Agenda and minutes


No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Brian Lewis and Michael Elford.


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




(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


No Declarations of Interest were received.


Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Collaborative (VVC) Annual Report for 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 189 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services

Additional documents:


The Chair reiterated the Committees comments in relation to the report being an annual report and in future can this be provided as a six monthly report to allow the committee to scrutinise and highlight areas of improvement.


Annabel Lloyd introduced the report to the committee highlighted the salient points.


Angela Harris (Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Collaborative (VVC)) highlighted the key themes around Merthyr Tydfil within the report.


The following questions were raised by the committee and answered in details by the appropriate officers.


·         The report states the following: 138 children who had a ‘should be placed’ for adoption decision but had not been placed for adoption which was a significant increase on previous returns. 117 of these children were ‘subject of a placement order’ Can you clarify what the difference is between ‘Should be placed’ and ‘subject of a placement order’


·         The report states that an application has been made which will hopefully offer another avenue to profiling children to approved same sex adopters across the UK can you confirm if this has commenced and could this make a real difference to the number of placements available to our children. Also do you consider single parent adopters


Councillor Sammon thanked Angela for the report and the work the team carry out, he also thanked anyone who adopts because as a father and a grandfather it is quite distressing that 244 children have been referred for adoption


·         86 children were placed for adoption during the year, 23% of the placements made were for children in sibling groups. How many families are out there that foster rather than going down the adoption route and how many foster parents go on to adopt


·         The report lists one of the team’s priorities is to drive up the conversion rate of adopter enquiry to application with the intention of increasing the rate of adopter approvals. Can you provide the committee with details off what systems have been put in place to improve this process


The Chair thanked Angela for her attendance and again highlighted the need for more regular reporting to allow the committee to scrutinise.


Cwm Taff Integrated Family Support Team annual report 2017-2018 pdf icon PDF 275 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services

Additional documents:


The Chair advised the committee that Item 4 Cwm Taf Integrated Family Support Team Annual Report 2017-2018 would be presented first as an officer had been delayed.


Annabel Lloyd introduced the item to the committee and led them through the report. Annabel then introduced Jay Goulding (Cwm Taf Integrated Family Support Team) who provided the committee with a summary of the work carried out by the Family Support Team.


The Chair commented that the report was more like a fact sheet which made it difficult for the committee to scrutinise as they were unable to compare data to highlight areas of improvement as the data is almost a year old, and requested future reports be six monthly.


The following questions were raised by the committee and responded to in detail by the appropriate officer.


·         In relation to the WCCIS system the report states ‘we’re experiencing some challenges with regard to management and performance data, whilst we await the development of a manager’s dashboard’ and ‘at the time of writing this report the system does not allow us to accurately calculate the number of re-referrals into the team’. Why wasn’t this managers dashboard introduced at the start when the system was implemented, why wasn’t the issue foreseen and when will the dashboard go live


·         Rhondda Cynon Taf Referrals –  the report states ‘Where possible we encourage Social Workers to speak with the team prior to making referrals to ensure that they are making the right type of referrals’, does this also happen in Merthyr Tydfil


·         The Executive Summary suggests that you are continuing to see a rise in demand for the Integrated Family Support Team (IFST) service with referrals increasing from both Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil but also mentions the reduction of overall staffing. If both of these trends continue where will this leave the service in the future.


·         The structure of the report seems to be very Rhondda Cynon Taf focused and it was difficult to see what parts referred to Merthyr Tydfil can this be addressed.


·         Page 47 of the report highlights risky behaviours – are they self-identified behaviours by the parents.


·         There is a prevalence in domestic violence, can you tell the committee what sort of work you carry out with these families in Merthyr Tydfil. Merthyr Tydfil also has the LLamau project is there collaborative work taking place.


·         What sort of time scales are we looking at for the results of the research being undertaken by Cardiff University


·         In relation to evidence based interventions can you tell the committee what interventions are currently undertaken in Merthyr Tydfil


·         After intervention have long term outcomes been assessed. Are families coming back into Social Services 12/24 months after or are have the interventions been successful


·         In relation to alcohol abuse what ideas do you have to improve the service you currently provide to families


·         Do you provide a mentoring service


·         The Summary of Member Contributions shows that both Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) and Merthyr Tydfil put forward £280,000  ...  view the full minutes text for item 598.


Adult Social Care Strategies pdf icon PDF 566 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services


Mark Anderton provided the committee with the main points and updates on the aims and work streams contained within the six month update report.


The following questions were raised by the committee and responded to in detail by the officers.


·         WCCIS – the report states that work is on-going, can you confirm who is undertaking the work


·         When will the new staff structure be completed as you have previously mentioned redundancies will it all be in place for the new financial year


The Chair thanked Mark Anderton for the report.


Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 362 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


The Chair advised that the item missing from today’s agenda was in relation to the budgets but stated that the Chief Officer is currently heavily involved in the process and hopefully this can be brought to the January committee.




Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions

To receive an update from the Chair


The Chair advised that there were no referrals but again highlighted the issue with annual reports and the fact that the committee are unable to scrutinise the reports and that the reports should be six monthly to allow for the committee to have an input at an earlier stage.


The Scrutiny Officer suggested that the six monthly report from Integrated Family Support Team (IFST) could come back to the committee in March when the committee will be considering the forward work programme.



Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair


The Chair and the Committee reflected on the issues that had been considered.



Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


The Chair advised that there was no business deemed urgent and wished the committee a Merry Christmas



a to z of services
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P q R S T U V W x Y z