Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People's Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel - Monday 13th December, 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Joanne Dixon 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


Name of Member

Type of Interest

Item/Nature of Interest


Councillor A Hellaoui




Ag. item 4 – Locality Working – Ward Cllr for Newport – area in which Locality Working Pilot is taking place, and also Co-Chair of Governors Newport Primary School


Councillor J Walker




Ag. Item 4 – Locality Working – Cllr chair of Linx Youth project – guest invited to meeting



Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Children & Young People's Social Care & Services Scrutiny Panel held on 22 November 2021 pdf icon PDF 255 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting of the Children and Young People’s Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel held on 22 November 2021 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


The Chair wished to congratulate Children’s Services on the news that the Minister for Children and Families had endorsed the recommendations of the Department for Education’s Children’s Commissioner, Peter Dwyer, that the Service no longer required oversight by the Commissioner.


Locality Working from a Children's Services Perspective - Further Information

A range of partners working within the locality working pilot model have been invited to discuss with the Panel: how their organisation/service links into the project; how they work with children’s social care/early help services to achieve better outcomes for children and families; their views on the current pilot model and how it might work  going forward.



The Chair welcomed those present and provided background in relation to the Panel’s current scrutiny topic of Locality Working from a children’s services perspective.


It was explained that the Panel had heard information in relation to various partners working within the locality pilot areas of Newport and North Ormesby and subsequently wished to invite some of those partners to discuss, with the Panel, their involvement in locality working in order to provide a better understanding of how a multi-agency approach was working to improve outcomes for children and families.


The following representatives were in attendance at the meeting:-


·        A Parkinson – Newport Neighbourhood Manager

·        L Kelly – Public Protection

·        K Jackson – Public Health

·        S Carlisle – Newport Primary School


Newport Neighbourhood Manager


A Parkinson, Newport Neighbourhood Manager, advised that in terms of the Children’s Services aspect of the locality model, specific resources had been allocated to both locality pilot projects in Newport and North Ormesby, including named Officers within the model who had been co-located, both virtually and in office settings when permitted (due to the Covid pandemic).  Throughout the pilot, several areas had been developed in relation to the Children’s Services aspect of the model, including specific meetings and working groups in relation to children and families so that a team of support could be put in place around the family or individual in order to best support them.


Public Protection/Selective Landlord Licensing


L Kelly, Selective Landlord Licensing Manager, Public Protection Service, advised that selective landlord licensing operated in both the Newport and North Ormesby areas and that the wider Public Protection Service had always engaged with Children’s Services to work in an integrated way.  It was acknowledged that locality working afforded the opportunity and framework for such work to be carried out collaboratively.


The Selective Licensing Team worked closely with Early Help services, for example, Early Help may be working with a family living in a property in state of poor disrepair.  This would be brought to the attention of selective licensing and a joint visit would be undertaken, often including Environmental Health, to inspect the property and assess whether it met an acceptable living standard.  When inspection or post-tenancy visits were undertaken, a checklist was used to ascertain whether the family had other services working with them or whether they felt they required help/support from any other services.


The team attended child protection meetings which fed into support plans for children and families and liaised regularly with Social Workers to discuss whether families met thresholds for Early Help support or safeguarding concerns in order to make referrals where appropriate.  Whilst carrying out housing inspections, any concerns would be raised with Early Help or Social Care teams where appropriate.


In relation to anti-social behaviour, the Neighbourhood Safety Team put together anti-social behaviour contracts and involved Social Workers, where applicable.  In instances where it was considered any child/young person committing anti-social behaviour required a referral this would be done.  It was highlighted that in North Ormesby,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/32


Update - Covid Recovery in Children's Services

The Executive Director of Children’s Services will provide an update in relation to Covid recovery in Children’s Services, where appropriate.


The Executive Director of Children’s Services highlighted that, following the Government’s announcement on 12 December, staff were again being asked to work from home and that the return to office working on a 60:40 split had been delayed.  In terms of Social Workers, they would carry on working with children and families as carefully and safely as possible.


The Director of Education and Partnerships had met with Head Teachers to discuss concerns around schools, particularly nativity events.  This issue had caused some confusion as some schools were going ahead with nativities and others had cancelled.  There were various reasons for the difference in approach including numbers of staff available.  The general message from the Director was to look at the position in January in terms of infection rates and hopefully things would be more stable with less events taking place.


Several Panel Members raised concerns around the difference in approaches between schools and that it was dividing communities in some areas.  It was queried whether advice from the local authority could be issued to schools in terms of providing a uniform approach.


The Executive Director of Children’s Services acknowledged the comments and responded that whilst the local authority would prefer a consistent approach from schools, the authority’s role was to advise and influence.  Consideration would be given, in conjunction with the Director of Education and Partnerships, as to whether any strengthening advice could be provided.





Overview and Scrutiny Board Update

The Chair will provide a verbal update in relation to business conducted at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 7 December 2021.


A verbal update was provided in relation to the business conducted at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 7 December 2021, namely:-


·        Executive forward work programme

·        Update from the Deputy Mayor & Executive Member for Culture & Communities  (Councillor Smiles)

·        Chief Executive’s Update

·        Scrutiny Panels’ Chair’s Updates.

·        Revenue and Capital Budget – Projected outturn position, Quarter two 2021/22.

·        Next OSB meeting – Tues, 18 January 2022 at 10.00am





Date and Time of Next Meeting - Tuesday, 25 January 2022 at 4.00pm


The next meeting of the Children and Young People’s Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel was scheduled for Tuesday, 25 January 2022 4.00pm.