Agenda and minutes

Corporate Parenting Board
Monday, 20th January, 2020 2.30 pm

Venue: Ground Floor Committee Room - Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG. View directions

Contact: Mark Leavesley  Governance Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Councillor Khan    other Council business

Councillor Jackson    )  unwell

Councillor Woodward   )


Declarations of Interests




Minutes pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2019 (for confirmation)


The minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2019 were agreed as a correct record and the Chair signed them.


Action Plan in response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse report pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Report of Corporate Director for People

Additional documents:


Catherine Underwood, Corporate Director for People presented the report, which detailed recommended actions for Nottingham City Council, and the Council’s response, following publication of the ‘Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)’ Report.


During discussion, the following action being taken by, or proposed by, NCC was stated:


·  recommendation 1 – continued engagement with victim and survivor groups and working with partners, including signposting NHS support available i.e. therapy;


·  recommendation 2 – a post has been created in Information Compliance to assist those wishing to access their social care records;


·  recommendation 3 – offer to meet with survivors and representatives at higher level and apologise on an individual basis;


·  recommendation 4 – working with Police and Crime Commissioner / safeguarding partners to inform future commissioned work on supporting victims;


·  recommendation 5 – Survivor Manager post funded to March 2022;


·  recommendation 6 – strengthened scrutiny of foster carers, especially if an issue is raised;


·  recommendation 7(a-c) –


·  the action plan in response to the independent external evaluation was launched in November 2019 and will be reported to the Safeguarding Partnership in March 2020;


·  IICSA will review in 12 months and may make further recommendations.


In response to a question regarding:


·  which organisation funds the therapeutic support for survivors, and whether the hub proposed is already in place, it was confirmed that this support is funded by the CCG and that the hub is a future development, but survivors can access support and the Corporate Director for People would provide contact details to Board members;


·  whether the Council had received a response from the national panel regarding our Action Plan and how we will monitor progress and ensure an independent view, it was confirmed that we were not anticipating a response from the national team and, once they have completed their work in other local areas they may make wider recommendations. It was also stated that feedback from survivors and their involvement in the developments in the Action Plan will be the main loop back to consider impact.


The Board also stated that while there was a different culture at the time the abuse took place, NCC needed to ensure the same issues can never arise again.


Resolved to note the action plan and associated costs, and the implications for the Council, as detailed in the report and appendices.


Fostering Panel Chair’s Report pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Report of Director of Children’s Integrated Services


Audrey Taylor, Fostering and Adoption Service Manager, presented the report, detailing the activity of the Fostering Panel, an East Midlands wide scheme which replaced the City’s Adoption Panel as of 1 April 2019.


Members asked about the links to the Children in Care (CiC) Council and requested the Fostering and Adoption Service Manager attend CiC Council to share the report and gain their views. Councillors also asked whether members of the Fostering Panel had been sighted on the findings of IICSA, to which it was confirmed that this learning had been shared.


Resolved to note the report.


Adoption and Permanency pdf icon PDF 312 KB

Report of Director of Children’s Integrated Services


Audrey Taylor, Fostering and Adoption Service Manager, presented the report, detailing the permanency performance of the Council.


During discussion, and in response to a question about the:


·  reduction in numbers of children discharged as a result of adoption, the context of moving into the Regional Adoption Agency (RAA) was outlined;


·  impact of regionalisation for citizens, it was explained that the development of the RAA had bought four services together, integrating resources and giving families more options locally, although there was national intelligence that adoptions may slow down in Year 1 because it’s a complex change. It was also stated that it was important to note that nationally, adoptions had reduced by 7%, and in respect of the pace of the journey, it was confirmed that feedback was positive for adults, once they were in process.


The Fostering and Adoption Service Manager also briefed the Board on adoption disruptions, stating that Nottingham City have low numbers of disruptions, with only two in the last year, and are always mindful to make decisions that take into account the needs/wishes of the child to identify the best permanence option, sometimes long term fostering best meets young people’s permanence needs.


Resolved to note the report.


Children in Care Social Care Complaints pdf icon PDF 274 KB

Report of Director of Children’s Integrated Services


Patrick Skeete, Representation and Complaints Manager, Social Care, presented the report, detailing the Social Care complaints process and highlighting the 12 complaints made April to December 2019 by children in care.


During discussion, the following was stated:


·  all complainants have access to advocacy and this is publicised in the information sent to children in care;


·  complaints are assessed to ensure there are no ‘themes’ occurring, if there are, these will be discussed with the appropriate team to find a solution;


·  complaints can be made via either paper or electronically to ensure no-one is disadvantaged;


·  in respect of the ‘no findings’ outcome, these were always explained to the complainant and that they could access Stage 2 of the process if they were unhappy;


·  as to whether the low number of complaints was as a result of under-reporting, it was confirmed that the Council are proactive in finding resolutions for concerns, prior to the formal complaints process, and these issues are not included in the data provided to the Board.


Resolved to note the report.


Educational Attainment of Children in Care pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Report of Director of Education Services


Jasmin Howell, Acting Head of Virtual School, and Nick Lee, Director of Education Services, presented the report, detailing the work of the Virtual School Team and attainment during the 2018-19 academic year (Sept ’18 to July ’19).


During discussion, the following was stated:


·  the City average attendance for non-looked after is 82%, compared to looked after attendance of 93.6%;


·  a key concern is around multiple fixed term exclusions, and it was confirmed that where there is no clear reason for exclusion, the Council assists the carer of any excluded child to challenge the exclusion by i.e. attending meetings with them and creating plans.

·  the data suggests that there has been a dip in the completion of PEPs and a drill-down into the reasons for this has been requested as there are exemptions that need to be applied manually. This will be ready for February 2020;


·  the Virtual School Team are currently consulting on 3 options in regards to Pupil Premium and the preferred way to allocate funding throughout the academic year.


Resolved to note the report and request that the Head of Children’s Strategy and Improvement organise a ‘round table’ discussion at a future Board meeting, to include the Education Support Officer role, best practise examples and the Pupil Premium funding options.


Children in Care Council

Engagement and Participation Lead Officer to report


Jon Rea, Engagement and Participation Lead Officer, updated the Board in regards to the Children in Care Council.


The following was stated:


·  a meeting will be held on 27 January 2020, including topics for discussion such as Independent Advocacy and PEPs;


·  the Council has 5 new members and is operating at near capacity, however as older members are set to leave the group, interest from other potential new members is welcomed.