Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Children & Young People Select Committee Minutes

Wednesday, 21st September, 2016
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Carol Clark(Chairman), Cllr Tracey Stott(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Elsi Hampton, Cllr Di Hewitt, Cllr Barbara Inman, Cllr Ross Patterson, Cllr Lauriane Povey, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr Sally Ann Watson
Martin Gray (Assistant Director - Early Help, Partnership & Planning), Julie Nixon (Transformation Team), Dave Willingham (Youth Services Manager), Judith Trainer (Team Leader - Scrutiny), Jenna McDonald (Governance Officer)
In Attendance:
Alastair Simpson (Cleveland Police), Jean Golightly (CCG), Lindsay Robertson (NTHFT)
Item Description Decision
The evacuation procedure was noted.
There were no declarations of interest.
AGREED that the minutes be approved.
AGREED that the progress update be noted.
AGREED that:

1. the information be noted

2. that future work for the review of the SLSCB be noted.
AGREED that the draft final report be presented for consideration at the next meeting of the Committee.
AGREED that the information be noted.
AGREED that the work programme be noted.
The Chair provided no update.


Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 13th July 2016.
The Committee was presented with the Initial Progress Update for phase 2 of School Organisation and Admission Arrangements.

With regard to recommendation 1, it was noted that work had been carried with all schools in order to plan for the increasing pressure on secondary school places. It was heard that a report would be considered by the Council's Cabinet on 6th October 2016 relating to proposed investment in additional places across Stockton.
The Committee received a report which provided an update on evidence gathering for the Scrutiny Review of Stockton Local Safeguarding Children Board (SLSCB).

The following Board Members were in attendance of the meeting and introduced to the Committee as follows:

Lyndsey Robertson:-
- Deputy Director of Nursing, Patient Safety and Quality at North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust
- Board Member of the SLSCB
- Chair of the Joint Training Group between Hartlepool and Stockton

Jean Golightly:-
- Director of Nursing and Quality for Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
- Executive Lead for Safeguarding across Children and Adults
- Member of SLSCB
- Member of Hartlepool LSCB
- Member of Middlesbrough LSCB
- Member of Redcar & Cleveland LSCB
- Chair of Performance Management Framework for the four Tees LSCBs

Alastair Simpson:-
- Head of Vulnerability for Cleveland Police
- Member of SLSCB
- Member of Hartlepool LSCB
- Member of Middlesbrough LSCB
- Member of Redcar & Cleveland LSCB
- Member of the Tees Safeguarding Adults Board.

- Elizabeth Moody - TEWV

Board Members provided comments in relation to the following questions:

How effective are we? Are we doing what we should be?

• The SLSCB was now developing a greater understanding of the context of the data provided

• The low numbers of (CAF) referrals from the health sector has been a recurring issue in previous years. However, due to work carried out by the SLSCB, a greater understanding was achieved around early help and assessment.

• A task and finish group had met to review training needs analysis which was an issue raised by Ofsted

• The Tees Performance Framework included benchmarking regionally and nationally in order to ensure that it performed effectively

• Members noted the importance of the Board feeling assured by the level of input from all partners and agencies and holding them to account.

• There was a strong emphasis on continuous performance and quality improvement

• The Board was increasingly more effective in the way it managed relationships in and outside of Board meetings

• It was noted that it was important to contribute a collective effort in order to ensure that the board continued to perform.

• The Board identified important themes such as ensuring that practitioners heard the voice of the child and did not become distracted by the voice of the adult

• Another area which the board focussed on was professional challenge which included ensuring that staff and practitioners had the confidence and sense of responsibility to speak up when they did not agree with a decision or had concerns and this continued to be an area for development

• Members were informed that disguised compliance was a key issue (ie families sometimes reporting that they had followed plans and made changes, when in fact they had not, and professional being too willing to believe them)

• It was noted that it was each professional’s responsibility to ensure that issues and actions were put in place in their own organisations

• It was noted that many child protection processes and statutory responsibilities were primarily the responsibility of a Local Authority and therefore there would always be a key role and voice for the Council at the LSCB

• Members heard that the key messages brought to the Board were reinforced in other relevant meetings such as the Children and Young People's Health and Wellbeing Partnership.

• In relation to the voice of the child, reports were received on the survey results from LAC and children on child protection plans. In future, reports submitted to the board were required to have a voice of the child section.

Do we work efficiently?

• The board did not have a role in commissioning or providing services, therefore it was important to ensure that the board focused properly on its quality assurance role

• It was noted that often, the same conversations were repeated across boards and groups, for example, The Health and Wellbeing Board, the SLSCB and Community Safety Partnership. There were also some members of the board who were members of all four Tees LSCBs and therefore it was important to ensure that time was spent efficiently keeping repetition of information to a minimum. The Tees Procedures Group, North Tees Training Group, Tees Wide VEMT structure was effective in allowing appropriate work to be carried out across Tees and securing more consistent approached

• Reports to Board meetings were often lengthy and there was often a need for further discussions to ensure the most positive outcomes

• The performance management framework allowed the board to compare performance across Tees

• It was noted that Board members were held to account at all times and were committed to ensuring the best outcomes for children and young people. It was heard that Board members felt confident in having open discussions amongst other members.

• Attendance was monitored and reported back to agencies on a six monthly basis. If a board member from an agency did could not attend a meeting, a substitute from the agency often attended in their place.

What is the added value and what are the outcomes?

• A number of outcomes were arising from the strategic VEMT were identified including the Chelsea's choice presentations, a survey of year 8 and year 10 children, training of 423 professionals across tees in awareness around human trafficking

• The SLSCB fostered joint working and impetus for change

Other issues raised:

With regard to professional challenge, it was asked how health workers, social workers, school nurses etc. were professionally challenged. It was noted that in December 2015, Board Members were asked to come up with cases in order to review the decisions made and identify where lessons could be learned.

Board Members were asked whether there was particular area which they felt would improve the safety of children significantly if tackled. Three Board Members agreed that the one area in their opinion was domestic abuse. One Board Member felt that courage was the area which could have the most impact on the safety of children, it was noted that having the courage to do the right thing had a significant impact on the life of a child.

Members were keen to understand the progress of operation encompass. It was noted that comments from teachers were extremely positive and it was felt that teachers were able to offer more support to families as a result of operation encompass and also had a better understanding of why a child may have been acting a certain way. It was explained that the office of the police and crime commissioner funded operation encompass for only 12 months and it was important that a future for the operation was secured If partners felt that it made a difference and was worthwhile.

Members received an update on the recent Ofsted Inspection. Key points were highlighted as follows:

- The Ofsted findings identified that the SLSCB required improvement.

- The SLSCB had a good understanding of its strengths and weaknesses and met its statutory functions.

- the SLSCB benefited from appropriate multi-agency membership, very good attendance and strong commitment.

- the SLSCB did not have clear mechanisms for analysing, evaluating and collating how partner agencies were ensuring the effectiveness of their practice in respect of some key safeguarding practice.

- A key strength of the SLSCB was the work of the sub groups.

- the board had been instrumental in shaping services for children and young people in Stockton including those for domestic abuse and promoting the safety of children in public settings.

- the Board had been influential in the introduction of the multi-agency children's hub.

- it was felt that the annual report lacked rigour. It was noted that while it included a great deal of information, it was too lengthy and did not include sufficient assessment and analysis of performance and effectiveness.

The SLSCB had considered the Ofsted recommendations at its development day. Members noted that the Board were committed to achieving the recommendations which would be included in the next version of the business plan.
Members received a summary of evidence in respect of the scrutiny review of Youth Services.

Members discussed the key issues for the review and what the new approach should look like.

With regard to consultation, it was noted that the service started consultation work with young people before the summer and discussed work with the youth assembly. A session was held with the youth assembly on what they believed good youth offer should look like.

A questionnaire was being circulated around schools in order to gather thoughts and opinions on the services offered

Discussions had taken place with the voluntary sector and youth services officers worked closely with Catalyst.

In terms of universal provision, it was noted that if some resource was given to the third sector to deliver, Stockton could also contribute some resource in order to achieve outcomes.
Concerns were raised around ASB problems occurring in Preston Park.

It was noted that recent visits to frontline services had taken place and the feedback would be reported to the next committee meeting.
Consideration was given to the Committee Work Programme.

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