Agenda for Children & Young People's Trust Board on Monday, 2nd March, 2009, 5.00pm
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Agenda, decisions and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Nara Miranda, Democratic Services Officer
(b) Declarations of Interest by all Members present of any personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Members regard the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.
(c) Exclusion of Press and Public - To consider whether, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, or the nature of the proceedings, the press and public should be excluded from the meeting when any of the following items are under consideration.
NOTE: Any item appearing in Part 2 of the Agenda states in its heading either that it is confidential or the category under which the information disclosed in the report is exempt from disclosure and therefore not available to the public.
A list and description of the categories of exempt information is available for public inspection at Brighton and Hove Town Halls.
52a Declarations of Substitutes
52.1 There were none.
52b Declarations of Interest
52.2 There were none.
52c Exclusion of Press and Public
52.3 In accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (‘the Act’), the Children & Young People’s Trust Board considered whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during an item of business on the grounds that it was likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press or public were present during that item, there would be disclosure to them of confidential information (as defined in section 100A(3) of the Act) or exempt information (as defined in section 100I(1) of the Act).
52.4 RESOLVED - That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the Items 56 and 57 in Part Two of the agenda.
Minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2009 (copy attached).
53.1 RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2009 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
54.1 The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, in particular Priya Rogers and Rose Suman who would be representing the Youth Council on the Board from now on.
54.2 The Chairman also reported that she had visited Chalkhill, a new provision for children with mental health problems. She indicated that she was positively impressed with the facilities that the new venue offered and was also pleased that education was at the heart of the project. She indicated that the first young people would be moving in later in the week.
Report of the Director of Children’s Services (copy attached).
1. That the data and analysis in the PIR be noted and the action being taken to improve performance be agreed.
2. That the inclusion of an additional indicator, NI 56 Obesity among primary age children in year 6 in order to ensure full alignment with the priority outcomes in the PCT Strategic Commissioning Plan be agreed.
55.1 The Board considered a report of the Director of Children’s Services concerning the Performance Improvement Report, 2nd and 3rd quarter for 2008/09, which provided Board members with key information with which to track and challenge the progress, performance and management of the Children & Young People Trust (for copy see minute book).
55.2 The Assistant Director, Quality and Performance, highlighted the key issues presented in the report. He indicated that there was positive information around young people not in education or training. He recognised, however, that teenage pregnancy remained a major issue.
55.3 Councillor Fryer noted the rate of absent pupils and the difficulties in tackling teenage conception. She enquired why there seemed to be no improvement in those two areas.
55.4 The Director of Children’s Services recognised that the rate in absence had improved in the last 12 months and explained that the aim was now to expand that rate of improvement to all other schools. In terms of teenage conception, the Assistant Director, Quality and Performance, referred to the actions plans detailed in the report to deal with this matter, stressing that focus would also be placed on the attitude of external staff to start making the difference.
55.5 Darren Grayson, PCT, welcomed the improvement on breast feeding and was pleased to see the data presented in relation to that. He also reported that the PCT had been working on a comprehensive action plan, in conjunction with the Education department, in order to tackle the issue of teenage conception. He thought that the interventions proposed in the plan would bring a considerable step forward from what has been in place to deal with this matter. He indicated that the plan was due out in April.
55.6 Priya Rogers, Youth Council, enquired about how officers engaged with young people and teenage parents not in education, employment and training.
55.7 The Assistant Director explained that the process normally undertaken was to divide the group of young people not in education, employment and training into active young people and passive young people. He indicated that the passive group was the focus for Connexions Advisors, as they were hard to engage, and officers run monthly sessions with them to identify what the young people would like to do. He reported that a session was currently being organised in the east side of the city with a variety of providers and those young people would be invited to attend.
55.8 He also indicated that teenage parents were supported by the Integrated Youth Support Service (IYSS), also operated by Connexions Advisors.
55.9 Andrew Jeffrey, Parent Forum, reported that a local authority in Holland had demonstrated a good record in dealing with and tackling the issue of teenage conception. He suggested that Brighton & Hove might wish to look into this particular authority to gather more ideas on how to tackle the matter locally.
55.10 Members welcomed the report.
55.11 RESOLVED -
(1) That the data and analysis in the PIR be noted and the action being taken to improve performance be agreed.
(2) That the inclusion of an additional indicator, NI 56 Obesity among primary age children in year 6 in order to ensure full alignment with the priority outcomes in the PCT Strategic Commissioning Plan be agreed.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting [Exempt Category 4]
Non-Public Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 January 2009 (circulated to Members only).
1. That the non-public minutes of the held on 19 January 2009 be approved and signed as a correct record.
56.1 RESOLVED - That the non-public minutes of the held on 19 January 2009 be approved and signed as a correct record.
Review of Safeguarding Practice: Seminar Discussion [Exempt Category 1 & 2]
Note - In order to facilitate a meaningful and robust discussion of the issues which arise from this agenda item, it will be necessary for the Board to consider some confidential and exempt information by way of case examples. Accordingly, this item will be considered in closed session.
57.1 The Board engaged in focused group discussion to consider further the review of safeguarding practice and how it could be taken forward in Brighton & Hove in joint work with the relevant partners.
57.2 The Director of Children’s Services explained that, at their previous meeting, Board members had started a dialogue around the issue of safeguarding practice and members had welcomed the approach for more discussions. She indicated that, as a result, this seminar had been organised to tease out all the issues surrounding this matter. She explained that the process was not intended to duplicate the work of the Safeguarding Board, but rather strengthen it by identifying the Board’s own responsibilities on safeguarding practice.
57.3 The session was led by the Assistant Director East Area, Early Years and NHS Commissioning, and the Head of CYPT Workforce Development, covered by a brief presentation on the ‘Child Protection Front Line’, which explained how the CYPT organises and delivers its services, followed by focused group discussions based on a local case study.
57.4 Following discussions, Board members sought clarification on a number of issues. They enquired about how confident officers were about the effectiveness of the current process of referrals not only in terms of its quality and internal audit, but also in terms of the criteria for initiating referrals. They also queried whether members of the public could also make such referrals.
57.5 Members also requested clarification about the support in place for CYPT staff involved with this type of work, and whether there was a sense as to whether social workers were overworked.
57.6 The Assistant Director East Area, Early Years and NHS Commissioning, explained that the quality of referrals and assessment was an important part of the whole process of safeguarding. He indicated that officers were confident in the current process.
57.7 Officers also explained that the audit process covered three main branches, the first one being the routine audit, which was reported quarterly under each team; another branch was via the twice a year audit which included information from services like the Police and the Health services. The third branch was undertaken via the Heads of Service.
57.8 It was further explained that referrals were received from a variety of sources, such as skilled teachers and relevant agencies; and members of the public could also make referral. In terms of the process itself, officers explained that it normally started with an initial contact for discussion and that, at this stage, it would then be assessed whether to proceed to referral stage, dependant on any concerns. Officers also indicated that currently they did not undertake an analysis to compare which areas referred more than others.
57.9 The Assistant Director recognised that officers also needed to be mindful of a whole range of signs and indicators when working with families in order to identify those also problematic situations where people are dedicated to concealing what they actually do in terms of caring for their children.
57.10 In relation to the level of support in place for the CYPT staff undertaking frontline work with families, officers explained that staff was concerned about going into homes and being out of their safety area. It was explained that, in order to support them, regular supervision practice was in place, which offered the opportunity to check the staff’s planning strategies and ensure that staff was not alone in making decisions. A counselling service was another kind of support available for staff.
57.11 The Assistant Director explained that because there were significant pressures in the recruitment of staff, recruitment was currently mainly done through agency staff.
57.12 The Director of Children’s Services indicated that the CYPT recruitment and retention strategy was currently being reviewed by the Head of Workforce Development. She explained that the review process would analyse how current supervision arrangements work not only at the level of deliver of services, but also how staff are supported.
57.13 Members requested that a 6 months or every quarter update report be brought to the Board with the key indicators and information about the retention of staff to give members assurances. Members also wished to receive further information about the quality and audit of the referral process.
57.14 The Director of Children’s Services agreed to bring back the relevant updates requested as and when they were available. She also indicated that officers would take back the main themes emerging from the group discussions that took place today and utilise them to establish how to move forward in the process of safeguarding practice.
57.15 The Chairman and the Director thanked all CYPT officers and Board members for engaging with this process in the spirit that it was received. Members also welcomed the experience, which they found helpful and useful.
57.16 RESOLVED –
(1) That the outcome of the discussions be brought to the Board with further proposals about how to move forward in the process of safeguarding practice.
(2) That any relevant updates on the CYPT staff recruitment and retention be brought to the Board as and when available.