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 Laura Colman (Co-opted Member), Jo Morrell, Nigel Yelland and Mike Cook (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 Board held on 20 September 2021.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 20 September 2021 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive assurance on the actions being taken to address the issues raised as a result of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review in respect of Child C80 and ensure that lessons are learned and appropriate action is being taken to mitigate and prevent any similar incidents involving our cared for or care experienced children and young people.
Councillor Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Nancy Meehan, Director of Children’s Services and Steve Hart, Independent Chair of the Children’s Continuous Improvement Board set out the details of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review – Child C80, the recommendations and the thorough approach to developing the action plan to address the recommendations.
Councillor Law thanked the families for their vital input into the Practice Review and commended them for their dignified and constructive approach.
Members commended the Independent Reviewer (report author) Sarah Lawrence on the comprehensive report and ‘brought home’ the consequences of the weaknesses previously identified by Ofsted and reiterated within this report, with terrible consequences.
Members asked questions in respect of the following areas:
· The impact of not having a complete record of C80’s ‘life story’, and the welcomed investment in resource for our cared for children’s ‘life story’.
· Safe Recruitment procedures for early years and child care settings especially in relation to employment references.
· Age appropriate relationships and the review of the Harmful and Sexual Behaviour Policies and Procedures.
· Awareness and implementation of local and national whistleblowing methods standards.
· The monitoring and measuring of progress in implementing the action plan.
· How the action plan will link with other initiatives such as Child Friendly Torbay.
That the Action Plan arising from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review – Child C80 be circulated to the members of the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Board as soon as it is made public and that the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Board formally reviews the progress of implementing the action plan in January 2022.
To receive a presentation on the current issues in respect of accessing suitable housing for care experienced young people and the support available to them e.g. guarantor scheme.
(Note: Becky Thompson, Head of Service, Regulated Services will be present for this item.)
Becky Thompson, Head of Regulated Services and Corporate Parenting, gave a presentation on housing for care experienced young people and the challenges faced when trying to secure permanent, safe and sustainable accommodation for those leaving care.
Members acknowledged the importance of the need for care experienced young people to be able to transition into safe, independent accommodation and asked questions in respect of the following areas:
· The Council’s ability to financially support a care experienced young person, in the same manner that a parent may help a child – help with a deposit, buy a house and rent it to the young person.
· The role of TorVista.
· The number of schemes being developed by Adult Services and whether such schemes could be designed to be multi-generational.
· Whether an appeal for people to come forward with offers for accommodation would be of assistance.
1) that the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Board supports an appeal being made to landlords to consider making available accommodation to care experienced young people;
2) that the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Board recommends to the Torbay’s Housing Crisis Review Panel that accommodation for care experienced young people should be a priority for TorVista; and
3) that the issue of the lack of accommodation for care experienced young people be raised the Torbay’s Housing Crisis Review Panel.
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