Agenda and minutes

You Matter to Us - Corporate Parenting Board - Wednesday 27th April, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Susie Blood 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes- Corporate Parenting Board- 30 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 693 KB


The minutes of the Corporate Parenting Board held on 30 March 2022 were read and accepted as a true record.


Covid-19 Update

Sue Butcher, Executive Director of Children’s Services will provide a verbal update to the Board.


The Director of Children’s Services advised the Board that there had recently been an outbreak of covid 19 in one of the children’s homes, and although this did not affect the overall running of the home, it has had some effect on staffing.


In terms of Children’s social workers, Middlesbrough were required to fill a return to the Department of Education and the last return outlined that Middlesbrough was in the 0-10% absence rate, however in 11-20% in residential homes due to the recent outbreak.


In terms of further information, the Children’s Education Scrutiny panel had requested information on vaccination of children 5+ and 12+, and the Director would be returning with further information, the Board advised they would also like to receive this information.


Covid 19 updates to the Board would also return to a monthly basis.


Agreed- That the updated be noted



Participation of Children and Young people pdf icon PDF 935 KB

Kathy Peacock, Youth Voice and Influencer Contractor from Participation People and Xavier Davies, Apprentice Youth Training & Development Officer will provide an update to the Board.


Kathy Peacock, Youth Voice and Influencer Contractor from Participation People and Xavier Davies, Apprentice Youth Training & Development Officer were in attendance and provided the Board with an update regarding participation.


Kathy provided an update in relation to the care experienced groups which were being supported by participation. Participation were currently supported two groups:


·         Children in Care Council- 10-17 years, which will meet on a fortnighty basis at Easterside Hub

·         Care Leavers Forum- 18-25 years, which will moved to a fortnightly basis.

Updated from the groups were as follows:

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Kathy advised that the football themed activity day would now take place in the first week of August. Once details were confirmed, details would be forwarded to the Corporate Parenting Board. Likewise, she outlined that if Board members would like to attend the Children in Care Council , to contact her directly.


In terms of the Care Leavers forum, the following update was provided:

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Kathy advised that, whilst they have the group, to them, it is about meeting as many care experiened young people at possible. They will therefore be visiting childrens homes and looking at other ways to engage. Whilst the numbers were low for the brunch event, Kathy commented that it was a starting point. This will be run again and it doesn’t work, another event/ engagement will be explored. A board member also stated that even though the numbers were low, it was a step to show that we care and support care experienced young people.

Following the information, the Director outlined that Ofsted took the views from young people very seriously, which provided a very good loop. She also commanded the survey undertaken by Kathy, as it was done in a fun and interactive.


The issue of engagement was raised, as a care leaver outlined that she did not receive the information on the event until an hour before it was due to start. Kathy advised that in the future, a piece of work would be undertaken in conjunction with Pathways on ways to engagement. Kathy stated that during the Christmas period, she sent texts to over 200 care leavers and from those, she received 5 responses about interest in joining the care leavers’ forum. We want to make sure that young people have plenty of notice.


A board members commanded the work of Participation People and that as time goes on, it would be hoped that these become more popular with young people.


AGREED- That the update be noted.




Performance against Corporate Parenting Board Strategy pdf icon PDF 669 KB

Rachel Farnham, Director of Children’s Care will present the action plan to the Board.



The Head of Looked after Children and Corporate Parenting was in attendance and provided the board with information relating to the Corporate Parenting Board scorecard.


The Head of Service advised that the scorecard was in place for the Corporate Parenting Board to see how our performance was progressing and have the opportunity to challenge. The data was presented slightly differently from previously meeting, and this data set went through every performance indicator for corporate parenting , however the Head of Service had selected the indicators which she thought the board would find most useful.


The updates were as follows:


CP1- number of children in care in Middlesbrough

·        Numbers of children and young people open to social care, in particular, children looked after (CLA) have shown significant improvement since February 2021.

·        CLA numbers have vastly improved, dropping down below the 500 mark in January 2022, reaching 503 in February 2022- a 2% increase prior to last month.

·        In March 2022 there were a further 25 CLA and 12 that ceased to be looked after

·        CLA numbers are down 14.2% in comparison to the same point last year.

CP2- Gap between Middlesbrough and Regional CiC rate per 10,000- Trend

·        The rate of CLA per 10,000 had steadily declined since February 2021, recently reaching the lowest rate in 12 months in January 2022 at 40.81.

·        The rate increased from January to February 2022 by 7.4%- still a 33% decrease in comparison to the same point last year.

·        We remain above all external benchmarks, and have fallen below our 2022/21 outturn.

CP3- Ratio of children entering to leaving care- trend

·        The number of children starting a period of care remains stable, while those ceasing a period of care is showing a decrease since June 2021. This could be influenced by the decrease in overall numbers of CLA.

CP5- FTE caseloads between 15-20 – Trend

·        Board will be interested to know that caseloads have decreased.

·        FTE caseloads between 15-20 reveal that peal caseload % was in March 2021 at 63.60%- 18.9% above the 2020/21 target.

·        The caseloads have decreased since August 2021, falling below the target in February 2022 by 11.4%

CP6- Average number of weeks children spend in care (Ceasing Care in Month)- Trend

·        The average number of weeks children spend in care has maintained below the 2020-21 target in the last 12 months. Highlighting the positive turnaround for children in care. With the exception of October 2021 and September 2021, when the average peaked to 240.30.

·        In February 2022, the average number of weeks reached the lowest recorded in 12 months at 78.90.

CP9- % of CIC placed with parents on care orders at home- trend.

·        The number of children in care placed with parents in care orders at home exceeds the 2020-21 target across all months.

·        In recent months the % has slowly declined, reaching the lowest recorded in February 2022 at 7.20%- a 41% decrease in comparison to 12 months previous.

·        Currently have 45 children in total looked after by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/6


Fostering- quarter 4 2021/22 data pdf icon PDF 541 KB

Jennifer Rowan, Acting Service Manager will provide the quarter 4 fostering data to the Board.


Jennifer Rowan, Acting Service Manager was in attendance to provide the Quarter 4 fostering data- January 2022- March 2022.


The Acting Service Manager outlined that they had been a significant increase of enquiring coming through the fostering service as they had been due to the extensive recruitment campaign and periodic pushes on these. The Fostering service has continuous conversations with the marketing team regarding the best way to target audience, be that through google ads for social media posts.


Within quarter 4 there had been a 100% increase on enquiries, which was a great achievement (15 enquiries in Quarter 3 and 38 in quarter 4). There had also been significant increase in the number of initial first visits, with just 1 with quarter 3 and 14 in quarter 4.  This number is a good sign in that the service are hopeful that these will become future fostering households.


In terms of the fostering families , this number has decreased in quarter 4 (119 ) however there have been a number of contributing factors to this, for example, there has been 5 de-registrations from the mainstream cohort. 1 household had been de-registered by the service area and the other 4 had deregistered as they had not been able to provide fostering for 2 years due to personal circumstances (health and change in work). Practical issues and covid 19 has also been contributing issues to de-registrations. It was also noted that although there have been de-registrations, 3 have continued to foster but under an alternative agency.


Within quarter 4 there had been no de-registrations for connected or foster to adopt.

With regards to foster placements available for children that are not occupied, in quester 4 there were 7. These placements were for babies (0-2) and respite care.

In terms of panel activity, the acting service manager advised that there has been a significant increase as 8 connected fostering families had been approved by panel, which would provide connecting fostering for 12 children. Another success in quarter 4 is the number of matches for children and their long term fostering families (their forever fostering home for their childhood), 20 children have gained stability and permanence.


The Acting Service Manager did state that unfortunately there had been no supporting lodgings approved.


After providing the data set, the acting service manager outlined the following to the board regarding the service:


What is working well


        Performance was improving across the service in terms of compliance and quality.

        Foster carer reviews are taking place in timescales, over 80% of reviews held have been in timescales. No reviews have been held outside of timescales due to practice.

        Foster carers are receiving monthly supervision which supports the fostering families and the children in our care

        There has been a significant increase in enquiries and initial visits with a further planned recruitment drive in May 2022

        The service have improved timeliness of completion of connected carers assessments which supports plans of permanence for our children,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/7


Future for families- Service update

Rob Hamer, Service Manager will provide an update to the Board.


Item deferred.


Virtual schools update pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Victoria Banks, Head of Virtual schools will provide an update to the Board.


Victoria Banks, Head of Virtual Schools provided an update in relation to virtual schools.


The Head outlined that every year the Virtual school holds an annual conference, however due to covid the last 2 years have been online, however this year it was held in person, which was fantastic.


The conference was held on 11 February 2022 at the Riverside Stadium. Virtual schools now have a responsibility for all children with a social worker and one of the aims was to gather delegates together to champion the education for our children with a social worker. There were over 150 delegates and it was attended by head teachers/ governors/ designated teachers/ mental health leads/foster carers/ delegates from children’s service.


The conference was extremely well attended and the Head expressed a thank you to the senior leadership team. Rob Brown, Director of Education and Partnerships hosted the event, however the event was jointed hosted by Middlesbrough Council and Redcar Cleveland Council. There was a joint address from the Directors of Children’s Services and Sue Butcher provided an inspiring speech.


Feedback from the event was excellent, and there were some excellent outcomes and change of practice for our children, for example:


“It was great to hear from people who have  had lived experience of being in care and I was very moved at times. I found the balance of speakers great”


“I found it really beneficial and I am meeting with someone this afternoon about Trauma Informed Practice”


The event was free, however there was a catch for all delegates, in that they were asked to make an Education Champion pledge to become a champion for children with a social worker.


There were over a 150 signatures and the pledge was a follows:


·         I pledge to become an Education Champion for children with a social worker

·         I pledge that I will promote good educational outcomes for children with a social worker I will raise awareness of the needs of children with a social worker within my daily practice andoffer professional challenge to colleagues to ensure that children with a social worker have

·         access to the best possible education both in school and in the community

·         I pledge that I will advocate for children with a social worker in my daily practice by keeping children with a social worker in mind throughout my working day I will hold high aspirations and support colleagues to ensure all children with a social worker have outstanding educational opportunities I will have high expectations of the key adults who feature in the

·         lives of children with a social worker and expect them to be involved in their learning and educational progress

·         I pledge that I will, within my given roll, swiftly intervene if there is evidence of any child with

·         a social worker not reaching their full potential I will be mindful of educational barriers and

·         work collectively with other professionals to remove the barriers preventing a child with a social worker reaching their potential.

·         I pledge  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/9


Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.