Agenda and minutes

Children's Partnership Board
Tuesday, 12th December, 2023 4.00 pm

Venue: To be held remotely via Zoom -

Contact: Catherine Ziane-Pryor  Governance Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Ailsa Barr (Director of Children’s Integrated Services)

Erica Doran (Interim Head of the Violence Reduction Partnership, Nottinghamshire Police)

Sarah Fielding (Nottingham Schools Trust and Virtual School)

Amanda Payne (Regional Manager, East Midlands, Futures Group)

Catherine Underwood (Corporate Director for People)



Declarations of Interest




Minutes pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Of the meeting held on 26 September 2023, for confirmation.


The minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2023 were confirmed as a true record.


Change, Grow, Live - Advocacy Service pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Presentation by Alison Smith, Service Manager - Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire Children's Rights Services, Change Grow Live.



Alison Smith, Service Manager for the Advocacy Service at Change, Grow, Live, delivered the presentation, highlighting the following points:


a)  Change, Grow, Live (CGL) took over the contract for the Advocacy Service for children in care, including residential homes and foster placements, in October 2022. CGL provides two levels of service: residential-visiting advocacy, involving face-to-face or virtual visits to children in residential care by advocates, and issue-based advocacy, through which children raise issues with their advocate and agree a strategy to resolve those issues;


b)  From October 2022 to September 2023, there were 94 direct issue-based referrals, the vast majority being raised by young people themselves. Social workers made the second most amount of referrals, though lower than expected due to changes in social work teams. After a spike in November 2022 (due to the transition with CGL taking over the service), issue-based referrals have ranged between three and eleven per month;


c)  The largest number of referrals came from the 15-17 age cohort, following the trend of looked after children. There has been an increase in younger children going into residential care, which is reflected in increases among 5-10 year olds. The number of referrals for care leavers is relatively low, and most are around transition;


d)  Referrals have been received for a range of issues. The largest number are for children seeking representation at Looked After Child (LAC) reviews, and then Wishes and Feelings assessments, and support with education issues;


e)  Requests for support with placement changes are fairly frequent, and a lot of those are due to young people being placed outside of Nottinghamshire. Around 40% of the young people placed in residential care at the moment are outside of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire;


f)  The service has also been commissioned to advocate for young people presenting as homeless. This was initially a six-month pilot, but has been extended for the year, and advocates have represented 17 young people in Joint Housing Assessments to date.



In the discussion which followed, and in response to questions from the Committee, the following points were made:


g)  There are discussions ongoing with Heads of Service for how to promote the advocacy service further, especially among social work teams due to recent changes. All the children’s residential homes have information displayed about the service, including photographs of the advocates allocated to those homes;


h)  There are concerns that children in foster placements may not be as aware of the service, though informational leaflets should be included in the packs social workers give to children when they go into care;


i)  Advocates have moved over to CGL when the contract was taken over, so young people may have had the same advocate for the last five years. When young people have been in care for a long period of time, their advocate can move with them when they move home, especially if they have a good relationship. This allows a positive and lasting relationship to be built;


j)  Advocates will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


Nottingham Early Help Partnership pdf icon PDF 985 KB

Presentation by Julia Bramble, Services Manager – Family Hubs, Early Help and Behavioural and Emotional Health Teams.


Julia Bramble, Service Manager for Early Help and Lead for Family Hubs, and Ronnie Fairley, Supporting Families Coordinator, delivered the presentation, highlighting the following points:


a)  The Supporting Families programme, previously known as Troubled Families nationally and Priority Families locally, underwent significant changes in 2021 in response to the challenges posed by the post-Covid period for Nottingham communities. Seeking a Whole Family Working approach, the programme expanded from six to ten key areas of focus;


b)  Supporting Families works with accredited practitioners from a variety of partner organisations, including schools, the DWP, the police, CAMHS, health services, education welfare, and housing, to ensure a coordinated and collaborative approach. Practitioners contribute to the transformation of services, and provide support to key partners through the assessment and plan, and their role as the lead professional coordinating support for families;


c)  Improving data maturity is a key role for Supporting Families, involving the development of a partner portal to record assessments and plans, and a focus on appropriate data sharing;


d)  In March 2023, Supporting Families held a Whole Family and Early Help Partnership workshop involving around 50 different partner organisations as well as representation from families. This led to the formation of an Early Help Partnership Steering Group in June 2023, which brought services together to work on the Early Help Partnership Strategy 2023-25, which is available on the website. The Steering Group adopted the practice principles of the Children’s Integrated Services department at Nottingham City Council, and the Strategy was developed through coproduction and consultation with families;


e)  The Steering Group agreed five key priorities as a focus of work for the next three years:


  i.  Embedding a whole system approach to facilitate Early Help being an integral part of a city-wide service;

  ii.  Partnership working;

  iii.  Partnership workforce development and structure;

  iv.  Measure the impact of Early Help;

  v.  Pool funding and identify sustainability opportunities with the Family Hub and from external funding sources;


f)  Under the first priority, the Steering Group have developed a partner portal which should be launched within a few weeks, which will be aligned with the Threshold of Needs guidance, and will help to develop a shared language and Whole Family approach;


g)  Under the second priority, the Early Help Partnership website has been launched, to help improve co-production and share good practice. The website has been funded through Family Hubs and launched on the 30 October 2023, and contains information for families and professionals on the range of Early Help services in one place. The website is available in a range of community languages, and additional work on accessibility will be completed by the beginning of next year;


h)  Under the third priority, the Partnership is looking at the language used across different service areas, identifying gaps in services, and looking at access to services. It is developing and delivering a partnership-wide induction, training, and refresher package. It will include a programme of shadowing opportunities and multi-agency events every six months. The intention is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Key Messages and Items for Information


Councillor Cheryl Barnard noted that Children’s Integrated Services at Nottingham City Council had received its third OFSTED monitoring visit, concentrating on care leavers, and that the outcome is due to be published on Friday 12 January 2024.



Forward Plan and Suggestions for future agenda items pdf icon PDF 130 KB


The provisional agenda for the next meeting is proposed to include:


·   OFSTED update (Ailsa Barr)

·   School Attendance / Priority Education Investment Area (PEIA) (Jennifer Hardy and Liz Anderson)