Agenda and draft minutes

Children & Learning Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Thursday, 17th September, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: VIRTUAL MEETING

Contact: Taiwo Adeoye - 01708 433079  Email: taiwo.adeoye@onesource.co.uk.

Media

Items
No. Item

34.

PROTOCOL ON THE OPERATION OF CHILDREN & LEARNING OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY SUB- COMMITTEE MEETINGS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESTRICTIONS pdf icon PDF 308 KB

Protocol attached – To be noted by the Sub-Committee.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the protocol and NOTED its contents.

35.

DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS

Members are invited to disclose any interests in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting.  Members may still declare an interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

36.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 336 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 13 February 2020 and authorise the Chairman to sign them.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 13 February 2020 were agreed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.

 

37.

PERFORMANCE REPORT UPDATE - QUARTER ONE pdf icon PDF 539 KB

Report and appendix attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee received the quarter one performance indicators (PIs) update. The PIs were the standards by which performance of services are measured within the Council. The update provided an overview of performance against the eight performance indicators selected for monitoring by the Sub-Committee in 2019/20 as the final meeting of the 2019/20 financial year was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

 

The Sub-Committee had not had the opportunity to consider which indicators it wanted to receive during 2020/21.

 

The report outlined that seven of the indicators have been given a Red Amber Green - RAG status; five have a status of Green and two indicators have a Red.

 

The report provided the following highlights and potential areas for improvement:

 

The percentage of 16-18 year olds who were not in education, employment or training (NEET), or not known was recorded at 3.1%, which was lower than this time last year (3.3%). It was stated that Havering’s annual performance of 2.9% for last year was also lower than the national figure of 5.5% and the regional performance of 4.2%.

 

The report detailed that the number of apprentices aged 16-18 recruited in the borough had dropped as at quarter 1 (the academic year up to April 2020) but for the 19+ cohort, performance remained on track to achieve the target of 850 starts. It was clarified that the apprenticeship targets for the year had been reduced in line with national performance for the previous academic year, in light of the challenges presented by Covid-19.

 

The percentage of Initial Child Protection Conferences held within 15 dayshad increased when compared to both the previous quarter and the same point last year. The report explained that the main contributing factor has been the close working between Safeguarding Support Unitand the social work teams to ensure early notification of a conference needing to be convened and reminding social workers and team managers of the purpose of initial and review strategy meetings in line with London Child Protection procedures. It was stated that remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic and the use of virtual conferences had also had the benefit of increasing the availability of Child Protection Conference Chairs, which also contributed to the improved performance.

 

The report informed the Sub-Committee that the number of new in-house foster carers successfully approved amounted to four between April and June 2020 and a further 3 to 4 approvals were expected within the next quarter. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic there was a higher volume of enquiries from people who were at home but many of these were discounted by the service or discounted themselves.

 

It was noted that there had been a lack of marketing options and visibility in the community due to Covid-19 however there have been an on-going presence on Facebook and Instagram and a local radio campaign in August 2020.

 

The percentage of care leavers (aged 19-21) in education, employment or training at the end of Quarter 1 was above target  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

ADOPT LONDON EAST - ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 354 KB

Report and appendices attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee received the annual report for Adopt London East. The report provided a summary of the development and functions of the agency including performance information for 2019/20. Appended to the report was the Havering specific performance information.

 

The report outlined that all adoption agencies are required to provide an annual report to their governing bodies and to elected Members in all partnership Local Authorities.

 

The Sub-Committee was informed that the service went live in October 2019 and the report therefore focussed on performance in quarter 3 and 4 of 2019/20 and on adoption performance in Havering throughout 2019/20 based on the Adoption and Special Guardian Leadership Board (ASGLB) data returns. 

 

The report informed the Sub-Committee that statistical returns measured long-term trends but Adopt London East in-house statistical records provided clear evidence of early improvements in performance and activity since go-live.

 

It was stated that the transition from four Local Authority teams to one integrated service had its complexity and challenges had been encountered in respect of pre-transition performance, service staffing, casefile information transition and demand for adoption support services. It was noted that there had been substantial progress made in all areas.

 

The Sub-Committee was informed that only one team manager had joined Adopt London East and the service had been able to recruit three further team managers from within the service. The service currently had 15 permanent staff in place and 3 interim social workers.

 

The quarterly Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board report for all Local Authorities have been analysed to provide a service baseline. It indicated that performance hade declined in all Local Authorities in the 6 months prior to the Adopt London East go-live. The decline in performance was linked to a number of factors including adoption service staff leaving, higher levels of sickness absence, caseload transitions and a delay in operational go-live.

 

The sub-committee noted that adoption performance was measured over one and three year cycles and improvements therefore took time to be fully captured in the data returns. Early indicators were however monitored closely within the service.

 

It was stated that performance in respect of child matches had improved considerably. Adopter approvals were predicted to decline further in Q3 and Q4 due to the decline in numbers of adopters in early stages of approval. Early stage applications had though increased from month to month and improvements were predicted for 2020/21.

 

The Sub-Committee noted that demand for adoption support services had increased considerably as had the number of children requiring a placement. In the last reporting year, a total of 57 children were placed. It was likely that less children would be placed this year due to the slowdown in quarters one and two but a total of 167 children were currently receiving a family finding service.

 

The demand for adoption support had shown an increase along with improved support for families which would improve outcomes for adopted children and families.

 

The report outlined that any savings made from an increase in the number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

PRESENTATION ON THE INITIAL RESPONSE OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES TO COVID-19

Presentation to be followed by a request to form a Topic Group.