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To receive apologies for absence, including notifications of any changes to the membership of the Board.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Douglas-Dunbar and Mills and Mike Cook (non-voting Co-opted Member) and Ed Wright (who was represented by Ian Stevens, non-voting Co-opted Member).
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings of the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Board held on 21 November 2022.
The minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Board held on 21 November 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Review of the Learning Academy PDF 145 KB
To receive an update on the review of the Learning Academy, including how the Learning Academy has benefited the non-children’s social care workforce.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Law, and the Director of Children’s Services, Nancy Meehan, provided an update as set out in the submitted report on the review of the Learning Academy and responded to the following questions:
· Where was the Council with recruitment and retention.
· What progress had been made on recruiting a lead officer for restorative practice.
· Were all leadership roles now in place including the Head of Quality Assurance.
Members acknowledged that whilst some social workers had left the Council due to higher pay being offered elsewhere, some had returned due to the better working conditions at Torbay and vacancy levels remained relatively low at 10% across the whole of Children’s Services, despite national difficulties recruiting and retaining social workers.
The Sub-Board noted the partnership approach being taken and the support offered through the Learning Academy, including five members of the Youth Trust Team taking part in restorative practice training and sharing good practice across teams.
The Sub-Board welcomed the progress made and success of the Learning Academy and thanked all those involved for their excellent work.
Virtual School Annual Report PDF 851 KB
To receive the annual report from the Virtual School.
(Note: Jane Inett, Head of the Virtual School and Rachael Williams, Divisional Director of Education, Learning and Skills will be present for this item.)
Jane Inett, Head of the Virtual School, outlined the submitted Annual Report (2021-22) of the Virtual School Governing Body and responded to questions on the following:
· Was there any evidence that drug gangs were targeting cared for or care experienced young people and their families and what was done to identify potential risks.
· Did the Virtual School engage with the Police Intervention Officers.
· If extra tuition helped some young people to gain entry into the Grammar Schools, why was it not compulsory for extra tuition to be offered to all young people.
· Grades do not define young people they can still succeed and achieve at other goals or ambitions and the importance that this was recognised.
· What additional funding was available to support young people and did this continue into further education.
The Sub-Board noted that a pilot was being carried out with the Virtual School, Youth Trust, Children’s Services and South Devon College on detached youth work for cared for and care experienced young people which would feed into next year’s report.
Members celebrated the success of a number of young people highlighted in the report who had gone on to achieve great success in areas such as poetry, high grades as well as going on to university. Frank Tsyplek, Torbay Youth Trust Junior Participation Worker who represented care experienced young people on the Sub-Board was also congratulated as he had started as a young worker and now works 16 hours a week as a youth worker and was training to be a climbing instructor.
The Sub-Board thanked Jane Inett for her passion, enthusiasm and the leadership she has provided to help our cared for and care experienced young people to achieve all they want to and welcomed this approach being continued going forward.
Revised Corporate Parenting Strategy PDF 139 KB
To consider the revised Corporate Parenting Strategy (Policy Framework document) and make recommendations to the Cabinet.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Law, and the Director of Children’s Services, Nancy Meehan, presented the revised Corporate Parenting Strategy which had been updated having regards to the views of children and young people and their foster families and reflected the kind of Corporate Parents they needed us to be to enable us to respond to the needs of young people. They responded to the following questions:
· How may care experienced young people were worked with on the Strategy.
· The Strategy referred to partnership working, who were the partners involved.
· The forward just includes photos of the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, this should be the whole of the Corporate Parenting Board to demonstrate that it was their collective responsibility.
· There were no mention of accommodation needs or housing.
· Do you monitor your young people who were not in accommodation.
· P12 refers to The Cycle and My Voice being participation groups currently facilitated by Torbay Youth Trust this had moved back inhouse to Torbay Council.
That the Cabinet be recommended to approve the revised Corporate Parenting Strategy as set out in the submitted report subject to the following:
1. amend paragraph 1.2 to read ‘wider partnership’;
2. to include photos and membership of the whole of the Corporate Parenting Board and not just the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services in the forward to show that this was their collective responsibility;
3. to include reference to the housing needs for care experienced young people and reference to the Torbay’s Housing Crisis Review recommendations set out below:
· to consider paying private landlords more than the standard one month deposit (normally the equivalent to one month’s rent) to encourage them to rent properties to care experienced young people to give them more confidence they will not be left out of pocket once the young person has moved on;
· to request that provision of new accommodation for care experienced young people should be a priority for TorVista Homes and other registered housing providers;
· to explore options to enable more care experienced young people to remain longer term with their foster carers;
· to explore options for Banding in Devon Home Choice to see if care experienced young people can be given a higher priority and what processes are in place; and
· to request that officers look at good practice from other local authorities when refreshing the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to see how we can encourage the development of more larger family homes, single units, units for care experienced young people or units to assist adults with a disability to live independently; and
4. page 12 of the Strategy to be amended to reflect that The Circle and My Voice participation groups are no longer facilitated by Torbay Youth Trust and have been brought back inhouse.
Youth Justice Plan Update PDF 137 KB
To receive an update on the actions taken to address the challenges, risks and issues identified within the Youth Justice Plan, including how the voice of the young person has been taken into account.
(Note Jon Ralph, Service Manager, Youth Offending Team will be present for this item.)
Jon Ralph, Service Manager, Youth Justice Service provided an update on the implementation of the Youth Justice Plan as set out in the submitted report and responded to the following questions:
· You have been trying to recruit a CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health worker) for two years, if you were still not able to recruit at what point do you need to change your strategy.
· What options have been explored with health to provide CAMHS support.
· In the short term the Youth Trust has been working with children and young people on what impacts them whist waiting for CAMHS, the Youth Justice Service could link up with the Trust to access some of this work.
· What action was being taken by the Police to help speed up outcomes for young people.
· The One World Café had been identified as a suitable safe site to meet with young people and a bid had been submitted with other youth sector providers, was there anything the Sub-Board could do to support the bid.
· What other services were intended to be provided at the One World Café if the bid was successful.
1. that the Sub-Board requests that Children and Family Health Devon be invited to attend their next meeting to provide an update on what they were doing to resolve the lack of a CAMHS support for the Youth Justice Service to ensure that provision of at least one day a week is commissioned as soon as possible as well as responding to overall issues in connection with the lack of access for young people to CAMHS services; and
2. that the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Board supports the proposal for Youth Provision at the One World Café.
Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Board Action Tracker PDF 203 KB
To receive an update on the implementation of the actions of the Sub-Board and consider any further actions required (as set out in the submitted action tracker).
The Sub-Board noted the contents of the submitted action tracker and requested an update on youth work at Parkfield to be presented to the next meeting.
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