Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Committee Room 3 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Janice Monty Children and Young People's Department
Apologies and Declarations of Interest (I)
No apologies were given at the meeting but late apologies were received from Kathryn Podmore and Ian Hassall who were both unable to attend due to urgent matters arising.
There were no declarations of interest.
· Page 1,
3.0 – Matters Arising
Item 5. Gateway has been replaced.
· Page 3
Use of independent fostering agencies; to be brought back to later meeting as an agenda item as the Children’s Joint Commissioning Group still doing work on this.
· Page 5
Community School Hubs: £25,000 further funding has been identified to sustain the two hubs during 2016/7. Progress to be discussed at future meeting, particularly how this work can be integrated into a mainstream strategy.
It was resolved that the minutes were taken as accurate
1. Julia Hassall to circulate new referral arrangements for MASH
Performance Report (I)
Julia Hassall – Report to be tabled
Julia Hassall commented on the draft Q4 Performance Report. The document has not been published, as the commentary is yet to be finalised.
CS001: Rate of referral. There is a new MASH referral system, and this, along with leadership from a permanent manager in post is understood to be supporting greater stability and the safe reduction in the number of referrals. Workshops have taken place during March and April with partners to ensure there is better understanding of criteria about when to make a safeguarding referral and when for example, children and families may benefit from early help and preventative support and services. In response to Jane Owens’ question about staffing numbers Julia Hassall confirmed that staffing has been increased, currently by secondments but that plans are being progressed to make these posts permanent. Cllr Tony Smith asked how Wirral compares nationally. Julia Hassall said that Wirral has a higher referral rate, and there needs to be much greater partnership understanding about when to refer children, but that this is starting to improve.
CS008: Rates of Looked After Children. The numbers of children in care in Wirral continue to remain high. Wirral still has children looked after for longer periods of time than in other areas; there is a focus on much smarter planning, for children to achieve better outcomes.
CS014: Family Intervention Service engagement with families. There has been review of the Family Intervention Service, and the changes are now in place. This indicator should cease to be red in 2016/17.
CS016: Family Intervention Service positive outcomes with families. Government funding is drawn down based on results. This indicator has been affected by recruitment issues. Wirral will meet the target of 400 families achieving positive outcomes and will be able to draw down the funding.
CS018: % of families with under 5 living in 20% most deprived SOA’s that are registered with Children’s Centre. There has been a slight dip in performance. The three children’s centre hubs and satellites are now in place. Staff members have been recruited and have been in post since 1st April 2016. Carol Fenlon, the new head of Early Years, is now in post. Now that the new service is in place improvements in sustained contact with the most vulnerable children should start to be made.
CS020 & CS021: Take up of 2 year old offer by eligible families & Take up of Children’s Centre services for CLA, CIN, and those subject to CPP. Both have been impacted by the service review, but will improve moving forward.
EDU002: Gap between lowest achieving children and their peers in Foundation Stage. If you look at the free school meals group Wirral is second best LA in the region but if look at this group then Wirral is not doing so well. Closing this gap is part of the new Children’s Strategy.
EDU006: Gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and their peers at Key Stage 2. This figure is wider ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Engagement Officer, Natalie Johnson gave an update on her role.
· The Linked Up Network would like to develop branding to help promote itself as a portal for information for all third sector organisations.
· Develop working relations with more Boards within the Local Authority.
· Working with The Hive.
· Look at the need for a Volunteering Hub for young people.
Natalie also updated on the Local Offer and engaging with young people’s groups in relation to the Local Offer.
In response to a question from Cllr Tony Smith, Natalie said that they do use data from Wirral’s Youth Parliament and are also looking at how to capture data from all third sector groups.
Fiona Pender asked how services for young people can link with The Hive as CAMHS could do some work such as wellbeing groups, mindfulness etc. Steve Chan or Deborah Gornik would be the starting point and Natalie agreed to also pass on contact details for Onside staff working with The Hive.
Julia Hassall stressed the importance of working with the third sector in moving forward and that this is a good time to improve the flow of information and joint working in local communities with children and families who may have a whole range of differing needs. There is currently a review of the different boards and planning groups, and we are working to develop a much simpler sets of partnership arrangements over the next six months.
Cllr Tony Smith and Julia Hassall both suggested that signposting national fact sheets on the Local Offer in information and support would be of benefit to families.
It was resolved that the Board Noted the Report and the recommendations.
Bernard Walker presented the update Report on Safeguarding Arrangements
Points highlighted were:
· The work of The Last Minute Theatre was recommended.
· Early Help is very important
· High standards and challenge are maintained by the WSCB
· CSE Awareness Day. A CSE Co-ordinator is being appointed.
· WSCB website is now up and running – more information is to be uploaded.
· Audits – The Boards is trying to simplify these and ensure that information included in previous years will be there for the next year.
· Case reviews: The government safeguarding report findings are not yet known but are awaited.
Phil Sheridan said that it is hoped to roll out the Last Minute Theatre performances to schools but it depends on costs.
Fiona Pender asked if the Child Self-Harm working group (formerly part of Vision 2018) could approach WSCB about their work and raise the profile of the new work being undertaken at a future board meeting. It was agreed that they could.
Cllr Tony Smith asked if, as school inspections focus on safeguarding, schools have easy contact to WSCB and was assured that they do. Also there is ongoing training for governors. The new website will help schools get the information and to find out what support is available to schools.
It was resolved that the Board note the report
(i) Strategy Update: Ambition to Action
Julia Hassall (I)
(ii) Developing the Role of the Children’s Joint Commissioning Group and Wirral Children’s Trust Board
Julia Hassall/Kerry Crichlow (I/D)
Julia Hassall gave an update on Wirral’s Strategy for Children, Young People and Families.
“And Families” was added as an important change to the strategy title and focus.
P8 of the strategy document is a new section setting out what kind of life we would want more children in Wirral to lead.
Each section of the strategy covers
It was resolved that the Board note the report:
and that members of the Board’s agencies will be involved in implementing the plans. It is important to secure their agencies membership at work stream meetings to progress with plans, to improve outcomes.
DEVELOPING THE ROLE OF CHILDREN’S JOINT COMMISSIONING GROUP; AND WIRRAL CHILDREN’S TRUST BOARD.
Kerry Crichlow presented a report relating to the future role and functioning of the Children’s Trust Board.
The report presented three recommendations:
It was resolved that the Board accepted the report and the recommendations and so further resolved that:
Supporting and challenging families to raise their children safely and successfully, a whole system response.
This was introduced by Kerry Crichlow who set the scene as this is part of the Children’s Strategy ambition for all families to be able raise their children safely and successfully.
John Skinner and Kerry Crichlow introduced the Edge of Care Strategy Document. There was a discussion about the amount of time Social Care Staff have to spend on administrative tasks and Medwyn Jones suggested this could be improved with better technology, and better use of improved technology. John Skinner added that in some Local Authorities they have addressed this by investing heavily in staff numbers to reduce case-loads. Wirral is still spending more on late prevention rather than reaching more children and families through early intervention.
John Skinner highlighted that care does not provide better outcomes for children and financially it is also very costly. Much of the review of the Edge of Care Strategy is revisiting work that has been done previously, but needs pulling together into a more coherent framework.
John Skinner raised the following points:
· Profiling the CLA Population – more information is needed about why children and young people are in care.
· Early Help and Intervention Activity. What is going on?
· Child Protection plans are for the most vulnerable children. Partnerships could improve how CP plans are managed. In Wirral many of the children and young people with these plans subsequently become looked after.
· Some work is being done on Signs of Safety, Strengthening Families and Family Solutions
· More Integrated Youth Support for the most disenfranchised and vulnerable young people is needed.
· Some work is being done around transitions into adulthood and mental health issues but a more systematic approach is needed to these areas of work.
· Systemic family work needs to be done in order to build resilience amongst children and their families.
· We can only succeed if we work together with collective responsibility.
Fiona Pender said that parental mental health is an important factor in families lives where children are on the edge of care, and currently nobody represents that at this board. It was agreed that we still need better joined up working between adult’s and children’s services.
Cllr Tony Smith raised that there was the good partnership work being done with troubled families (family intervention service) and that this should serve as the model for other areas of work within Wirral.
John Skinner said that Wirral needs to look at appropriate representation on the edge of care strategy group to support more children and young people to remain in their families. Julia Hassall agreed that this should be treated as a priority piece of work and that a group will be set up in the next few weeks. John Skinner suggested that we could start by piloting work with partners of a co-located basis. The Improving Life Chances strategy is prioritising two communities to make a difference – it would be good to combine this with a pilot for early help and prevention, particularly regarding children on the edge of care, ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Any Other Business
There was no other business and the meeting closed at 12 noon.