Children & Young People Select Committee Minutes

Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017
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 Di Hewitt, Cllr Barbara Inman, Cllr Lauriane Povey, Cllr Paul Rowling (Sub Cllr Tracey Stott), Cllr Sally Ann Watson
Dave Pickard (Independent Chair - SLSCB), Dave Willingham (Youth Services Manager), Martin Gray (Director - Children's Services), Judith Trainer, Jenna McDonald (Democratic Services)
In Attendance:
Gill Wild
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Tracey Stott, Mr Phil Rigby, Cllr Ross Patterson, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley
Item Description Decision
The evacuation procedure was noted.
There were no declarations of interest.
AGREED that the information be noted.
AGREED that the work programme be noted.


Members were provided with a presentation on the Stockton Local Safeguarding Children Board.

Key points were highlighted as follows:

- Members asked the Independent Chair of the SLSCB his feelings towards the Board being on the path to where it needed to be. In response, it was noted that the Board was 70-80% where it needed to be however the Chair would like to embed the executive structure in order to ensure that it coordinated with the board as opposed to disempowering it. It was noted that despite the local authority having a significant presence on the Board, there was a high level of contribution from other partners. Members heard that there was a gap in mental health and therefore, whilst the Chair was optimistic of the progress of the Board, there remained areas for improvement.

- With regard to mental health, it was asked where the money would come from to work towards tackling the issues if a budget was not already in place. In response, it was explained that whilst organisations such as the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust were linked directly with mental health, a high level of early help came from third sector organisations such as Mind. It was highlighted that mental health was an on going challenge.

- Members asked how effective the training of the Board was. The Chair explained that the Boards role in relation to training was to bring together agencies to add value by introducing multi agency training. It was noted that it was important that the training was used to break down barriers and to encourage the sharing of good practice. Members heard that training in the future would focus on achieving and tackling priorities.
The Director of Children's Services added that partners were contacted following meetings and training sessions to follow up on what they had achieved since the session.

- With regard to the Wood Review and the Children and Social Work Bill, It was noted that local authority expected Royal assent by Easter 2017. This included the abolishment of LSCBs which was recommended in the Wood Review. Members heard that the executive group would take forward the lead on the different ways in which safeguarding could be streamlined and delivered differently.

- It was explained that it was difficult to predict when new arrangements would be implemented however, the local authority were working towards a timescale of April 2019.

- A governance review of the board was established which was led by the vice chair of the SLSCB.

- It was noted that at the SLSCBs Development day in 2016, it was agreed that an executive would be set up to streamline discussions and to ensure that the right people were around the table.

- It was highlighted that coordination, challenge and change were embedded into all work carried out by the SLSCB including agendas, meetings and feedback to partners.

- With regard to a more active role in discussions, it was noted that changes had been made to the way that meetings were held.

- Members heard that a simple checklist was available at SLSCB meetings which focussed on gathering feedback and the process of engaging members at meetings.

- It was noted that the local authority had responded to the officer recommendations which was included in the governance review.

- Members asked if LSCBs were abolished, would they be replaced by something statutory. In response, it was noted that the original recommendation from Wood was that LSCBs should be replaced by a body representing three key partners including the local authority, health and the police which would be written up in guidance and regulation. It was explained that the original recommendation was not specific in relation to the areas it would cover. The Committee heard that health referred in this case, to the Clinical Commissioning Group.

- It was asked whether the replacement body for SLCBs would be inspected by Ofsted. In response, it was noted that this was not clear however, the body would require a kind of inspection criteria.

- Members agreed that board members playing an active role in discussions was important.

- The Committee commended the SLSCB for the innovative way in which it managed meetings, framework and Governance. It was asked whether this way of working could be rolled out further.
Consideration was given to the work programme 2016/17.

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