Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 14 June 2023 7.00pm

Venue: St George's Centre, Pembroke Road, Chatham Maritime, Chatham ME4 4UH. View directions

Contact: Stephanie Davis, Democratic Services Officer 

Media

Items
No. Item

41.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Howcroft-Scott, Councillor Jackson, Councillor Perfect, Carl Guerin-Hassett (Headteacher Representative) Clive Mailing (Roman Catholic Church Representative)  

 

42.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 2 March 2023 and the record of the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 24 May 2023.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The record of the meeting of the Committee held on 2 March 2023 and the record of the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 24 May 2023 were agreed and signed by the Chairperson as correct.

 

43.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he/she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report. 

Minutes:

There were none.

44.

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests and Whipping pdf icon PDF 471 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct. Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 4.

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

Lisa Scarrott (Medway Parent and Carer Forum) declared a DPI on Item 8a Family Hubs and Start for Life Programme as they had submitted a bid for the Family Hubs and Start for Life Programme. She would not take part in discussion of this item.

  

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

 

45.

Medway Youth Justice Plan 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 208 KB

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998, requires Local Authorities to have a Youth Justice Plan, which is updated annually to set out how youth justice will be delivered locally within available resources.

 

This plan (attached at Appendix 1) is a completely new plan in line with guidance distributed to local authorities in March 2023. The Format of the plan follows guidance and headings provided by the national Youth Justice Board in the guidance mentioned, detailing best practice in the Youth Justice Plans completion.

 

A Diversity Impact Assessment was carried out last year and this has been reattached as appendix 2.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

The Youth Offending Manager introduced the report which followed guidance and headings provided by the National Youth Justice Board and was in line with new guidance given to Local Authorities in March 2023. This plan focused on the statutory requirements and areas that Medway was required to report back on and detailed actions in place on how to improve performance.

Members raised several questions and comments which included:

  • Substance Misuse Worker – it was asked how the appointment of a substance misuse worker that was based in the North East Foundation Trust benefitted the young people of Medway and how this worked in practice. The officer said that quite a few of the young people they worked with used cannabis and the impact on their motivation and aspiration due to regular use was diminished.  Whilst there was a substance misuse worker linked to the service, there was a commissioning exercise currently taking place on increasing capacity. This exercise was to explore the possibility of employment of a person to a new part time post to work with young people, build relationships and monitor progress rather than linking in with Foundation Trust Service.

 

  • Child Adolescence Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Worker - the appointment of a CAMHS worker to the service was welcomed, it was however commented that the threshold for the CAMHS service was high, and it was asked what impact the worker would have on the service. The officer said that the provision of the CAMHS worker greatly benefitted the service due to the high prevalence of emotional mental health issues experienced by the young people they worked with. If a young person that came through the service was assessed as having a need through the mental health screening, this would be managed outside of the National CAHMS threshold, and their needs would be responded to appropriately.

 

  • Grant Allocation – it was commented that the grant allocations for 2023/24 had not yet been received and it was asked if there were mitigations in place should there be a reduction in the funding allocated. The officer said that whilst the allocation was not yet known, it was known that there would be an uplift from the previous year and there was no expected reduction in the amount to be received.

 

  • Police - it was commented that a Police Officer had not been seconded to the Youth Offending Team since 2022. It was vital that their support be given to the work being carried out by the Youth Offending Service and it was suggested that the Chief Superintendent be written to, to suggest that an officer from the Task Force may be suitable for the role. Officers said that discussions had taken place with the Police colleagues on the Youth Offending Board, and they gave their full support of the new Plan. Additionally, Kent Police were in the process of launching a Child Centred Policing Team and the development of that team and how it supported the delivery of the Police  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Council Plan Performance Monitoring Report and Strategic Risk Summary Quarter 4 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Medway’s Council Plan 2022/23 sets out the Council’s three priorities. This report and appendices summarise how we performed in Q4 2022/23 on the delivery of the programmes and measures which fall under the remit of this committee which are: People and Growth (Appendix 1).

 

This report also presents the Q4 2022/23 review of strategic risks (Appendix 2).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Director of People, Children and Adults’ Services introduced the report and with the support of other members of the Directorate Management Team, gave updates relating to the indicators flagged as red within the report.

 

 Members then raised a number of questions and comments, which included:

 

·       Training for Workforce - in response to a question on whether the training offer for the workforce as part of the Healthy Schools’ programme was being fully utilised, the officer said that this was a universal training service that had been commissioned and was being used by a wide range of professionals which included school staff, health visitors, school nurses.

 

·       Persistent Absence – in response to questions on how schools managed issues of persistent absence, officers said that this remained a priority in Medway and they were working with advisors to develop an attendance action plan, through a cross directorate piece of work. Medway was also part of the attendance alliance with monthly monitoring. It was important to note that schools took full responsibility for instances of persistent absence, managed each on a case by case basis and referred to other services for additional support as appropriate.

 

·       ILACS 7 - concern was raised that whilst there had been improvements, the report indicated that 29% of audits were inadequate and there were continuing concerns about practice. The officer informed the Committee that ILACS 7 relates to audits, was a long-term measure, and that work to improve practice was progressing in the right direction. In terms of trajectory, at the beginning of the audit work in 2020, of the proportion of audited cases, 69% were inadequate, 37% required improvement and there were none were graded as good.  In the last quarter, in March 2023, of all audits that quarter, 29% were inadequate, 62% required improvement and 9% were good.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the Q4 2022/23 performance against the measures used to monitor progress against the Council’s priorities and the amended risk register as set out in appendix 2 to the report.

 

47.

People Directorate Risk Register Summary pdf icon PDF 159 KB

This report presents the Directorate risks for the People Directorate, which fall under the remit of this committee. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Director of People, Children and Adults’ Services introduced the report.

 

Members then raised a number of questions and comments, which included:

 

·       High Needs Recovery Plan- it was commented that the risk had been downgraded with control measures in place and it was asked what confidence there was in this decision. The officer said that Medway was part of the special safety valve funding from Government, with substantial support from Government, control measures in place and monitoring, at this time, the risk was appropriately set.

 

Decision

 

The Committee noted the report.

48.

Meeting Theme: Public Health

At the 2 March 2023 meeting it was proposed and agreed that as a result of work undertaken in partnership with the Local Government Association the Committee adopt a hybrid model moving forward.

 

This would be based on the assumption that meetings will last no more than three hours, with two hours focused on the theme and the remaining time on general matters that need to be reviewed by the Committee as existing ongoing business. 

 

Following consultation with the Director of People, Children and Adults’ Services it was agreed that this meeting would be Public Health Themed with reports covering Start of Life, Infant Feeding and Child Obesity.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of Public Health Programmes and the Head of Health and Wellbeing Services introduced the item and gave a detailed presentation on the tabled reports. The Committee took part in an interactive quiz on Health Inequalities.

 

Members then raised a number of questions and comments, which included:

 

·       PEER Support – a question was raised on provision of local support for breastfeeding as there were variances across Medway on the level of support in place for drop in sessions, with no lead person or support in some areas. The officer said that there were approximately eight peer supporters in post but there was a need for more. Medway Community Healthcare (MCH) provided support to recruit and train peer supporters through the voluntary sector. They were looking at incentives to increase the number of volunteers.

 

The Director of Public Health added that it was important to remember that in order to tackle inequality, there was a need to focus on parts of Medway where it was identified a greater need for enhanced support may be required.

 

It was further commented that it was essential to focus on the 35% of those that had been identified as not breast feeding and to understand the barriers faced. There were some physical barriers that contributed to mothers not breastfeeding, the specialist clinics and universal support from midwives for which demand had increased would assist in supporting some of that cohort of mothers.

 

·       In response to suggestions to explore the possibility of peer supporters being based at ante natal clinics as well as hospitals and looking into a reward scheme to improve recruitment, the officer said that some of the Family Hubs and Start for Life budget was being used to recruit a specialist onsite team which could include a new infant feeding specialist post. This model was currently in place in some hospitals and was being explored to understand how this worked and whether it could be applied in Medway.

 

·       Early Years Funding - it was commented that the funding received from Government was welcomed but it was encouraging that the Council was considering the sustainability of investment looking at embedding peer support and upskilling the workforce and that there was funding in place to appropriately support families as the benefits of early stimulation was key to enhanced childhood experience.

 

·       Start for Life - it was asked to what extent the programme was developed using the framework and how it would be ensured that both parents of a child would be able to easily access support services. It was crucial to ensure that gender bias and inequality was not reinforced. Officers said that the programme was clear that this was about the family around the child and not just mothers. The work and focus groups that took place was clear that the programme was based on the family unit supporting the infant.  Information and support were designed to be inclusive of all, including fathers, same sex parents, grandparents and extended families.

 

·       Incentives for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

48a

Family Hubs and Start for Life Programme pdf icon PDF 260 KB

In February 2023 Medway Council signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department for Education to participate in the Family Hubs and Start for life Programme. Medway will receive approximately £3 million over 3 years 2022-2025 to deliver a suite of services including parenting, infant feeding and perinatal mental health support, early language development and parent-infant relationship support delivered through a Family Hub model. This report provides an overview of the Family Hubs & Start for Life programme and Medway’s approach to delivering it.

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Discussion of this Item can be found at minute number 48.

 

Decision:

 

The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted this report.

48b

Infant Feeding Strategy pdf icon PDF 302 KB

This report provides an overview of the ongoing work of the Infant Feeding Strategy group and an update on the current progress of refreshing the five year action plan.

 

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Discussion of this Item can be found at minute number 48.

 

Decision:

 

The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted this report.

48c

Child Obesity pdf icon PDF 296 KB

This report provides an overview of the interventions and progress of the place to reduce childhood obesity within the Medway Public Health department and the Whole System Approach work taking place with key partners and stakeholders across Medway.

 

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Discussion of this Item can be found at minute number 48.

 

Decision:

 

The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted this report.

49.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 197 KB

This item advises Members of the current work programme and allows the Committee to adjust it in the light of latest priorities, issues and circumstances. It gives Members the opportunity to shape and direct the Committee’s activities over the year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

 

The Democratic Services Officer introduced the report and drew Members attention to the work programme and advised the Committee that whilst the work programme indicated that the 5 December meeting would take the Draft Capital and Revenue Budgets 2023/24, this was an error as it was theDraft Capital and Revenue Budgets 2024/25 that would actually be considered.

 

It was confirmed as indicated in the work programme report that a Performance Data Workshop session would take place on 24 July on Childrens Social Care.

 

A discussion took place on the venue for future meetings, and it was agreed that as of 3 August 2023, meetings would take place at Gun Wharf

 

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to:

 

a)       Note the work programme as set out in appendix 1 to the work programme report.

 

b)       Note the business considered by the Committee during 2019-23 as outlined in appendix 2 to the report.

 

c)       Note the recommendations as set out in appendix 3 of the Committee way of working report of 2 March 2023.

50.

Additional Information - Presentation pdf icon PDF 2 MB