Agenda item

Children's Improvement Plan Quarterly Update

To receive a verbal update on the Children’s Improvement Plan.


The Director of Children’s Services, Nancy Meehan, provided a verbal update in respect of the Children’s Improvement Plan and explained the impact of anomalies within the reporting system from the Liquid Logic software and the actions being taken to address this, which included a Local Government Association Peer Review of Liquid Logic to try to understand why the reporting was not as expected.


Nancy provided a verbal update in respect of key performance on the following areas:


·                     The level of activity for the number of children and families needing support was similar to the last six months and whilst this was higher than pre-Covid-19 levels there had not been an increase in activity within the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), with 95% of cases having a decision made within 24 hours.

·                     Child protection figures were at 138 which was more in line with our statistical neighbours reduced from 238 in February 2021.  These cases were being safely reduced with targeted early help and edge of care support to help support changes within families.

·                     The number of cared for children and young people was 297 which had been safely reduced from 368 through increased permanency and reduction in the number of children coming in and out of care.

·                     There were 4 unaccompanied asylum seekers who had been placed through the national transfer scheme and two new families were being assessed by the Panel in February who had come forward specifically to support unaccompanied asylum seekers due to their backgrounds.

·                     There had been no quality assurance or audit which had identified children who should not be living at home and should be in care.

·                     The stability of placements for children was 12% of children with three placement moves or more which compared to a national average of 11%.

·                     The number of care experienced young people Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs) had fallen to 51% compared to between 60 to 62% and work was being carried out to see what could be done to support this.  Councillor Bye agreed to take this up as part of his role as a Member of the Corporate Parenting Board.

·                     The number of agency Social Care staff had reduced to 20% compared to 41% in 2019/20.  Following a successful recruitment campaign the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff should be down to three vacant posts.


Members asked questions in respect of the following, which were responded to at the meeting:


·                     When the next written report would be available.

·                     If Liquid Logic was the right software for the Council.

·                     The impact of the reports from Liquid Logic not being correct and additional work involved in checking data and resolving the issues.

·                     The impact of Covid-19 on the number of care experienced children NEETs.

·                     Concern and impact around the number of cared for children missing in Torbay.


The Board noted the actions being taken in respect of Liquid Logic and was reassured that an update report on the Children’s Improvement Plan would be reported to the Board in January.