Additional Meeting, Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Board - Tuesday, 14 June 2022 9.30 am
Venue: Meadfoot Room - Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Governance Support
To receive apologies for absence, including notifications of any changes to the membership of the Board.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Douglas-Dunbar and Mike Cook and Edward Wright (Non-Voting Co-opted Members).
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 3 May 2022.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 3 May 2022, were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To consider the outcome of the recent Ofsted Inspection of Children’s Services.
Members received an update on the feedback following the recent Ofsted Inspection which had resulted in the Council being rated overall as ‘Good’ for its services to children and young people in Torbay. As well as positive improvements in services the feedback identified a number of areas for improvement, for which plans had been developed and would be regularly monitored by the Continuous Improvement Board (the new name for the Children’s Improvement Board). The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Law, and the Director of Children’s Services, Nancy Meehan, responded to the following questions:
· Were the staffing levels reflective of the current situation in terms of staff vacancies and what action was proposed to keep levels at an acceptable level.
· Recruitment and retention affected services other than Children’s Services, what action was being taken to address this and learn from the good work (including the success of the Learning Academy).
· The report refers to a lot of ‘mostly’ what was the reason that this was not ‘all’ and would this be reviewed to ensure that appropriate action was being taken to improve these to ‘all’ in the future.
· B&B for care leavers immediate action taken, what was the action that was taken.
· Did the meetings structure include hearing the voice of the young person and care leavers and how were their experiences taken into account.
· How many people were using Nightstock.
Members were particularly pleased with the positive comments around the important role in which Councillors had played as well as wider staff in their role as corporate parents and the positive impact of the Virtual School Governing Body.
1. the Board congratulated colleagues for all their work in securing a ‘Good’ rating and welcomed the focus on the challenges which will be addressed through the Continuous Improvement Board and kept under review by the Board;
2. that the Board receive an update on the review of the Learning Academy at a future meeting; and
3. that the Board receive an update on care leavers experiences, to include data around Nightstock and long term housing sufficiency, at a future meeting after the visit from the Department for Education (DFE) care experienced expert in November.
To consider the Youth Justice Plan and make recommendations to the Cabinet.
(Note: John Ralph, Service Manager, Youth Offending Team will be in attendance for this item.)
Members noted the background to the development of the Youth Justice Plan, which was a joint Statutory Plan working with the Youth Justice Team, Police, Probation, Health and Education. The Plan focussed on a ‘child first’ and trauma recovery model and set out how the Youth Justice Services were provided, operated and funded and how this would result in lower levels of youth offending. The Plan also set out the challenges, risks and issues faced by the Service. The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Law, the Director of Children’s Services Nancy Meehan and Jon Ralph, Service Manager, Youth Offending Team, responded to the following points:
· What do the different strategies mean and what action was taken to reduce court action or custodial sentences e.g. prevention, out of court disposal etc.
· What was the Youth Offending Team Family.
· Page 10 set out the strategic priorities for improvement what was the timescale for implementation of the proposals and how would they be monitored.
· The Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) post had been vacant for over 18 months, what action was being taken to escalate this.
· In November 2021, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services in Torbay identified significant areas of weakness however the Youth Justice Service was recognised as having an area of good practice using it’s Speech and Language Therapist to assess children’s communication skills before an intervention programme was implemented (they had achieved the Youth Justice SEND Quality Mark as a result) how had this been considered in the response to the Inspection.
· What action was being taken to identify good quality suitable community areas to deliver youth services and youth work within Torbay.
· What does DAY training stand for.
· Could the £80,000 underspend be used to work with community businesses and groups to help with prevention.
· It was a joint responsibility to identify new funding opportunities, what more could be done to work with and join up with community partners to help support young people in Torbay.
· What were the key performance indicators for the Service and were they the right ones to effectively monitor performance.
· What does the voice of the young person look like.
1. that the Cabinet be recommended that the Children and Young People’s Board endorses the Youth Justice Plan and welcomes the partnership working and encourages greater joined up working with community partners to help support and enrich the lives of our young people and reduce the likelihood of them offending; and
2. that the Board notes the challenges, risk and issues identified in paragraph 10 of the submitted report and wishes to see them addressed and requests an update on the actions to be considered at a future meeting, including how the voice of the young person has been taken into account.
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