Meeting documents

Social Services Scrutiny Committee
Friday, 16th June, 2017 10.30 am

Date: Friday 16th June 2017 Time: 10.30 a.m. Place: Executive Room, Civic Centre

Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

PresentAndReport toReport of
COUNCILLOR S. THOMAS (CHAIR)
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA GYMRAEG/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Agenda Coversheet (290K/bytes)
Noted
2. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

It was noted that there were no requests received for the simultaneous translation service.

Noted
3. APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from:-

Councillors K. Hayden and J. Mason - Executive Member for Social Services.

Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
5. SOCIAL SERVICES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE.
Cofnodion (110K/bytes)
Minutes (170K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Minutes of the Social Services Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 13th March, 2016.

RESOLVED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
6. ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES- QUARTER 4 2016/17
Report (127K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (3M/bytes)
Appendix 3 (165K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Interim Service Manager for Commissioning & Safeguarding.

The Corporate Director spoke to the report and outlined the key points contained therein which related to the Quarter 4 Annual Report and the Social Services and Well Being Act 2014.

The Committee was advised of the following amendment on Page 17 of the Annual Report, namely that the first sentence under 'Priority Title' should have read - 'All teams to contribute to the safe reduction in the numbers of looked after children'.


Reference was made to the implementation of the Information, Advice and Assistance Service, and Members were asked to direct their constituents through this service for any information/advice, and confirmed that the contact telephone number was 01495 315700.

The Head of Children's Services gave details of the priority areas within Children's Services and concluded by expressing her appreciation to those Members who had expressed an interest to be involved in the Corporate Parenting Board.

Looked After Children

A Member posed the following questions:-

Were Blaenau Gwent's looked after children all being accommodated in Wales or were facilities also provided outside of the area?

If accommodation was provided both locally and nationally what was the differential in cost?

The Head of Children's Services explained that it was a combination of both and pointed out that three years previously Blaenau Gwent had not owned any accommodation or commissioned any children's homes locally, however this position had since changed and the Authority was now fortunate to have two homes based within Blaenau Gwent it can commission places from.

With regard to the cost element, the Officer explained that costs differed whether the child was placed locally or nationally as the costs were based on the needs of the child.

The officer reported that a strategy had been developed to safely reduce the numbers of looked after children and will be presented to this Committee at the meeting in July.

Percentage of Approved Foster Carers that have up to date Annual Reviews

In reply to a question raised regarding outstanding annual reviews, the Head of Children's Services advised that Foster Carers would not be prevented from becoming carers in the event of an outstanding annual review because monthly supervision sessions were also undertaken.

Children's Services - Key Performance Indicators

A Member referred to the Wales 2015/16 column of the indicators and asked if 'n/a' was the result of the Welsh Government not producing percentages. The Corporate Director responded that some indicators were national indicators and would have a percentage produced by Welsh Government whilst others were local indicators and therefore there were no percentage available.

Foster Care - Age Limits

In reply to a question raised regarding the age limit of a child in foster care, the Officer advised that this was dependent on the legal status. If a child was in voluntary care, whereby the parents had signed for them to be in care, the child could potentially leave at 16. For those children who were in residential care the definition of the legal age was 18, however, these placements could continue up to the age of between 21 to 24 should the individual continue in higher education.

Adult Service Priorities

The Temporary Head of Adult Services gave details of the priorities in Adult Services. A Member made reference to the performance monitoring status and that targets were consistently categorised as 'green' and it was felt that this could possibly be challenged at some point in the future. The Corporate Director of Social Services advised that an assurance had been received by regulators that this framework was resilient and sustainable.

Cwrt Mytton

A Member referred to the investment made to Cwrt Mytton and requested that his appreciation be noted as the improvements were very much needed for these residents.

Councillor J. Millard left the meeting at this juncture.

Adult Services - Key Performance - Direct Payments

A Member made reference to the Adult Services - Key Performance and the number of adults receiving direct payments (131). He enquired whether this was a mechanism whereby the Authority provided a sum of money for adults to prepare their own care. The Officer confirmed that a direct payment was issued to support individuals to provide their own care.

Annual Report

Following a discussion on the Annual Report it was felt that the content needed to be condensed and the Corporate Director undertook to work with the Performance Team to progress this.

RESOLVED to recommend, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 1 be supported, namely:-

Members are asked to consider progress against Quarter 4 of the report of the Director of Social Services 2016/17 and contribute to the continuous assessment of effectiveness by making appropriate comments and or recommendations.

Agreed
7. PROPOSAL TO DEVELOP FOSTERING SERVICES ON A REGIONAL BASIS
Report (131K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (3M/bytes)
Appendix 3 (3M/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Children's Services.

RESOLVED to recommend that the report be accepted and Option 2 be supported:

The information contained therein be noted; and

The proposal for the five local authorities to develop a collaborative approach to the delivery of regional fostering services, on the understanding that a more detailed report on future plans would come back to Scrutiny and Executive for final agreement, be endorsed.


Agreed
8. ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SERVICE DELIVERY SCRUTINY TASK AND FINISH GROUP UPDATE
Report (135K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (2M/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Temporary Head of Adult Services.

The Temporary Head of Adult Services spoke on the report and referred to the work of the Task and Finish Group.

The Chair expressed the need for the continuation of the Task and Finish Group and it was agreed that the following Members be appointed to this group:

Councillor S. Thomas - (Chair)
Councillor J. Holt - (Vice Chair)
Councillor D. Bevan
Councillor G. A. Davies
Councillor S. Healy
Councillor J. P. Morgan
Councillor K. Rowson
Councillor T. Sharrem
Councillor J. Wilkins

Members agreed to the continuation of the Task and Finish Group, and requested that the first meeting of the Task and Finish Group focus on a scoping exercise in order to expand the work of the Group.

RESOLVED to recommend, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 2 be endorsed, namely, the continuation of the alternative Models of Service Delivery Task and Finish Group to oversee the wider work programme and specifically the completion of the Home Care/Community Resource Team re-ablement service.

Agreed
9. TIME OF FUTURE MEETINGS

Consideration was given to the commencement times of the future Social Services Scrutiny Committee Meetings.

RESOLVED that future Social Services Scrutiny Committee Meetings be held at 9.30 a.m.

Agreed