Agenda and minutes

Venue: COUNCIL CHAMBER

Items
No. Item

614.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor R Braithwaite.

615.

Declarations of Interest (including whipping declarations)

Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government and Finance Act 1992 relating to Council Tax, the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct

 

Note:

 

(a)  Members are reminded that they must identify the item number and subject matter that their interest relates to and signify the nature of the personal interest and

 

(b)  Where Members withdraw from a Meeting as a consequence of the disclosure of a prejudicial interest they must notify the Chair when they leave

Minutes:

No Declarations of Interest were made.

616.

Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Service Annual Report pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To consider the attached report

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Angela Harris and Liz Dickson to the meeting.

 

Angela Harris led the committee through the annual report and summarised the salient points.

 

The following questions were the raised by the committee and responded to in detail by Angela Harris and Liz Dickson.

 

·         It has been 18 months since the merger, are you happy with your current staffing levels, and what would be the effect if staffing levels are reduced?

 

·         What are the issues surrounding the staffing situation, is it recruitment or financial problems?

 

Councillor Linda Matthews addressed the committee to explain that a meeting has been scheduled for the end of December in relation to the staffing issues.

 

·         Who does the Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Service report to?

 

·         It was mentioned that there have been a number of breakdowns of adoptions after placement, when it could be expected that any issues would have been picked up during the assessment process. Is this because assessments are more streamlined and less robust than before?

 

·         There is mention of a complaint from an Assembly Member on behalf of adopters concerning delays at Adoption Panel. Were any lessons learnt from that particular complaint?

 

·         You say that you are looking at full implementation of a digital, paperless Adoption Panel system during the summer. What will be the benefits of the system?

 

Resolved that:

 

That the scrutiny committee discusses and comments on the issues set out in the attached report, and identifies any further information it would like to receive.

 

 

 

 

617.

Annual Report on Adult Safeguarding Processes pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To consider the attached report

Minutes:

Alexandra Beckham led the committee through the Annual Report and summarised the salient points.

 

Councillor Linda Matthews addressed the committee in relation to the Social Services and Well Being (Wales) Act 2014 and welcomed the new definition which has moved away from the term “Vulnerable Adults” to Adults At Risk.

 

The following questions were then raised by the Committee and were responded to in detail by the appropriate officers.

 

·         It is mentioned that you are still awaiting guidance from the Welsh Assembly in relation to “handling individual cases”. When do you expect to receive guidance on this matter?

 

·         Where is the biggest danger to adults; is it at home or in an establishment?

 

·         You say that 54 cases were closed as they didn’t meet the threshold for adult protection. Can you give some examples where cases would not meet the threshold?

 

·         The 47% figure seems to be very low and would be expected to be much higher towards 100% figure. Appreciating that further work is needed; can you offer any reasons why this figure is so low?

 

Resolved that:

 

That annual activity and new reporting arrangements in respect of Adults at Risk be noted.

 

618.

Children Looked After Prevention Strategy pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To consider the attached report

Minutes:

Councillor Linda Matthews introduced the item and Annabel Lloyd led the committee through the report and summarised the salient points.

 

The following questions were then raised by the Committee and were responded to by the appropriate officers.

 

·         In relation to the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children has additional funding been received to allow the Local Authority to facilitate the scheme?

 

·         You say that the looked after children population has reduced from 193 to 142 in approximately 5 years. Is this due to more proactive work in working with parents, or just that the criteria have become less stringent?

 

·         If there is no family support what options are available to the Local Authority?

 

·         What effect have the budgetary efficiencies noted on page 39 had on children’s services?

 

·         You mention recommendations from the review of our extended child in need team (ECIN). Why was there a review; and what were the recommendations?

 

Resolved that:

 

The report be received and questions and challenges that will support effective delivery and improvement in this area of work be raised.

 

619.

Case loads - Children's Services pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To consider the attached report

Minutes:

Annabel Lloyd led the committee through the report and summarised the key points.

 

The following questions were then raised by the Committee and were responded to by the appropriate officers.

 

·         You say that caseloads are being reduced, how is this being achieved

 

·         The report states that staff are taking longer to write up assessments as they continue to develop their skills in compliance with the Act, is this an issue

 

·         You say it has been a traumatic year with the changes and the introduction of the Act, how much has staffs day to day work been affected by the Act?

 

Resolved that:

 

The report be received and questions and challenge leading to improvement be raised.

 

Children’s Services carry out the work as highlighted in 7.1.

 

620.

Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

To receive an update from the Chair

Minutes:

Lisa Curtis-Jones updated the committee in relation to the Social Services and Well Being (Wales) Act 2014.

621.

Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions

Minutes:

The Chair updated the committee in relation to the Task and Finish Group meeting that had been held with Officers regarding COTs/DFGs and explained that the minutes would be available early January 2017.

622.

Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair and the Committee reflected on the issues that had been discussed at the meeting.

623.

Scrutiny Work Programme 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer addressed the Committee and highlighted a number of changes to the current work programme due to the Joint Scrutiny Meeting in January and a report from Mark Anderton in relation to COTs issues.

624.

Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair advised that there were no items deemed urgent and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

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