Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Joti Patel - 020 8583 3356 or email:  joti.patel@hounslow.gov.uk  Email: joti.patel@hounslow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

21.

Welcome & Introductions

Minutes:

 

The Chair welcome the Scrutiny Panel and Officers to the meeting. The Scrutiny Panel introduced themselves. Officers at the meeting were:

 

·       Mary Harpley (MH), Chief Executive

·       Hannah Miller (HM) Independent Chair of Hounslow Children’s Safeguarding Board

·       Jacqui McShannon (JMcS) Director - Children's Safeguarding and Specialist Services, CAS

·       Moksuda Uddin (MU) Head of Corporate Parenting, Children's Safeguarding & Specialist Services, CAS

·       Anne Fitz-Patrick (AFP) Improvement Partner to the Director, CAS

·       Sean Hayes (SH) Interim Head of Children's Services Performance and Data, CAS

 

22.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were noted for Cllr Jagdish Sharma, Cllr Peter Carey, Cllr Tom Bruce, Cllr John Chatt, Jacqui Corley, Tofunmi Omisore and Robert Was.

 

There were no declarations of interest to note.

 

 

23.

Minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2016 pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as an accurate record.

 

24.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Cllr Mitchell noted that the DfE is consulting on the Schools National Funding Formula and asked whether we should issue a joint statement.

 

Cllr Collins commented on The Bridge PRU Response circulated after the December 2016 meeting. He highlight that in order to avoid the same mistakes being made again, the Panel should follow-up on this item. Cllr Bath noted that providing services and facilities for vulnerable children is often more costly. The Chair suggested a follow-up conversation with Cllr Collins to decide on the next steps.

 

Action: Chair and Cllr MC to discuss next steps.

 

Cllr Green asked for feedback on the Good Shepherd Project as the Youth Services Team had indicated they would provide further detail.

 

Action: Further feedback on the Good Shepherd Project required.

 

25.

Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report pdf icon PDF 353 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced this item, noting that on 2 September 2015, the Hounslow Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) Independent Chair presented the 2014/15 Annual Report of the LSCB to the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel. The Panel was interested at considering actions aimed at addressing Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Female Genital Mutilation and the governance arrangements for the Board.

 

Since that time, there is a new Independent Chair, Hannah Miller. Ms Hannah Milller (HM) was invited to provide a verbal overview of the latest annual report and answer any questions on the report business plan and CSE supplementary material.

 

Ms Miller started by noting that this report is nearly a year old and indicated that this would not happen in the future. This is a report produced by the previous chair. The changeover of chairs in October 2016 further compounded the delay. She also apologised that the report was long and unwieldly. She noted it has been tabled at the Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

HM explained the role of the LSCB in holding agencies accountable for safeguarding children and noted that it is the role of chair is to facilitate this without favour to any agency. The independent chair reports to Chief Executive. At one stage each Council and agencies had had their own policies around safeguarding but now there are Pan Borough procedures.

 

She noted that Board includes the key leaders of members but the subgroups are where the work is done. The LBH was keen to have adult and children’s board chaired by the same person as it helps to ensure consistency, facilitate coordination ( for example with issues around the transition between child and adult services) as well as deal with the ‘toxic trio’ (domestic abuse, mental ill-health and substance misuse) in families and the interconnections where there are parental issues. One of her key focusses is to build up linkages with the Community Safety Partnership especially around modern slavery and oversight by both boards.

 

One of the LSCB key roles is to assure that the processes are as robust as possible and hence they commission single agency audits. They are moving towards a multiagency approach with auditing and reporting to all members. She noted that the Board has just completed an audit of safeguarding across agencies. Agencies were asked to report on key challenges and achievements to each other. This is different to previous audits and facilitates for interagency understanding and discussion.  This will inform the rewrite of the Business Plan. She noted that the Board is due another Ofsted inspection.

 

HM spoke of some of the work of the LSCB. She noted the CSE subgroup established by the previous chair has been combined with Missing Children group. There is also combined work with the Adult Board through Joint Seminars with Adult and Child Services (topics include modern slavery, chaotic lives and domestic violence, FGM and Honour Crime). The board has also been working closely with the VCSE sector and looking at ‘hidden communities’.

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Outcomes for Looked After Children and Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the Corporate Parenting team. JMcS introduced her team and the PowerPoint presentation (attached to minutes and agenda)

 

Sean Hays (SH) started the presentation and noted that the numbers of LAC is reducing and gave an overview of age profile, disabilities, ethnicity, legal status, and unoccupied asylum seeker children. He also outlined the care leavers’ profile, in terms of age, gender and ethnicity. He showed that 70% of care leavers are in suitable accommodation. However there are high levels of care leavers in the NEETS category and this is an area of focus and work. He also looked at health outcomes, stability of placements, and placement out of borough and education outcomes.

 

Moksuda Uddin (MU) noted she has reviewed the Ofsted report from 2014 and believes the service has made huge progress especially with regards to children leaving care, sharpening the service’s practice, greater focus on outcomes as well as developing specialist skills for working with Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers which faces a lot of external scrutiny. She emphasized the ‘Team around the Children’ approach. Several changes to the service were highlighted. She also celebrated the work to enable participation of children and noted it is at the heart of corporate parenting. MU identified the following areas for development for the service:

·       Improve Hounslow’s NEET by getting more young people into education, employment and training;

·       Improve the range of housing provision for care leavers through more timely and appropriate allocation;

·       To continuously meet the needs of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC)

o   Develop the Corporate Parenting ‘Offer’ to include information on various aspects of their care such as: pocket money and travel allowances, sleepovers, the roles of the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO), personal advisor, social worker and foster carer

·       Refresh the Corporate Parenting strategy document 2017-2020

·       Work to improve the timeliness of LAC reviews

 

The Chair thanked the team and questioned why the number of adoptions were decreasing and why we are struggle to place children in the borough.

 

JMcS noted that nationally adoption numbers are decreasing as the courts are suggesting different orders. Cllr Lynch confirmed this from his experience and indicated he believes that the officers’ effort is still there.

 

JMcS noted they do their best to recruit local foster parents but compete with 'independent fostering agencies. She noted some children require specialist residential care. Furthermore some young people are at risk in the borough and may need to be cared for outside the borough boundaries. In all cases we still remain the corporate parents.

 

Cllr Green raised concerns about the budgets related to placing children out of borough and how we retain our social workers.

 

JMcS noted that the number of children placed out of borough has reduced over the last few years. There are 120 foster placements in house and the team nurtures these foster carers. However they struggle to recruit foster carers and compete with private companies in this regard.

 

JMcS noted there is generally high levels of staff satisfaction as indicated in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Task & Finish Group Final Report pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The chair reminded the panel that they have heard three presentations from the Task and Finish Group established to look at children’s physical activity. In this meeting, the Panel is asked to consider the final set of Findings and Recommendations.

 

Taru Jaroszynski gave a short verbal summary of the report and explained the processes in getting to the final recommendations and reports.

 

Cllr Collins spoke about Super Active School event and spoke about encouragement and incentives for physical activity

 

Cllr Atterton asked about roles and responsibilities for the championing work. TJ said Cabinet would be asked to lead on this.

 

Cllr Bath supported the recommendation that activities or grounds that are in schools and accessible to the population and options for the secondary.  We could do a lot more.

LG, AM and SM spoke more about the good practice in schools

 

RESOLVED: - The panel agreed to delegate responsibility to the Chair of the Panel to finalise the report in consultation with the Task and Finish group and the relevant Lead Members; and refer the findings and recommendations to Cabinet with a request for a response within 6 weeks.  

 

28.

Work Programme 2016-2017 - Updates or Revisions pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

The Chair reminded the panel of the proposed topics for next meeting:

·       Outcomes of the Anna Freud review of CAMHS Transformation

·       Youth Service Review

·       Review of 2016/17 Work Programme

 

Cllr Collins noted that the next meeting is 19 April but the proposals are going to Cabinet on the 18 April 2017 and proposed that this should be rethought as it’s an important issue that deserves further scrutiny attention.

 

ACTION: TJ to work with Youth Services and MH to find date before Cabinet to consider the Youth Service Review consultation

 

29.

Urgent Business

Any business which the Chair agrees to accept on grounds of urgency.

Minutes:

None

30.

Date of Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting is scheduled for 19th April 2017

Minutes:

Date of next meeting: 19 April 2017 and Youth Review