Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People's Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday 14th February, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Mandela Room, Town Hall

Contact: Joanne Dixon 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no Declarations of Interest made by Members at this point in the meeting.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Children & Young People's Social Care & Services Scrutiny Panel held on 17 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 284 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting of the Children and Young People’s Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel held on 17 January 2023 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


Preparing Young People for Adulthood and Independence - Further Information pdf icon PDF 785 KB

The Children in Care (Health) Team Manager will be in attendance to provide the Panel with information in relation to its current scrutiny topic from a health perspective.


At its previous meeting the Panel agreed to invite a representative from the Children in Care Health Team to provide an overview of how children and young people with care experience are supported to ensure their physical and emotional health needs were met.  Accordingly, K Dudding, Named Nurse with the Tees Valley Children in Care service was in attendance to provide a presentation to the Panel.


By way of background, the Panel was informed that from 1 April 2022 responsibility of initial health assessments (IHAs) and review health assessments (RHAs) for South Tees NHS Trust was amalgamated into a Tees Valley Children in Care contract.


All children coming into the care of the local authority must have an initial health assessment within 20 days to ascertain an overall view of their physical and emotional health needs and to ensure that they were registered with a GP and dentist.  A Health and Care Plan was also devised.  Children in care aged five and under had a review health assessment every six months and this was carried out by a nurse within the Team.  For children over the age of five, review health assessments were carried out on an annual basis.


Where there was an identified health need, this would be passed to the 0-19 service which included health visitors and school nurses to provide ongoing support.  Where there was a bespoke health requirement, for example an issue with emotional health and well-being, the case-holder would be responsible for supporting the child and co-ordinating an additional package of support.


Once the young person reached 15, the Team would start talking to them about their Care Plan and review health assessments and amalgamate the information into a Health Passport.  The Health Passport would handed over to the young person at around 17 and a half years of age.


It was highlighted that some areas of the country would only hand over the passport to the young person if they consented to accept it, however, the decision was taken to not give that option in Middlesbrough so that all young people would be given their health passport and it would also be sent to their GP so that they would have it on record.  It was clarified that the young person was still required to give consent for the passport to be shared with their Social Worker, therefore, if they did not give consent for this it could not be shared with the Social Worker.


The passport contained details of childhood immunisations, GP, dentist, opticians, attendance at A&E, family history.  All of this information would be collated once the young person became 16 then discussed with them at their final health review assessment at age 17 at which point the information from the final HRA would also be added to the passport.


Once completed the health passport was sent to the young person and their GP and would remain on their GP record so that they could access it at any point in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/44


Preparing Young People for Adulthood and Independence - Further Information pdf icon PDF 587 KB

The Director of Children’s Care will be in attendance to provide the Panel with further information in relation to accommodation for care experienced young people.


J Savage, Head of Resident and Business Support, was in attendance at the meeting to provide the Panel with further information around the current and future support arrangements in terms of accommodation for care experienced young people.


The Head of Resident and Business Support advised the Panel that her responsibilities included the delivery of welfare support, collection of all of the Council’s finances and the Council’s Empty Property Strategy.  In addition, she was now leading on the work being undertaken in relation to accommodation within Children’s Services, in conjunction with the Children’s Services Residential Manager and Head of Regeneration, and in collaboration with Thirteen Housing.


By way of background to the project, the Panel heard that, historically, there had been difficulties in securing accommodation for young people with care experience which had resulted in the use of expensive placements.  The cost of a young person leaving care into mainstream accommodation was around £5,500 per week per placement, totalling approximately £14.4 million pounds for 50 young people per year.  The cost of rent in a normal tenancy agreement was around £430 per week. It was clear that a new menu of opportunity, particularly for cohorts of care leavers and children in care was required.


The project was an opportunity to respond to the challenges faced by Children’s Services by working collaboratively across several Council directorates and with external partners whilst also addressing the number of empty town-wide properties to provide a rounded offer.


In response to a query from a Panel Member, reassurance was provided that, in conjunction with Children’s Services, each property would need to be fit for purpose before being offered to a young person.  Key areas had been identified and presented to Thirteen in this respect and the Head of Service advised that she was also responsible for Section 17 payments enabling the Council to provide assistance in terms of goods and services.  This would include payments to help the young person setting up their own tenancy and would ensure there was a whole support package in place, including furnishings and food packages if required.


The Panel was informed that the main areas of focus for the project in its entirety were as follows:-


1)     Those with no recourse to public funds – families who were in the process of an asylum claim or had a failed claim decision.


Requirement – a number of home options for small families was required on a temporary basis where accommodation was needed pending a claim.


2)     Crisis situation: Crash pad – short term/temporary requirements which allowed a domestic or social situation to defuse prior to return.  Often required to be distant or out of area.


Requirement – two or three homes for short term lets.


3)     Looked after children: bespoke arrangements – Local authority was unable to source a regulated package through fostering or residential – need to put in place a staff package to look after a child for long term and for children with complex needs.


Requirement – three  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/45


Date and Time of Next Meeting - 14 March 2023, 10.00am


The next meeting of the Children and Young People’s Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 14 March 2023 at 10.00am, Mandela Room, Town Hall.