Need) to child protection and Looked after Children Services.


The areas for promotion covered private fostering, road traffic – accident prevention, Staying Safe on the Teen Wirral Website and the Safe Sleep awareness programme.


In discussions, Cllr Smith highlighted his concern regarding the apparent ‘speeding’ up of the adoption process as this was such an important area to get right.  He was advised that there is a balance to be made between progressing with the adopting process as swiftly as possible but at the same time to do what is right for the child.  He was assured that a  considerable number of checks and balances are in place. The question of post adoption support for families was also raised and it was confirmed that this profile had been raised.


The latest Performance report was tabled and reviewed.



That Wirral Children’s Trust Board endorsed the report.

That Wirral Children’s Trust Board approved a review of the Staying Safe Strategy Group and its respective sub-groups



10:30 Summary Report WSCB and CTB Development Day 6 December 2013 pdf icon PDF 81 KB


The Board received the summary report of the above WSCB and CT development day which had been proposed at the September 2013 meeting of the WSCB.  The event was facilitated by Professor Jan Horwarth and well attended.


It was advised that the activity outcomes and actions from the day were noted and further detailed information on the discussions and activities of the sessions would be available on request.


J. Webster advised the Board of the current re-tendering exercise in respect of the Healthy Child Programme for 0-19 yr olds in Wirral and would welcome ideas on how the voice of the child can be captured within the process.



The Board noted the report and duly considered the activities and outcomes from the day.




10.45 Intensive Family Intervention Project Update pdf icon PDF 52 KB


The Board received the report which stated the up to date position as of December 2012 being:


·  678 families identified as meeting IFIP criteria

·  495 families that have been/currently engaged with

·  204 positive outcomes claimed against the Payment by Results framework


The results indicated Wirral as being one of the best performing authorities in the North West.  This model has been used to develop a wider family support network.


The challenge of getting parents into work would be the focus and IFIP would be working with the Work Bank and Job Centre Plus.  Discussions also covered the possibility of employment through sports activity and encouraging parents to get involved with the community.  Cllr Clements enquired whether there was any knowledge of families who are not engaging and could perhaps be slipping under the radar.  She was advised that the problem of families who were reluctant to engage had been recognised as a concern.  However, a great deal of work has been done with partners and other council areas and a wealth of data has been collected on the families on the programme.


Action: IFIP update to be submitted to a future Board meeting to include case studies.


Resolved: The Board noted the report.