To receive a presentation from the Interim Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).
The Committee received a presentation outlining a number of areas which the Children and Young People’s Service was responsible for.
Members noted the open cases and trends in the Barrow area. It was explained there were 165 children with a ‘Child in need Plan’ which was a rate of 125 per 10,000 population, higher than the Cumbria rate of 91. The Committee noted that 55% were boys, 44% girls and 1% unborn babies. Members were informed that 50% were under 10 with the other 50% being over 10 and that 32% of them had a disability.
A discussion took place regarding ‘Child Protection Plans’ in the Barrow area noting that 123 children were the subject of a Plan with 30% previously being the subject of a Plan. Members noted that this was a rate of 93 per 10,000 population, higher than the Cumbria rate of 62. It was explained that 55% were boys, 42% girls and that 2% were unborn babies. It was noted that 59% were aged under 10 and 41% were 10 and over with 5% of those having a disability.
The Committee was informed there were 159 children looked after in the Barrow area which was a rate of 120 per 10,000 population, higher than the Cumbria rate of 77. It was explained that 58% were boys, 42% girls with 36% aged under 10 and 64% over 10 and 8% had a disability.
Members were informed there were 44 care leavers in Barrow receiving support which was a rate of 33 per 10,000 population, higher than the Cumbria rate of 17. It was explained that 44% were in education, employment or training and 93% were living in suitable accommodation.
During the course of discussion it was agreed that national statistics would also be made available to the Committee.
The Committee raised their concerns regarding the number of babies entering the system acknowledging the challenges and critical need for discussions with the new provider regarding this matter. Members felt that the Health and Wellbeing Board had a role to play regarding early help to prevent babies entering the system. It was agreed that as the partnership approach evolved this would make a significant difference.
Members welcomed the successful preventative work undertaken with adolescents which had seen a reduction in teenagers entering the care system. The Committee welcomed the resilience workers who worked alongside social workers during a crisis and directly with children looked after to help them return to their home.
A discussion took place regarding out of county placements and members were assured that this only took place as a last resort if there were no places available in the county. It was emphasised that a significant amount of work was undertaken to ensure there was regular contact with children placed out of county.
The Committee was informed of the difficulties encountered regarding recruitment and retention of officers and welcomed this matter being considered as part of the evolving Development Plan.
The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked the Officer for the presentation and it was agreed members would receive a further update at the Local Committee meeting scheduled for May 2020.
RESOLVED, that the presentation be noted.