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Meetings

Meeting Details

Corporate Parent Committee
27 Apr 2017 - 19:00 to 22:00
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Visitors

Documents

Agenda

Standard Items
1 Apologies for Absence
   
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Aslam.
2 Urgent Matters
Any urgent matters that the Chair has agreed should be considered at the meeting.
  
There were none.
3 Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of interest made by members.
   
There were none.
4 Matters to be Considered in Private
   
There were none.
5 Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 8th December 2016.
   
RESOLVED: 
That the minutes of the meeting held on 8th December 2016 be agreed as a true and correct record.
  
RESOLVED: 
That the minutes of the meeting held on 8th December 2016 be agreed as a true and correct record.
6 Update from Junior Council
Verbal Update
   
A & J, Young People Representatives and Junior Council members, introduced this item. The Junior Council had been busy sharing the work they had done. They had been visited by an officer from Croydon in March, who had been impressed with their work, and had given them good feedback, sending a very positive feedback letter after her visit. The Junior Council had also presented at a Children in England event in March, where two members spoke about the Junior Council’s activities and ideas. The Junior Council had also done work with the ‘Who Cares? Trust’ magazine, who sent their editor Dominic to Horizons to visit them. The Junior Council told him about their memory folders, and were interviewed and photographed for the magazine. The Junior Council had a double page spread inside and featured on the front cover. Copies of the magazine were circulated to the Committee.

The Committee thanked A & J for their excellent presentation and congratulated the Junior Council on its fantastic magazine feature.
 
Feedback from the Junior Horizons ShoutOut Council (Verbal Update)

Cheryl Campbell (Deputy Manager, Horizons Centre) introduced this item. H, A Junior HSC member, told the Committee about the recent half-term programme. Activities had included a trip to Kew Gardens, which had included lessons and workshops and had been very educational. There had also been a career day following the Junior HSC’s work on education. The programme also featured a fitness theme which included a visit to an activity centre, a personal training session and 5-a-side football. The Junior HSC continued to meet once a month on Saturdays, to discuss and plan for young people within their age group. They were currently printing t-shirts and producing a newsletter to raise awareness of the Junior HSC and its work.

The Committee thanked H for his great presentation and commended the important work the Junior HSC was doing.
 
7 My Education Mentors Project Update
Verbal Update
   
Z, a Young Persons Representative and Lead Mentor, introduced this item along with N, a Mentee. Z was still working hard in her role as Lead Mentor and had spoken at another Designated Teachers Network, on mental health issues among young people. Z had also attended a foster carers prep group meeting and had been doing Outreach mentoring at William Perkin High School, which would continue into the summer term.

Mentee N told the Committee that she was enjoying the project and the help and support she got from it, as well as the social aspect. Recent sessions had included work on the vision boards which were well underway. There had also been a recent visit to Brunel University, which had included a tour of the campus by Care Leavers, who also answered their questions about issues like funding and support. There had also been a creative session where everyone had made bath bombs, an Italian cooking session and interactive law-themed sessions during a visit to the University of West London. The Mentors Project had also held a poetry evening, and was still participating in the Reading Hack Project, and Mentors were working on doing a reading event in the near future.

The Committee thanked Z and N for their excellent presentation.
 
8 Feedback from the Horizons ShoutOut Forum
Verbal Update
   
Jude Fraser (LAC 16/Post Education Project Worker, Horizons Centre) introduced this item. The HSC was still working on its review of semi-independent accommodation placements, and was still meeting with and supporting young people throughout the Borough. They had circulated a questionnaire to young people in these placements with support from Children’s Services and the LAC Nurse, and the findings would be discussed at the next meeting. There were still more visits to be made and the HSC also wanted to reach out-of-Borough young people. L, a HSC member told the Committee about some of the questions they were asking, such as what mattered during the transition and what could have been done better for them. The HSC had met with the lead for Care Leavers at the Department for Education and had discussed some of the difficulties for Care Leavers. The HSC was also researching measures other local authorities had taken to assist Care Leavers. Officers would be working with the HSC over the next 3 months to try and work on some of the issues they had raised so far. Accommodation was still a difficult issue, but the Authority was working hard across departments to find solutions for everyone. The Committee thanked L for her valuable contribution to the discussion and to the HSC.
(Executive Director, Children, Adults and Public Health)
   
Bridie McDonagh (Head of Behaviour Strategy and Inclusion & Virtual School Head LAC) introduced this report, informing Members of the overall education programme and progress on attainment targets for Looked After Children in Year 11 and Year 6 to ensure improved outcomes, updating Members on the progress and general position of the Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and 2, and Post 16, and outlining to Members progress on holiday activities in the Virtual School calendar of events. The report was about predictions and aims for the summer exams of that year. This was the second year of the new Key Stage 2 curriculum and there were also new national measures in Key Stage 4, with changes to GCSEs coming into effect in English and Maths from the summer 2017 exams. English language, English literature and Maths would now be graded from 9 to 1. The changes would be explained in more detail at the next meeting.

The Key Stage 4 cohort was small but had a high level of need. Of the 32 Year 11 children, only 10 were in mainstream education. Of the Year 11 children, 10 were being educated in-Borough and 22 out-of-Borough.

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
 
(Executive Director, Children, Adults and Public Health)
   
Debbie Gabriel (Operations Manager, Children’s Placement Services) introduced this report, briefing the Committee on the interim Adoption figures for 2016/17. Since April 2016 four families had been approved to adopt. There had been a fall in the number of applications from prospective adopters, which reflected a national trend, though the agency was still taking inquiries. There were sixteen approved adopters waiting to be matched with children. As it could be very difficult waiting for a link or match, the way the agency supported adopters had changed, and was now working with Cornerstone to support families.

Seven adoption orders had been granted between April 2016 and March 2017. Two more were made in April 2017 and it was hoped 2 more would be made by June. There were currently 9 children placed with adopters. There were currently eight children with placement orders awaiting a match, including sibling groups which were harder to place. The agency was still inviting interest but was currently only accepting applications from families who wished to adopt older children, sibling groups and children with more complex needs. The Adoption Support Team was currently supporting 42 adopted children and their families, with support varying, some being intensive and long-term support. In 2016-17, 32 Special Guardianship Orders had been granted. Plans were underway to regionalise and funding had been agreed through to March 2018. It was hoped there would be some activity on this in the next few months and an early scope of the proposed model would be available by September.

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
 
(Executive Director, Children, Adults and Public Health)
    
Marcella Phelan (Assistant Director, Planning, Commissioning and Partnerships) introduced this report, updating Members on the progress in implementing the Brighter Futures programme between December 2016 and March 2017. The report also highlighted that following the successful 2 year pilot, the model was being rolled across Children’s Services from April 2017. The programme had been running for 2 years having started in June 2015. An implementation update was provided in paragraph 3.11 of the report. The original grant had been for £3.5million and the project had grown from there, to develop new ways of working that were more intensive and involved multi-agency support in a wrap-around service. The Council had invested further funding from its innovation fund to enable the programme to continue beyond the pilot, and the programme had now been rolled out across Children’s Services.

Carolyn Fair (Director, Children and Families) told the Committee that the new structure of Children’s Services had gone live on 18th April 2017. The transition had been smooth considering the magnitude of the changes. The new ways of working were embedded and feedback was coming in all the time. Whilst it was still early days, feedback from officers had been very positive. The programme had encouraged a lot more sharing of information and promoted teamwork, and had attracted a lot of interest from other local authorities. LAC numbers continued to fall and were currently at their lowest level for 10 years. The new ways of working were now considered business as usual. The target for LAC numbers was 250, which was an ambitious target. It was not current being met but numbers were consistently going in the right direction.

The department had put in a bid for funding for another project, relating to adolescents with complex mental health needs, and a decision was due in the near future. The fostering service had also submitted a sub-regional bid for funding to the WLA. The department was working hard towards its targets around foster carers. Ten new foster carers had been approved in the last year, up from 9 the previous year. There were 28 attached to the agency going forward. The target of 45 had not yet been reached but Ealing was doing well in comparison to its neighbours.

RESOLVED: 
That Members note the progress on the Brighter Futures programme during 2016/17, and note that following extensive consultation, from 18th April 2017 the programme was extended across the wider social care service.
 
(Executive Director, Children, Adults and Public Health)
   
Judith Finlay introduced this report, providing information on complaints for Looked After children for the period 1st January 2017 to 31st March 2017. During the period there were 5 Stage 1 complaints made by or in respect of Looked After Children, compared to 7 for the same period in 2016. All 5 of the Stage 1 complaints made were not upheld. All complaints received were responded to within the required timescales. There were no complaints that proceeded to a Stage 2 Complaint or Stage 3 Complaint Review during this reporting period.

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
(Assistant Director, Children and Families)
    
Judith Finlay introduced this report, providing a brief analysis on the April 2016 – March 2017 performance (2016/17 year) for children looked after (CLA) and care leavers. As at 31st March 2017, 347 children and young people were looked after by Ealing, down by 24 since last year. This represented the lowest number of Looked After Children in 10 years. The percentage of care leavers being supported into education, employment or training was up on the previous year. Good or satisfactory progress was being made on all indicators. Overall performance had been good during the period April 2016 – March 2017.

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
14 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Thursday 13th July 2017.
   
The next meeting was scheduled for Thursday 13th July 2017.

Additional Meeting Documents

Attendance

Name
No other member attendance information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for Sending ApologySubstituted By
Councillor Mohammad Aslam  
NameReason for AbsenceSubstituted By
No absentee information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting