Agenda and minutes

Children's Social Care and Health Cabinet Committee
Wednesday, 22nd July, 2015 10.00 am

Venue: Darent Room, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Theresa Grayell  03000 416172

Media

Items
No. Item

62.

Introduction/Webcast announcement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman proposed and the committee agreed that the items on the agenda be considered in the following order:

 

Items 1-5

Item 6             Verbal updates from Mr Oakford and Mr Ireland

Item B3           Update on Millbank Reception Centre and the provision of reception accommodation for male unaccompanied asylum seeking children aged 16 to 17

Item C1          Action Plans arising from previous Ofsted inspections – progress update

Item C2          Update on actions regarding Child Sexual Exploitation

Item D2          Specialist Children’s Services Performance Dashboard

Item 6             Verbal updates from Mr Gibbens and Mr Scott-Clark

Item B1           Commissioning Transfer of the Health Visiting Service

Item B2           The Public Health Strategic Delivery Plan and Commissioning Strategy

Item D1          Public Health Performance – Children and Young People

Item D3          Work Programme

63.

Apologies and Substitutes

To receive apologies for absence and notification of any substitutes present

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr Neaves.

64.

Declarations of Interest by Members in items on the Agenda

To receive any declarations of interest made by Members in relation to any matter on the agenda.  Members are reminded to specify the agenda item number to which it refers and the nature of the interest being declared

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

65.

Minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 21 April 2015 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To consider and approve the minutes as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Resolved that the minutes of this committee’s meeting held on 21 April 2015 are correctly recorded and they be signed by the Chairman.

 

(2)       In response to questions about the recruitment and retention of new social work graduates (minute 57), Mr Segurola said that 38 new graduates had been recruited and that a second cohort would be recruited in September.  He also said that organisations across the South-East were working on a memorandum of co-operation to agree a threshold level of payment for agency social workers.

 

(3)       It was agreed that an update on the effectiveness of the memorandum of co-operation be considered for inclusion on a future agenda of the cabinet committee.

66.

Minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel held on 9 April 2015 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To note the minutes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel held on 9 April 2015 be noted.

67.

Verbal updates pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To receive a verbal update from the Cabinet Members for Specialist Children’s Services and Adult Social Care and Public Health, the Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing and the Director of Public Health.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Mr Oakford (Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services) gave a verbal update.  He said he had visited a number of children’s centres as part of a regular programme of visits as well as visiting the children’s services office in Gravesend.  He said he had received briefings on the children’s centres that were being reviewed by Early Help and Prevention Services in a similar way to an Ofsted inspection and that the Integrated Children’s Services Board had been briefed on child sexual exploitation.  

 

(2)       Mr Oakford spoke about the impact of Operation Stack on the number of young migrants arriving at Dover and said that KCC services were stretched as a result.  He said he had met with the Leader and Kent MPs to discuss a programme of dispersal and the Leader had written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May. Ministers had been advised that KCC would have no option but to place children out of the county.  He said that consideration was being given to opening a temporary reception centre in a former residential home in Whitstable.  The former home was due for demolition in 2016 and commitments had been given to parents of children at the school and nursery and to the local community that the planned school expansion would go ahead and that the proposed reception centre would be temporary.  He said the English Defence League had posted unpleasant comments on social media and planned to protest outside a consultation event planned for Thursday 23 July.

 

(3)       Mr Ireland (Corporate Director for Social Care, Health and Wellbeing) said that given the current rate of arrivals a second reception centre would become full very quickly.  He also said that the ability to place those who had been through the assessment process was very limited and services were operating at capacity.  He said additional staff to conduct assessments and independent reviewing officers to ensure the needs of look after children were met had been recruited but the rate of arrivals was continuing to increase and on a number of occasions there had been no alternative to leaving the children in the port overnight.

 

(4)       Mr Ireland said that a national enquiry into historic child abuse chaired by Justice Goddard was underway and all local authorities had been advised about the scope of the enquiry and the type of records they might be asked to provide.  He said the authority was planning to respond appropriately to those who came forward with questions about historic issues and staff were engaged in identifying relevant records going back over the last 50-60 years.

 

(5)       Mr Ireland said the authority had adopted the Signs of Safety, a model and statement of how safeguarding would be managed and that staff were being trained.

 

(6)       Mr Ireland said that the authority had agreed to participate in the accredited social worker programme following a request form the Department of Education and that a more detailed report would be brought to a future meeting of the cabinet committee.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Update on Millbank Reception Centre and the provision of reception accommodation for male unaccompanied asylum seeking children aged 16 to 17. pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services and the Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing.  The committee is asked to review its previous endorsement of the decision to close the Millbank centre, and a new recommendation is made that the centre now remain open as a result of the substantial increase in the numbers of young UASC coming into the care of the County Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Philip Segurola (Director of Specialist Children’s Services) introduced the report which provided an update on the decision to close Millbank Reception Centre and the development of community based reception services for unaccompanied asylum seeking male children aged 16-17. 

 

(2)       He said, based on declining numbers at Millbank during 2013, a decision had been made to close the centre however the numbers had since increased.  In March 2014 there had been 218 unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the care of KCC but the figure was now 534.  The Home Office had advised that the number of arrivals would be similar to that of 2014 plus 10% however the increase had been closer to 300%. This increase had resulted in pressure on places in Millbank and it now housed 97 young people but its capacity was 50.  It had also resulted in pressures elsewhere in the system and no more fostering placements could be found.

 

(3)       In response to a question he said that a local authority had a responsibility under Section 20 of the Children Act to any young person who declared they were under 18 and appeared to be without parental supervision and the local authority’s responsibility continued until they were 18.  If however the young person was in care for 13 weeks or more the local authority’s responsibility extended to the age of 21 and potentially to the age of 25.

 

(4)       Mr Ireland (Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing) said that when the system was operating normally the process to establish any leave to remain in the country either indefinitely or for a fixed term would begin when the young person was 17.5 years of age and the local authority would know the result by the time they reached 18. 

 

(5)       Mr Segurola said that there was a seasonal pattern with most arrivals between April and October however in 2014/15 there had been a steady rate of arrivals during the winter months with a dramatic increase from April onwards.  He anticipated that the number of arrivals would be similar for July, August and September as they had been for April, May and June and then drop off, however it was very difficult to predict.

 

(6)       In response to a comment, Mr Oakford (Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services) said: the Home Secretary had recently met with her counterpart in France; dealing with the traffickers was an international issue; and it appeared that young people escaping from persecution were more desperate and were taking bigger risks.

 

(7)       Resolved that:

(a)       The non-implementation of decision 14/00081, for the reasons set out in the report be noted;

(b)       It be noted that the decision notice would be updated online to explain the non-implementation;

(c)        It be noted that additional sources of accommodation for unaccompanied asylum seeking children were being sought.

69.

Action Plans arising from previous Ofsted inspections - progress update pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services and the Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, on which the committee is invited to comment.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs P Denney, Assistant Director for Safeguarding and Quality Assurance, Specialist Children’s Services, was in attendance for this item.

 

(1)       Mrs Denney introduced the report which provided an update on Progress regarding the improvement journey for Kent’s services for children and young people.  She drew particular attention to the improvements since April 2015 in particular in relation to quality assurance, children in need, care leavers, Signs of Safety, the development of a Family, Drug and Alcohol Court and the transformation programme for children’s services.

 

(2)       In response to questions officers said:

 

·         The way Ofsted inspections were carried out had changed and now had a greater emphasis on casework and outcomes for children.  The quality of the practice was the strongest predictor of being rated as “good” and information relating to the performance of the services in May 2015 showed that only one of 116 audits was deemed to be inadequate and this was against a target of 60% of audits being assessed as good.  47% of audits had resulted in assessments of “good” compared with 33% previously.  It was however impossible to predict the outcome of an Ofsted inspection.

 

·         The Specialist Children’s Services Development Action Plan had been developed early in the year and had anticipated an Ofsted inspection during the summer, improvement was a continuous process and the interface between Specialist Children’s Services and Early Help Services was key to success and the achievement of targets. The re-referral rates had decreased and deep dives in both the north and east of the county had shown that staff considered the relationship with Early Help Services and a clearer pathway of support were key to the reduction in re-referral rates. 

 

(3)       Resolved that the progress made since the last report be noted.

 

70.

Update on actions regarding Child Sexual Exploitation pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services and the Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, setting out progress made since the CSE thematic inspection in October 2014, on which the committee is invited to comment.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs P Denney, Assistant Director for Safeguarding and Quality Assurance, Specialist Children’s Services, was in attendance for this item.

 

(1)       Mrs Denney introduced the report which provided information about work undertaken since the local authority was part of a thematic inspection by Ofsted in October 2014.  She drew attention to the work undertaken to raise awareness of the warning signs of child sexual exploitation (CSE) among partner organisations, front line staff and service providers, the evaluation of the quality and responsiveness of interventions, measures to understand the needs of children placed in Kent by other authorities as well as the direction of travel through the second half of 2015 and into 2016. She said work would continue on raising awareness, preventing and tackling CSE and drew attention to a conference planned for October 2015, the establishment of a multi-agency child sexual exploitation panel (MASCE) which was being led by Kent Police, training for foster carers, information for parents and carers, and the addition of clauses to contracts for services.

 

(2)       During discussion, the employment of data analysts by Kent Police was welcomed and comments were made about the need to advise members about the prevalence of CSE in their divisions and about local activities such as the establishment of Gravesham CSE group.

 

(3)       Mrs Denney said that Gravesham, Ashford and other communities were coming together to consider CSE and the intention was the each community group would nominate one of their members to sit on the MASCE panel to ensure that local information could be understood at a strategic level.  She also said that work was underway with local groups such as taxi drivers and hotels, particularly small bed and breakfast establishments, to raise awareness of CSE and share information.

 

(4)       In response to a question about the number of children who went missing and never returned she said there would be better data analysis and data collection, including photographs, among vulnerable groups at the point of entry to the UK.

 

(5)       Resolved that the progress made since the CSE thematic inspection in October 2014 be noted.

71.

Specialist Children's Services Performance Dashboard pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services and the Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, outlining performance, on which the committee is invited to comment.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs M Robinson, Management Information Service Manager for Children’s Services, was in attendance for this item.

 

(1)       Mrs Robinson introduced the report which provided members with an update on progress against targets set for key performance indicators up to the end of May 2015.  As this was the first scorecard to be considered by members in the current financial year, she drew attention to additional information in the scorecard relating to the number of open cases, the number of children with protection plans, the number of children in care and the number of private fostering arrangements as well as information about the trends over the previous five years.

 

(2)       A member said that the graphs on page 85 of the report were useful.

 

(3)       Resolved that the Specialist Children’s Service Performance Dashboard be noted.

 

72.

Verbal Updates

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Mr Scott-Clark (Director of Public Health) said that the general childhood vaccination rates had declined and were of concern; however it was likely to be a recording issue rather than a fall in vaccinations.  He and the Director of Public Health at Medway had written jointly to NHS England expressing concern.  He said that a plan was being developed to increase rates and in order to develop “herd” immunity, rates of 95% were needed. 

 

(2)       In response to questions, he said that: GPs collected data relating to breastfeeding rates at 6 months but the re-commissioned health visitor service would transfer responsibility for recording this data to health visitors; there was a statutory requirement to provide a full medical assessment for unaccompanied asylum seeking minors within 28 days of their arrival; and there was statutory guidance for health practitioners in the event of under 16s presenting with sexually transmitted diseases.

 

(3)       Mr Gibbens (Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health) gave a verbal update.  He said he had attended the annual award ceremony for public health champions and commended the work of the champions and the value of their accredited qualification.

 

(4)       He also said that he had visited a number of children’s centres.

 

(5)       The verbal updates were noted.

73.

Commissioning Transfer of the Health Visiting Service - October 2015 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Director of Public Health, and to consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member on the proposed decision to enter into a contract with the current provider to deliver Health Visitor services for one year.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms K Sharp (Head of Public Health Commissioning) and Mr C Thompson (Consultant in Public Health) were in attendance for this item.

 

(1)       Mr Thompson said that the health visiting service would transfer with effect from 1 October 2015 and the annual value of the contract was £23 million of which £11.5 million was pro-rated for the current year.  The pro-rated budget for the Family Nurse Partnership was £308,000 for the current year and provision of this service was included in the contract.  He further said that the priority was to ensure the safe transfer of commissioning of the service and to minimise any disruption in service to families across Kent.  He said that the proposed decision to enter into a one-year contract with the current provider would enable the safe transfer of service and the time to work up the new model for health visiting.

 

(2)       Ms Sharp emphasised the importance of a smooth transfer and the opportunities for engagement with families with children under the age of 5 as well as with General Practice, Early Help Services and other partners.  She also referred to discussions and engagement with partnership colleagues about the role and contribution of health visitors as well as the intention of having local action plans to build strong relationships between partner organisations and to monitor performance.

 

(3)       In response to questions she said that the health visiting role was mandated with specialist training and there was no proposal to reduce the number of health visitors in Kent. Ms Sharp said that Christ Church University provided training for health visitors in Kent and would be engaged in any future review of the service.  Ms Sharp also said that any future contracts would be let in accordance with KCC’s procurement guidelines.  Mr Scott-Clark (Director of Public Health) said that the skill mix within the service needed to be considered and other skills and professions such as nursery nurses would be required in an integrated team.  He also said it was important to retain the focus on developing and maintaining good health as good health in the early years of life was a significant influence on health in later life.

 

(4)       Resolved that:

(a)       Work to develop the specification for health visiting be noted;

 

(b)       The proposed decision to enter into a contract with the current provider, Kent Community Healthcare Foundation Trust, to deliver Health Visitor services for one year from 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016, be endorsed.

74.

The Public Health Strategic Delivery Plan and Commissioning Strategy pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Director of Public Health, and to consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member on the proposed decision to extend the contracts listed in the report to 30 September 2016.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms K Sharp, (Head of Public Health Commissioning) was in attendance for this and the following item.

 

(1)       Ms Sharp introduced the report by saying that it related to previous discussions at the Children’s Social Care and Health Cabinet Committee on 21 April 2015 and to a presentation she had given to the Adult Social Care and Health Cabinet Committee on 10 July 2015.  She said that a review had been undertaken of the current public health grant, the expenditure on children’s services, the performance of commissioned services and of Kent’s performance compared with other areas in relation to public health outcomes for children and young people. Ms Sharp said the review had identified opportunities for more collaborative working with services within KCC’s 0-25 transformation programme and with other partners and that a new approach to public health models of provision for children was needed. She referred to engagement with partners, the need to ensure the right balance between the delivery of universal services and sufficient high quality services and interventions to target families with specific issues.

 

(2)       Ms Sharp said that the report asked the Cabinet Committee to comment on the proposed decision that the end dates for current public health contracts for children’s services be synchronised and that they be extended to 30 September 2016 to enable a new model of services to be designed and commissioned.

 

(3)       In response to questions Ms Sharp said:

 

·         That by aligning the commissioning of Young Healthy Minds, CAMHS and Early Help Services capacity to intervene earlier would be increased overall thereby reducing the demand for services such as the child and adolescent mental health services. She also said that the budget had been managed without impacting on the Young Healthy Minds service;

 

·         Smoking cessation programmes for pregnant women and others were designed to be supportive and non-judgemental;

 

·         Ms Sharp had visited Swaleside Prison with the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and discussions with prison staff had included proposals for a healthy living wing at the prison and the recent government announcement that smoking might be banned in prisons.

 

(4)       Resolved that the proposed decision to extend the current contracts for School Public Health Services and Young People’s Substance Misuse (as well as the Health Visitors contract which was discussed as a separate item on this agenda) to 30 September 2016, be endorsed.

75.

Public Health Performance - Children and Young People pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Director of Public Health, outlining performance and actions taken, on which the committee is invited to comment.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Ms Sharp introduced the report which provided an overview of the performance indicators monitored by the Public Health division which related to commissioned services for children or aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Kent.

 

(2)       Ms Sharp said the most recent data for the smoking status of women at time of delivery was quarter 2 and the data for breastfeeding status was for quarter 3.  She also said that it was too early for the integrated Community Infant Feeding service which commenced in October 2014 to have an impact on the data and that the intention was to improve the quality of data collection as part of the commissioning of the new health visiting service.

 

(3)       Ms Sharp also said that the performance reports would include key performance indicators for the health visiting service contract when responsibility transferred to the authority in October 2015.

 

(4)       Resolved that the current performance of Public Health Commissioned Services and action taken by Public Health be noted.

76.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services on the Committee’s work programme.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved that the committee’s work programme for 2015/16 be agreed.