Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 7th March 2019
Title of Item/Report
Children's Services Progress Update: 2018/19 - Quarter 3 (October - December 2018)
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that provided a summary of performance across Children's Services for Quarter 3. It was based on the Children's Strategy priorities agreed by Cabinet in June 2017.

The report summarises performance information in relation to the Children's Services Strategy 2017-20. The strategy, agreed by Cabinet in June 2017, set out the key priorities for Children's Services and the key performance indicators associated with delivery.

The update report was in three parts:

a. Update on 2018/19 priorities.
b. Update on other actions and progress against the wider strategy.
c. A summary of key points.

With regard to giving children the best start in life there were a number of other outcomes and updates to report on:

a. Take up of the existing free entitlement to 15 hours of education remained at 100%.
b. The take up of the free offer for disadvantaged 2 year olds was at 94% - a continued and sustained improvement from 2016 when this rate was around 47%.

With regard to safeguarding and protecting vulnerable children and young people, backed by outstanding social work practice the overall summary position was therefore that:

a. The Council continued to maintain high performance around timeliness and efficiency of processes;
b. There was evidence that referrals were increasingly appropriate and that overall contacts, referrals and assessments rates were reducing slightly.
c. The Council had made significant progress in reducing the number of children classed as being ‘in need'.

With regard to a consistent and relentless focus on better outcomes for children in our care and care leavers, in summary:

a. The Council rate of children in care remained high, and continued to be a significant area of focus.
b. The Council remained efficient in terms of timeliness.
c. Despite the high rate of children in care, the Council remained high performing around placement stability.
d. There were improvements in performance around adoption.


1. Significant progress in reducing the number of children classed as being ‘in need' be noted.

2. The current position in relation to the numbers of children in care be noted.

3. The continued high performance around meeting statutory deadlines and timescales be noted.
Reasons for the Decision
To ensure that Members are aware of progress and issues in the delivery of the Children's Services Strategy 2017-20.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 15 March 2019

Date of Publication: 11 March 2019

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