Agenda and minutes

Joint Education and Learning & Social Services Scrutiny Committee (Safeguarding)
Monday, 26th April, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: virtually via Microsoft Teams - if you would like to attend this meeting live via Microsoft Teams please contact committee.services@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

Contact: Democratic Services  6011

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Simultaneous Translation

You are welcome to use Welsh at the meeting, a minimum notice period of 3 working days is required should you wish to do so.  A simultaneous translation will be provided if requested.

Minutes:

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

 

2.

Apologies

To receive.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors G. Collier, G.L. Davies, P. Edwards, L. Elias and D. Wilkshire.

 

Tim Baxter – Co-opted Member

 

Corporate Director of Social Services

 

3.

Declarations of Interests and Dispensations

To consider any declarations of interests and dispensations made.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

 

4.

Joint Education & Learning and Social Services Scrutiny Committee (Safeguarding) Minutes pdf icon PDF 274 KB

To receive the Minutes of the Joint Education & Learning and Social Services Scrutiny Committee (Safeguarding) held on 8th October, 2020.

 

(Please note the Minutes are submitted for points of accuracy only)

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Joint Education & Learning and Social Services Scrutiny Committee (Safeguarding) Meeting held on 8th October, 2020 were submitted, whereupon:-

 

The Chair referred to item 5 on page 6 of the minutes and pointed out that the comment regarding Covid-19 should have been minuted before the heading relating to the Action Sheet – 2nd December, 2019.

 

The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

 

5.

Action Sheet - 8th October 2020 pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To receive the Action Sheet.

Minutes:

The action sheet arising from the meeting of the Joint Education & Learning and Social Services Scrutiny Committee (Safeguarding) held on 8th October, 2020 was submitted.

 

The Committee AGREED that the action sheet be noted.

 

6.

Safeguarding Performance Information for Social Services and Education – 1st April to 31st December 2020 pdf icon PDF 609 KB

To consider the report of the Corporate Director Social Services and the Corporate Director Education.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Corporate Director Social Services and Corporate Director Education which was presented to provide Scrutiny Members with safeguarding performance information and analysis from Children’s Social Services and Education from 1st April 2020 to the 31st December 2020.

 

Social Services

 

The Service Manager, Children’s Services (Safeguarding) spoke to the report and highlighted the main points contained within the Social Services Safeguarding Performance information.

 

In relation to the format of the report, the Chair suggested changes to the layout of the covering report, that when it referred to graphs or tables in the appendix, e.g. Figure 1.1, the related graph or table is pulled into the report from the appendix, and in relation to paragraph 6.2.3 – Child Protection the Chair suggested a change to the wording from “no cause for concern” to “these figures fall within expected levels given the current situation”.  The Service Manager took these points on board and would look to change the report format for future reports.

 

A Member referred to the police being the highest referrer to Social Services and enquired how the referrals were monitored to ensure they should actually be referred.  The Service Manager said that they constantly look at this area and under the Early Action Together, which was an initiative from the Police & Crime Commissioner for the Detective Sergeant to be part of the IAA service, part of that role was to critique and to quality assure the PPN (the referral method the police use).  The police policies on making referrals differed from the Local Authority and as such when police were called to a property and there were children present, under their policies and procedures they were duty bound to refer that incident to Children’s Social Care, who would then decide if that referral needed statutory intervention or low level support.   They work closely with partners within the police to try to support the police to make professional judgements around whether to make a referral into statutory social care or consider whether lower tier preventative services would be more appropriate and were working towards a point where both service areas were happy with the approach being taken.

 

The Chair commented that this provided an added level of assurance for Members and welcomed police involvement in the IAA process to strengthen collaboration between the two areas. The Service Manager advised Members that they had now moved into the Hub model which had proved extremely successful in relation to other partners such as Health and Education in having that same level of support to provide the IAA service with information quickly to enable them to make the right decision at the right time.  The Detective Sergeant would undertake checks on persons of interest or people the IAA may need additional information on, Health colleagues were able to do the same with regards to children and any adult concerns and Education were also getting on board to be part of the process and she felt that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Adult Safeguarding Report from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021 pdf icon PDF 561 KB

To consider the report of the Corporate Director Social Services.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director Social Services which was presented to provide Scrutiny Members with Safeguarding Performance information relating to Adult Services from 1st April 2020 to the 31st March 2021.

 

The Adult Safeguarding Manager spoke to the report and highlighted the main points contained therein.  She advised that several changes had taken place in Adult Safeguarding over the last year.  The All Wales New Safeguarding procedures had been introduced in April 2020 and the new procedures supported the individual to be the centre of the safeguarding process and to support their desired outcomes and what was important to them to keep themselves safe.  As the process had changed considerably so had the reporting and data collected, and this year did not show a breakdown of figures for the previous year to look at comparisons.

 

A Member referred to vulnerable adults and enquired if links to unofficial partners such as community groups set up in the pandemic to deliver food parcels etc. would continue to ensure that no vulnerable adults were overlooked.  The Adult Safeguarding Manager commended the work of the community groups throughout the pandemic and was aware that IAA and Supporting People had been involved in these community groups and agreed that these links needed to be maintained moving forward.  She felt it was important for Adult Safeguarding to tap into community groups to raise awareness and also to speak with individuals who were receiving the service, as they were extremely vulnerable and as the data showed the number of people self-referring for Adult Safeguarding was very low, and this was something that needed to be looked at with a programme that was accessible for individuals who received the service and working closely with community groups could help Adult Safeguarding understand who were the most vulnerable adults and how to reach them.

 

The Service Manager Development & Commissioning added that in relation to communication and awareness raising, extensive work was being undertaken with other local authorities and the team were also continually updating web sites.   He felt that part of the recovery phase would be to strengthen the building blocks already in place and communication and awareness raising would be a clear focus as part of the business plan moving forward.

 

In response to a Member’s question regarding only reporting on the main category of abuse, the Adult Safeguarding Manager clarified that with the data reported to Committee they could only now report on the primary category of abuse.   When completing a duty to report form into Social Services, several categories of abuse could be ticked, but Adult Safeguarding would only report to Committee on the primary category of abuse.

 

The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorse Option 2; namely that the report as provided be accepted.