Agenda item

Families and Wellbeing Directorate Plan

To receive a joint presentation from Clare Fish, Strategic Director, Families and Wellbeing, Julia Hassall, Director of Children's Services and Graham Hodkinson, Director of Adult Social Servicesin relation to the Directorate Plan.


The Committee considered a joint presentation from Clare Fish, Strategic Director of Families and Wellbeing, Chris Beyga, Head of Delivery, Adult Social Services Department and Julia Hassall, Director of Children’s Services outlining the Families and Wellbeing Directorate Improvement Plan for 2013 -2016 and the improvement journeys of both the Children and Young People and the Adult Social Services Departments detailing the vision for 2016; organising services differently and the priorities for the departments.


In relation to the Improvement Plan, Ms Fish indicated that the Improvement Plan focused on four main themes; managing the money, delivering differently, working together and transforming our business.


The Directorate needed to contribute to the savings needed to provide a balanced budget; work on their approach to commissioning services and letting of contracts, and the effective delivery of internal services such as combined safeguarding for services for children and adults.


Ms Fish indicated that she would be looking at best practice models across the country, integration opportunities to enable services to be pooled making them more effective, and improved working practices with improved IT services would also be considered.


Ms Hassall indicated that following a visit from a peer challenge team in June/July 2012 looking at how the Department provided family support to vulnerable children, the team felt that the Department focused on those young people in the community with lower levels of need more than those with more complex needs, requiring multiagency intervention. Following this Children’s Services developed a new approach to targeting services with a view to reducing the number of children needing more specialist support. This approach incorporated the work with Troubled Families. 


Ms Hassall indicated that new organisational arrangements for delivering Children’s Services were now in place:


  • Universal Services provided core statutory functions in respect of schools as well as co-ordinating partnership arrangements


  • Targeted Services provided a new integrated approach to working with vulnerable families, alongside a new cross phase school school improvement service


  • Specialist Services provided social work support to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable children as well as services for children with special educational need and/or disabilities.


Safeguarding and quality assurance services were being strengthened to become a corporate safeguarding team in future, which would work across the Families and Wellbeing Directorate.


It was reported that the recruitment process was still on-going for the Head of Targeted and Specialist Services posts.


In relation to the educational outcomes for Looked After Children (LAC) in care, in terms of education, Ms Hassall indicated that the outcomes were not as good as they should be, this was being looked at by the Corporate Parenting Group which was a multi-agency group looking at all aspects of LAC in care. Ms Hassall agreed to circulate the Minutes of Corporate Parenting Group to Members.


Ms Hassall indicated that the Troubled Families Programme allocated each family a worker specifically appointed to co-ordinate services tailored to their needs.


In relation to Adult Services, Ms Beyga indicated that the Department would be working alongside Children’s Services to provide an integrated service for disabled children through to adulthood (SEND), the service would responsible for managing the integration process. Members indicated that the transition was a big issue and it was pleased to see that this was being developed.


With regards to day centres, Ms Beyga indicated that services currently available were being redesigned to enable a wider choice to be made available in relation to daytime activities.


In response to concerns raised in relation to personal budgets and domiciliary care, Ms Beyga indicated that these were areas that the Department were currently developing to suit the needs of the individual and that work had been undertaken with home care providers to enhance their services giving people a choice in the care they received. 




 That Officers be thanked for their presentation