Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People's Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday 25th January, 2022 4.00 pm

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Joanne Dixon 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


Name of Member

Type of Interest

Item/Nature of Interest

Councillor Davison


Ag. Item 4 – Locality Working – Family members both work for organisations attending meeting – Thirteen & Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland



Minutes of the previous meeting of the Children & Young People's Social Care & Services Scrutiny Panel held on 13 December 2021. pdf icon PDF 254 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting of the Children and Young People’s Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel held on 13 December 2021 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


Locality Working from a Children's Services Perspective - Further Information pdf icon PDF 2 MB

A range of partners working within the locality working pilot model in North Ormesby 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.


Presentations attached from:

a)     North Ormesby Neighbourhood Development Manager

b)     Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland – Food Insecurity Project Officer

Additional documents:


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 been provided with 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 the multi-agency approach was working to improve outcomes for children and families.


The following representatives were in attendance at the meeting:-


·        H Insull – Youth Focus North East

·        K Deen – Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland

·        C Williams – North Ormesby Primary Academy


Youth Focus North East


H Insull, Youth Focus North East (YFNE), explained that YFNE was a young people’s charity covering the north east, particularly East Middlesbrough, including North Ormesby.  YFNE was currently funded through the Big Local lotto-funded initiative which was approximately half way through a 10-year funded period.


Youth provision operated on Mondays and Thursdays at North Ormesby Hub, Derwent Street, for young people aged 10 – 18 years.


YFNE participated in the weekly North Ormesby locality team meetings which had been helpful to enable young people’s voices to be heard and to help them progress the things that they wanted to happen within their community.  For example, YFNE were funded to create social action projects – this focused on ideas that would benefit the community and make it a nicer place to live. 


YFNE had worked with the North Ormesby Locality Team in order to implement some of those ideas – such as recent community litter picks undertaken by young people and an art project with young people who had made boards to cover void property frontages within North Ormesby to improve their appearance.  This work had been carried out in conjunction with the Council and Thirteen Housing.  Also in conjunction with the Locality Team, a Community Awards event was organised to celebrate people within the community and a similar event had been held in Newport.  The Panel was informed that YFNE found it beneficial to work with other organisations to strive for the same aims and objectives on a bigger scale.


YFNE was not directly funded by the Council for any youth provision, with all funding being generated from external sources, however, YFNE had excellent engagement with the local community and many of its staff lived within the community.  YFNE felt that due to not being a Council funded service, it could sometimes be left out of the loop in terms of information sharing.  For example, where other services were involved with young people and families in the community, YFNE was not always made aware from the start despite the fact that they may already be engaging with those young people on a twice weekly basis.  It was felt that some issues might have been resolved more quickly had the information from other services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/38


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 advised that staff attendance was monitored across the whole of Children’s Services and, to date, the following numbers of staff were absent due to Covid/self-isolation:-


·        Total staff (across whole service) – 24 (equating to 8%)

·        Children’s Social Care – 14  (6 of which were within Children’s homes)

·        Education and Partnerships - 10


The Panel was advised that the levels of staff absence had remained fairly steady, peaking at around 10%, meaning that there had been no requirement to report to the DfE which was required if 20% or higher absences were reached.


It was reported that there had been some disruption with school transport meaning that some children had not been able to get to school or get to school in time.  Transport had been cancelled due to staff shortages within the Integrated Transport Unit and also some transport was cancelled by schools due to staff availability.  These issues were now improving and beginning to resolve.


School absences were being monitored by Public Health.  Schools had been significantly impacted by Covid in terms of staff shortages and pupil absences, but managed to ensure teaching was delivered in schools through the use of higher level teaching assistants where necessary.  These issues were again beginning to ease.


In summary, it was an improving picture and it was hoped that this would continue, particularly the pressures on staff in schools who had carried out a sterling job in managing staff and pupil absences.


On behalf of the Panel, the Chair wished to thank staff in schools and also those staff working in children’s homes who had been under immense pressure in relation to Covid.  The Director of Children’s Care highlighted that some Children’s Home staff had chosen to self-isolate and live in the homes to ensure that they remained staffed.


AGREED that the information provided be noted.


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 18 January 2022.


A verbal update was provided in relation to the business conducted at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 18 January 2022, namely:-


·        Executive forward work programme

·        Chief Executive’s Update

·        Scrutiny Panels’ Chair’s Updates

·        Final Report of the Adult Social Care & Services Scrutiny Panel – Recruitment and Retention of Staff within Adult Social Care

·        Medium Term Financial Plan/Budget Consultation

·        Corporate Performance Report - Quarter Two

·        Next OSB meeting – 22 February 2022 at 10.00am


A Member of the Panel expressed concern that those Executive Members whose portfolios had changed, and the portfolios of the two new Executive Members, had not yet been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.  It was incumbent on the Executive to provide a retrospective report on the work that had been undertaken within the respective Executive portfolios since they had last reported to OSB and to also report on the transitional arrangements whilst portfolios transferred from one Executive Member to another.


The Vice Chair of the Scrutiny Panel, who was also the Vice Chair of OSB, assured the Panel that the Member’s comments were actively taken on board at the OSB meeting and had been actioned.

The Democratic Services Officer highlighted that the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board had requested that the new Executive Member for Education be invited to the next meeting of OSB to provide a retrospective update on the Education portfolio.




Date and Time of Next Meeting - Monday, 21 February 2022 at 4.00pm


The next meeting of the Children and Young People’s Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel was scheduled for Monday, 21 February 2022 at 4.00pm.