Agenda and draft minutes

Children and Young People's Services Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 20th July, 2021 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

Contact: Ann Little on 033 022 22654  Email:  ann.little@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

13.

Declarations of Interests

Members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personalinterest in any business on the agenda. They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting. Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it.  If in doubt please contact Democratic Services before the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13.1     In accordance with the County Council’s code of conduct, the following declarations of interest were made for Item 3 Early Help Service Redesign Proposals:

 

·       Cllr Baldwin declared a personal interest as a member at Horsham Borough Council.

·       Cllr Burgess declared a personal interest as a member at Crawley Borough Council.

·       Cllr Hillier declared a personal interest as a member at Mid Sussex District Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth there.

·       Cllr Sparkes declared a personal interest as a member at Worthing Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Resources there.

14.

Urgent Matters

Items not on the agenda which the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances, including cases where the Committee needs to be informed of budgetary or performance issues affecting matters within its terms of reference, which have emerged since the publication of the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14.1     No urgent matters were raised.

15.

Early Help Service Redesign Proposals pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Report by Executive Director of Children, Young People and Learning.

 

The Committee is invited to review the outcome of the public consultation and provide recommendations to Cabinet on the final proposals prior to a decision being taken.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

15.1     The Committee considered a report by the Executive Director of Children, Young People and Learning on the revised Early Help Service redesign proposals following the public consultation.

 

15.2     The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People recapped that in the previous seven months since the scrutiny committee had reviewed the initial proposals there had been extensive consultation with a good response rate, which had shaped the amended proposals. 

 

15.3     The Executive Director of Children, Young People and Learning, Mrs Butler, introduced the item which would invite the Committee to review the outcome of the public consultation and provide recommendations to Cabinet on the final proposals prior to a decision being taken.  Common themes had emerged on consultation timing, Covid-19 and demographic issues in rural and growth areas.

 

15.4     The Assistant Director – Social Care, Ms Boyd reported the use of one manager, the launch of one front door, the introduction of the Children Safeguarding Model would all help align services and allow much closer working with children and families in the community. 

 

15.5     The Service Lead for Early Help, Ms Hayes, reported that high demand over the last year had seen a significant impact on the number of children waiting for service.  Demand was reported to be currently outstripping resource and staff were working under pressure.  The staff had mobilised well during the pandemic but pressures on them were unsustainable and a conclusion to the proposal was sought by staff. 

 

15.6     The Committee asked the questions and received answers under the following headings:

 

Identifying those needing support

 

15.7     How are vulnerable children identified and come to the service?  There was strong engagement with partners in health and schools and very low numbers of referrals were made through Children and Family Centres. During the pandemic families were still making contact with the service.  Part of the proposals were to improve regular contact with schools as often cases were picked up there.  The integrated front door was available for any type of concerns.

 

15.8     Named Link Workers in schools – How would this work in practice and what additional training would be provided?  It was anticipated that each area would have a dedicated proactive team which would work flexibly so any member of the team could pick up with a school to provide an enhanced service.  Team size would depend on the area.  The work of the teams would be reviewed by practitioners who already worked closely with schools.

 

15.9     How were Electively Home Educated children being identified as vulnerable? Any child moving to home education is notified to the Education and Skills service and their Pupil Entitlement team already worked with Early Help to ensure this cohort did not get missed. 

 

15.10  How do people in need find out about the Early Help service in times of need?  There is a lot of information available through health providers, online, word of mouth and advisory boards.  Members expressed that they would be keen to help get information out into communities.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Requests for Call-In

There have been no requests for call-in to the Scrutiny Committee within its constitutional remit since the date of the last meeting.  The Director of Law and Assurance will report any requests since the publication of the agenda papers.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16.1     There had been no request for call-in to the Scrutiny Committee within its constitutional remit since the date of the last meeting.

17.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on 29 September at 10.30am.  Probable agenda items include:

 

·         Children First Improvement Update

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 17 September 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

17.1     The next meeting of the Committee would be on 29 September 2021.

 

17.2     Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 12 September 2021.