Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Hounslow Youth Centre, Kingsley Road, Hounslow, TW3 1QA

Contact: Irene Bowles on 0208 583 2075 or Email: irene.bowles@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

11.

Apologies for Absence

Decision:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Samia Chaudhary and Alan Adams (Executive Director - Children's and Adults / Deputy Chief Executive).

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Samia Chaudhary and Alan Adams (Executive Director - Children's and Adults / Deputy Chief Executive).

12.

Introductions

Decision:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.

13.

Minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2016 and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record and signed by the Chair.

 

There were no matters arising.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record and signed by the Chair.

 

There were no matters arising.

14.

Minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2016 and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record, with the following amendments, and were signed by the Chair:

 

a)    Attendance – Steve Hutchison (Interim Head of Safeguarding and Quality Assurance) should read: Steve Hutchinson (Senior Youth Worker)

 

b)   Actions assigned to Steve Hutchinson – there were actions within the minutes that had been assigned incorrectly to Steve Hutchinson; unfortunately, no one present was able to confirm the correct person.

 

 

Matters Arising:

Item 5 – Children’s Services complaints Annual Report 2015/16

Councillor Bruce had asked for a breakdown of complaints, as some would have resulted from poor policies.  Ms Fitz-Patrick advised that this had not yet been provided, as she had not been able to meet with the Complaints Officer and Councillor Todd.  Ms Fitz-Patrick agreed to take this action forward.

 

Item 10(b) – Corporate Parent Training for all Councillors

Members were advised that this training was in the Members Training Schedule, and would take place on 30 November 2016.  All Members would be invited to the session.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record, with the following amendments, and were signed by the Chair:

 

a)    Attendance – Steve Hutchison (Interim Head of Safeguarding and Quality Assurance) should read: Steve Hutchinson (Senior Youth Worker)

 

b)   Actions assigned to Steve Hutchinson – there were actions within the minutes that had been assigned incorrectly to Steve Hutchinson; unfortunately, no one present was able to confirm the identify of the correct person.

 

 

Matters Arising:

Item 5 – Children’s Services complaints Annual Report 2015/16

Councillor Bruce had asked for a breakdown of complaints, as some would have resulted from poor policies.  Ms Fitz-Patrick advised that this had not yet been provided, as she had not been able to meet with the Complaints Officer and Councillor Todd.  Ms Fitz-Patrick agreed to take this action forward.

 

Item 10(b) – Corporate Parent Training for all Councillors

Members were advised that this training was in the Members Training Schedule, and would take place on 30 November 2016.  All Members would be invited to the session.

15.

Items from Young People

Decision:

Results from the Participation Service Annual Survey for 10 to 17 year olds (May 2016) were circulated (attached as a Supplementary Report to the meeting papers).  Managers would meet to reflect on the results and address highlighted issues in the near future.

 

Members were advised that one young person, A, (present at the meeting) was working on a documentary for young people leaving care and the transition process.  She was currently on a Gap Year and would be volunteering with ICS in Zimbabwe for 10 weeks in February 2017, for which she needed to fundraise at least £800.  Members agreed that this should be advertised in the Newsletter to Councillors, to encourage them to contribute.  Ms Fitz-Patrick agreed to coordinate this.

 

Councillor Lynch congratulated A on her A-level results. A confirmed that she would take up a place at Regent’s University, London following her gap year, to study Drama and Psychology. 

Minutes:

Chloe Sullivan informed members of activities undertaken over the Summer.  These had included fun activities as well as practical skills workshops.  There would be music workshops for KS1 and KS2 children during the October half term.  Respect training was fully booked with a waiting list for February 2017.  A number of young people had participated in the National Citizenship scheme in the summer.

 

Results from the Participation Service Annual Survey for 10 to 17 year olds (May 2016) were circulated (attached as a Supplementary Report to the meeting papers).  Managers would meet to reflect on the results and address highlighted issues in the near future.

 

Members were advised that one young person, A, (present at the meeting) was working on a documentary for young people leaving care and the transition process.  She was currently on a Gap Year and would be volunteering with ICS in Zimbabwe for 10 weeks in February 2017, for which she needed to fundraise at least £800.  Members agreed that this should be advertised in the Newsletter to Councillors, to encourage them to contribute.  Ms Fitz-Patrick agreed to coordinate this.

 

Councillor Lynch congratulated A on her A-level results. A confirmed that she would take up a place at Regent’s University, London following her gap year, to study Drama and Psychology. 

16.

Funding for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Bob Spencer, Head of Placements and Looked After Resources.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Councillor Todd advised that Ealing Council are have successfully applied for a specific grant of £135K in respect of dealing with unaccompanied migrant children from the Calais camp.  Bob Spencer was unsure of the nature of this grant, but confirmed that he would apply for any possible grant funding.

Minutes:

Bob Spencer led members through his report (attached at item 6 of the Agenda pack).  He informed Members that the latest Immigration Bill included the support for unaccompanied children already in Europe; some of these would come from camps in Calais – which were due to close on 17 October 2016.

 

Bob Spencer advised Members that most unaccompanied children already in Hounslow were aged 16 or 17; there were only around 5 who were under 16.  If more younger children were accepted by Hounslow, the Council would be under pressure to find enough Foster Carers, and might need to use private agencies to meet the demand.

 

Councillor Todd advised that Ealing Council are have successfully applied for a specific grant of £135K in respect of dealing with unaccompanied migrant children from the Calais camp.  Bob Spencer was unsure of the nature of this grant, but confirmed that he would apply for any possible grant funding.

17.

Looked After Children Health Report pdf icon PDF 419 KB

Vicky Fraser, Specialist Nurse for Children in Care.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Jacqui McShannon agreed to provide a report on the predominant health needs of young people in care at a future meeting.

Minutes:

Vicky Fraser led members through her report (attached to item 7 of the Agenda pack).

 

Jacqui McShannon agreed to provide a report on the predominant health needs of young people in care at a future meeting.

18.

Independent Reviewing Officer Annual Report pdf icon PDF 454 KB

Melissa Goodman, IRO Team Manager.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Melissa Goodman led members through her report (attached at item 8 of the Agenda pack).  The Chair asked if IROs could work remotely, as part of the WorkSmart programme.  Melissa Goodman confirmed that this was the case, including the dedicated duty work and care reviews.

 

Councillor Todd pointed to point 3.14 of the report: “there were too many cases where there was no reference to the MASE Panel”, and asked if this was a serious flaw.  Melissa Goodman confirmed that it was, but advised that this had improved since the report had been written, and was being monitored closely.

 

Melissa Goodman also confirmed that all out-of-borough Looked After Children had reviews at home every six months; if they were in a really stable placement, every other review could be carried out over the phone.

 

Jacqui McShannon advised members that the service was now more structured and systematic, and there had been significant progress in Quality Assurance.

 

(Councillor Todd left at 6.30pm)

19.

Children's Social Care Inspection Arrangements pdf icon PDF 343 KB

Elaine Peers, Planning and Performance Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Elaine Peers presented her report (attached at item 9 of the Agenda pack).  The Chair noted that the new Inspection Framework would take effect from January 2018, and it was likely that Hounslow would be inspected early in the next cycle.  He confirmed that the Council was working with other Agencies to ensure readiness and effectiveness.  Jacqui McShannon confirmed that Corporate Parenting in Hounslow was in better shape than eighteen months ago, and acknowledged the team work and leadership, including joint working with Health and virtual schools.

20.

Looked After Children Performance Report pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Anne FitzPatrick, Interim Head of Corporate Parenting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Anne Fitz-Patrick led members through her report (attached at item 10 of the Agenda pack).  Members were advised that medicals for Looked After Children aged 16 and over were optional – if the young person did not want to have a medical, they could sign a form to confirm that they had made an informed choice not to go ahead.

 

The Chair was pleased that more Care Leavers were being placed in suitable accommodation with only around 9 young people in B&B.

21.

Westbrook Ofsted Inspection Report pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Presented by Anne FitzPatrick. To note.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jacqui McShannon presented the report (attached at item 11 of the Agenda pack) on behalf of Michael Marks.  The report was very positive, stating that the children’s home provides effective services that meet the requirements for “good”.  The only concern raised was the impact and effectiveness of leaders and managers, although there was high praise for the Interim Manager.  The Council was pleased with the report.

22.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

There were no items of other business.

 

It was agreed that the Adoption Panel Report would be an Agenda item at that meeting.

 

Members noted that it would be Anne Fitz-Patrick’s last meeting, and recorded their thanks for her hard work.

23.

Date of next meeting and venue

Decision:

The next meeting is scheduled for 5 December 2016 and will take place at The Spot - 78 St John’s Road, Isleworth TW7 6RU.

Minutes:

The next meeting is scheduled for 5 December 2016 and will take place at The Spot - 78 St John’s Road, Isleworth TW7 6RU.