Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, COUNTY HALL

Contact: Kate Griffiths, Committee Officer 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


The Chairman welcomed Julian Grubb (Redditch Borough Council), Helen Hey (Early Help Partnerships Manager) and Charlie Dickens (Partnership and Inclusion Manager) to their first meeting of the Corporate Parenting Board.


Apologies had been received from Helen Dyke and Margaret Sherrey.


The Chairman congratulated the Health and Care Trust on receiving an outstanding rating for their CAMBS service and mentioned that the County Council needed to ensure that they supported the service by making appropriate and timely referrals.


During Apprenticeship week it was good opportunity to mention that all Corporate Parents should do what they could to encourage and facilitate more work placements for Care Leavers.


The Chairman thanked Charlie Hotham for spending some of his Divisional Fund on Driving Lessons for Care Leavers.




Confirmation of the Minutes pdf icon PDF 109 KB

There has been one amendment to the minutes: Minute 206 – that District Councils have a duty to ‘house’ care leavers up to the age of 21 where needed, not ‘support’.


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 November 2019 were agreed to be a correct record of the meeting and were signed by the Chairman.


Review of Previous Action Points


Care Leavers Accommodation: Adam Johnson reported that the first meeting of the Task and Finish Group set up at the last meeting, had met on 17 January. The focus had been on prioritising Care Leavers in adequate accommodation. More work would be done on the data around the number of Care Leavers with challenging behaviour which affected their chances of finding suitable accommodation.


The Board was informed that there were currently 38 young people in Council Accommodation and only one or two, over periods of time, had caused problems due to their behaviour. Outreach staff offered high quality support and helped young people with getting into education and work.


Serious Case Reviews pdf icon PDF 153 KB


Tina Russell reported that there was currently a Serious Case Review for a Looked After Child that had recently been commissioned. When the learning from the case had been made public, the details would be brought to the Corporate Parenting Board.


The Worcestershire Safeguarding Review Partnership was the new arrangement which was responsible for safeguarding arrangements. The sub-groups of the Partnership were the Get Safe Partnership Board, the Quality Assurance Practice and Procedures Group and the Safeguarding Practice Review Board (SPRB).


The SPRB received reports of all reports of child deaths or a child coming to harm against a set of DfE criteria. The panel then decides if there should be a full case review or local review. A new National Panel provided scrutiny and decided if the right decision had been made to hold a local or full review. Additional notifications were made if the child was Looked After. The NSPCC website published serious case reviews and the Local Review Group would look at them and the reviews of the National Panel and pass on any relevant learning.


RESOLVED that the Corporate Parenting Board noted the report and would receive the overview and learning reports of Serious Case Reviews or Case Reviews for any Looked After Children.


Placements and Sufficiency pdf icon PDF 439 KB


Tina Russell gave a presentation at the meeting as seen in the agenda report. She highlighted certain points:


Legislation was in place to ensure that each area had sufficient accommodation available to meet the needs of children and that it sought to improve outcomes for looked after children and improve their wellbeing through working with Partners. A strategy had been drafted to detail how the sufficiency duty would be met and work had been completed using our data on children in care and the demand for placement over the past three years, as well as the analysis of the incoming cohort, to inform our strategy.


The numbers of children in care in Worcestershire was above that of the County’s statistical neighbours due to historic practice. It was not possible to reduce numbers in care quickly as it would not be appropriate to move many of them out of care where they were stable and making good progress. Some of these young people would remain in care until they reached 18. Worcestershire was now one of the lowest authorities for placing new children in care and this continues in 2019/20. More work was also being done with those going home to ensure they were supported to stay at home.


There was a duty to place children within their family network if possible as it was known that family placements were better for the child if good support was given; if that was not possible then it became necessary to look for a different family environment and find a foster family. Worcestershire had an above average number of children in foster placements, however most foster carers want to take children under 10 years of age.


It was positive that the number of placements each child experienced was falling. Each time a placement broke down then the emotional impact on the child was significant and each “next placement” for that child would cost more. More support was being given to carers in order to prevent placements breaking down.


There was a duty to look at the individual needs of each child but their siblings must also be considered; sometimes that meant it was best for the siblings to stay together but in other situations the siblings may have different needs which meant they do not stay together; for example an older child with complex needs may be best in a residential home while a baby sibling would be better in foster care. Non-separation of siblings also meant that for some younger children their care plans for permanency would be in a care setting such as long-term fostering.


External residential care provision was expensive and not always good quality.  Worcestershire have had challenges with the skill and confidence of its own residential staff to meet the need of young people coming into care. Worcestershire’s training programme had been reviewed and it compared well to external agencies/private providers and DfE guidelines but more could still be done.


New providers were visited quickly to see if  ...  view the full minutes text for item 214.


Quarterly Data Reports pdf icon PDF 455 KB

Additional documents:


The information was noted.


Work Plan pdf icon PDF 64 KB



Any Other Business

Helen Hey explained that as the Strategic Lead for Participation she wished to ensure that a wider range of young people were more engaged with the Corporate Parenting Board. She felt that the formal style of them attending a meeting meant that young people found it difficult to engag and felt that it wasn’t accessible to them. She wanted to set up a working group made up of a small number of Board Members to discuss how to help young people get involved.


Members agreed that more young people needed to be included and although they welcomed the contributions to the meeting from a small number of young people, they worried that they were not fully representative.


It was noted that our “Keep in Touch” events were the opportunity for Corporate Parenting Board Members to interact with young people in a less formal environment, however take-up was poor last year.


ACTION: it was agreed Helen Hey would make contact with individual board members to gather views on how we can develop engagement with young peoples. Another keep in touch event would be planned within the meeting programme.


Future Meeting Dates

Dates 2020


6 February 2020

30 April 2020

4 June 2020

9 July 2020

8 October 2020

10 November 2020


Locations to be finalised.



30 April 2020

4 June 2020

9 July 2020

8 October 2020 - Redditch

10 November 2020