Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Kevin Phillips  Email: kevin.phillips@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5145

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Monsignor Rothon.

 

2.

Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

 

 

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were none.

 

Resolved

 

That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies is noted.

 

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2013.

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Minutes:

Resolved

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel (Corporate Parenting) held on 4 November 2013 was agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

5.

The Children in Care Council pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To receive a presentation from the Members of the Children in Care Council.

Minutes:

Five members of the Children in Care Council provided a presentation entitled ‘Our Lives Matter’ to the Panel.

 

In response to a Member question a member of the Children in Care Council stated that in the future they would like to go to university and train to be an Architect; and, in response to the same question another member stated that she would like study psychology and politics before joining the Army.

 

Councillor Dr. Jagir Sekhon commented that it was a very good presentation.

 

In response to a questions from the Chair, Councillor Barry Taylor a member of the Children in Care Council stated that the ‘Not a Suitcase Campaign’ was going well. The Children in Care council had followed up with young people who complete the survey where they had made a complaint. The Service Leader Permanence Leader confirmed that all of the complaints had been followed up.

 

 

Resolved

 

That the presentation ‘Our Lives Matter’ from Members of the Children in Care Council be noted.

 

6.

Looked After Children: Quarter 2 performance pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To note the performance of our services for looked after children and care leavers, set out in the report and the appendices; and, to note the actions taken and planned to improve performance.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Assistant Director introduced and summarised the report.

 

In response to a Member question the Senior Assistant Director stated that the time taken to place a child for adoption following authority to place had increased. He also confirmed that there was a clear reduction in the overall trajectory for this measure.

 

In response to a Member question the Senior Assistant Director confirmed that six of the children who returned home having been looked after, did so as a result of parents ending voluntary arrangements for them to be looked after. There were no grounds for applying to the court to take the children into care at that time.

 

In response to a Member question the Service Leader Permanence stated that updated guidance had been recently issued on what to do when a child goes missing from care. He confirmed that all children missing from care are tracked, strategy meetings coordinate the activity with the police in finding children and senior managers receive weekly reports to assure themselves that action is taken. He also confirmed that children’s services remained in constant contact with the Police regarding any missing children.

 

In response to a Member question the Senior Assistant Director stated that children’s social care work closely with the Police so that placement choice takes account of any risks in relation to where a looked after child is placed. In some cases it can be in the child’s best interests to be placed out of the Borough. He also stated that tackling the pull of gangs was significant challenge for families and professionals working with the children.

 

In response to a Member question the Senior Assistant Director confirmed that the police indicated that they were dealing with fewer missing children who were involved with gangs.

 

 

 

In response to a question from the Chair the Head of Virtual School for Looked After Children/LACE Manager stated that the attendance for ‘Looked After Children’ was closely monitored and followed up action was taken to address school attendance issues.  She also confirmed that there were processes in place to ensure that the current information was up to date with daily monitoring reports being received. She also confirmed that information about children who moved school who were placed out of the borough was monitored by her team. The Senior Assistant Director added that there were arrangements in place to ensure that the level of support for all looked after children was as good for children who moved to schools outside of the Borough as it was for those within Greenwich.

 

The educational progress of all looked after children is monitored whether they are placed in or out of the Borough. She also confirmed that they have monthly review meetings to look at children’s progress.

 

In response to a Member question the Head of Virtual School for Looked After Children/LACE Manager stated that there was funding available from the Mayor of London. She also confirmed that as a Virtual School they could submit a bid which they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Broadwalk Children's Home pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To note the Ofsted inspection of Broadwalk Children’s Home, findings and recommendations, and actions taken to address the recommendations; and note the findings from one Elected Member’s visit and one Regulation 33 visit.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Leader Permanence introduced and summarised the report.

 

Resolved

 

That the report of the Ofsted inspections of Broadwalk Children’s Home, findings and recommendations and actions taken to address the findings, be noted.

 

That the findings from one Elected Member’s visit and one Regulation 33 visit be noted.

 

8.

Children and Young People's Participation Service pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To note the arrangements for the Participation Service commissioned from The Children’s Society; and to note the work of Greenwich Young People’s Council, Children in Care Council and Disabled Children and Young People’s Forum.

 

Minutes:

The Senior Assistant Director introduced and summarised the report.

 

In response to a question from the Chair the Commissioning Manager stated that the £25k in table 1 of 3.3 related to work with disabled children.  She agreed to provide more information on this work.

 

In response to a Member question the Senior Assistant Director stated that the ‘Newsletter’ was published four times a year. It was agreed to provide a copy to the Panel.

 

The Scrutiny Officer reminded the Panel that for their next meeting on 5 February 2014 that there would be parking on site.

 

Resolved

 

That the arrangements for the Participation Service commissioned from ‘The Children’s Society’ be noted.

 

That the work of Greenwich Young People’s Council, Children in Care Council and Disabled Children and Young People’s Forum, be noted.