Agenda and minutes



No. Item


Apologies for absence


No apologies for absence were received as all members were in attendance.


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 by the committee


Forward Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 621 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


The committee requested a verbal update from the Chief Officer for Social Services in relation to the budget prior to the six-monthly budget report that is scheduled for October.

 It was agreed that a verbal update could be provided at either the July or September meeting.


The committee approved the forward work programme for 2021/22.


Supporting Change pdf icon PDF 290 KB

To consider the attached report


Taryn Stephens introduced the report to the committee and highlighted the salient points.


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


·         The report states that there has been a reduction in the number of children looked after in Merthyr Tydfil in the last twelve months, however a National report published today states that Wales has the highest proportion of children in UK being cared for by the state, if our numbers are being reduced we are going against the trend which you should be congratulated for. Can you please confirm the current number of Children Looked After in Merthyr Tydfil


·         The percentage of Children Looked After in Wales is on average 1.14% and in England it is 0.67% which is nearly half. Can you confirm what the percentage is in Merthyr Tydfil in relation to population


Councillor D Sammon requested that the officer provide the percentage figures for the number of Children Looked After in relation to the population in Merthyr Tydfil.


·         The report states that the majority of families referred into the Supporting Change Team are affected by domestic abuse, parental substance abuse and/or parental mental health which takes up 70% of the referrals, can you tell us what the remaining 30% is made up of


·         The report highlights the Outreach Team – what does the team offer and how is the work referred to this team


·         Is there extra support available for foster carers


·         There was a story in the press last week that highlighted a reduction in child protection orders in Wales, how confident are we as an authority that children haven’t been missed


·         The report shows that since March 2020, 26 referrals were received of which 16 were closed. Of the cases closed, 56% had a positive outcome. What are your feelings in relation to this statistic and the 44% that weren’t successful


·         Children’s Services have recently commissioned a pilot scheme of parental advocacy – who has been appointed is it an external organisation


·         Additional Learning Needs – how can Social Services work with Education in resolving the issue. At a recent Governors meeting it was stated that 20% of one age group where underachieving



The Chair thanked the officers for the report and requested that the committees thanks are passed on the staff for all the work they have done throughout the pandemic.


Social Services Recovery, Transformation and Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 805 KB

To consider the attached report


The Chief Officer for Social Services introduced the item and led the committee through the report and highlighted the salient points.


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


·         The Children looked after budget can be volatile does the authority build in a contingency element into the Social Service Budget


·         The report states that a ‘whole council approach’ is required when dealing with extra demands within social services – is this the same as saying the Council will need a strategic approach or something different


·         We understand why regional working was curtailed in the last 12 months, what is the current situation are we returning to some sort or normality


·         The report states there are currently no cases of Covid-19 in our care homes is that still the case now


·         Are there any issues with hospital discharges at present


·         6.4 of the report states that within Children’s Services the referrals being received are of a more complex nature, can you explain the reasons for this


The Chair thanked the officers for the report.


Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions


The Chair confirmed that there were no referrals, feedback or follow up actions.


Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair


The Chair and the Committee reflected in detail on the matters that had been discussed at the Meeting


Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


The Chair confirmed that he had no other business deemed urgent and requested that the Chief Officer for Social Services pass on the committees thanks to the social services staff for all of their hard work throughout the pandemic.



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