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The Minutes of the meeting held on 24th February 2014 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
It was reported that no public questions had been received.
The minutes of the Halton Children’s Trust Meetings held on 4th February, 18th March and 13th May 2014 were submitted to the Board for information.
RESOLVED: That the minutes be noted.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which provided Members with an annual report outlining the work carried out by the Board and Officers from May 2013 – April 2014.
The Chair wished to place on record his thanks to Members and Officers for all their co-operation and hard work carried out throughout the year.
RESOLVED: That the Annual Report be received and be recommended to Full Council.
The Board received a presentation from Pam Beaumont, Project Officer Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Reforms, which set out an update and overview on the current requirements from Government regarding the reforms.
The presentation outlined the key themes as follows:
· improve outcomes and life chances for children and young people with SEND;
· consultation with and participation by families in all aspects of SEND development;
· improve relationships with young people and families, focus on a family centred approach;
· focus on the voice of the child, young person and family;
· working together, jointly commissioned services across education, health and social care;
· the reforms were a statutory duty with a local offer being available from 1 September 2014;
· work that was being carried out in Halton – the new website being established;
· what the single plan would provide for Halton;
· there would no longer be statements provided for children and young people aged 0-25, this would be replaced by an Education & Health Care (EHC) Plan;
· parents, carers and young people could ask for a Personal budget once the EHC was finalised;
· provision of greater choice and control for young people and their parents over their support;
· preparing for adulthood;
· pathways to getting a life; and
· the overall culture change and commitment by all to create person centred approaches, improving opportunities for working together across all services, key working, training, and team restructuring to achieve the best possible results.
Arising from the presentation Members commented on the website and stressed the need to ensure help was provided for those who were not confident using computers, the importance of teaching life skills and that it was crucial that the person centred planning was flexible and travelled with the young person through their journey and was reviewed on a regular basis.
The Board further noted the difficulties faced by the reforms in terms of man power and funding. In response it was noted that Halton was on schedule to meet the deadline and would be able to explain the starting process and guide people through it.
Members requested a report be brought back to the Board in January 2015 to provide a progress update.
The Chairman thanked Pam Beaumont for an informative presentation.
RESOLVED: That the presentation be noted and an update report be brought to the Board in January 2015.
The Board received a report from the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which outlined an update on the development of the Missing from Home and Care Service and Child Sexual Exploitation activity.
It was reported that in 2010 and 2011 the Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB’S) of Cheshire, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington with Cheshire Constabulary, collaborated to produce a Pan-Cheshire Joint Protocol for Children and Young People who ran away or went missing from Home or Care. The joint protocol sought to identify and manage the risks and ensure a consistency in approach across borders and agencies. This protocol was subsequently adopted by the Merseyside LSCB’s.
It was noted that the protocol had been revised in April 2014 to take in account new definitions concerning children who went missing which now had 3 classifications, absence, missing and away from placement without authorisation. The new protocol also defined agencies roles and responsibilities including the collation and analysis of data to assist with trends around missing but to also make links to Child Sexual Exploitation and trafficking.
Members were advised that the four Cheshire Local Authorities had agreed to go ahead with a joint missing from home/care commissioned service with Halton being the lead authority. Catch 22 were the successful provider and started in 2012.
It was reported that the coalition government had identified child sexual exploitation as a key focus of its policy, publishing the Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation Group Action Plan. This followed a campaign by Barnardo’s, to increase the profile of this underreported area of child abuse and Barnardo’s contacted elected Members directly to encourage individual and local authorities sign up to the “Cut them free” campaign. Halton had signed up to this campaign.
Members were further advised that a Pan-Cheshire MFH and CSE Strategic Group had been established by the Police. This group had produced a Pan-Cheshire CSE Strategy and Protocol wich each LSCB had approved. The strategy had recently been amended to include the Merseyside LSCBs, and the Strategic Group had also provided an action Plan that reflected the areas to be addressed under the government’s Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation Action Plan. Outlined in the report were the Action Plan points.
The report further set out the current picture of Missing from Home and Care, the current picture of Child Sexual Exploitation and next steps in the form of preventative measures and working closely with the licensing department.
Arising from discussion of the report Members highlighted the dangers of social media and network sites, and were informed of targeted work across primary schools. The Board queried whether there was an issue of trafficking of young people across Halton. In response it was noted that there was no evidence of this at the moment in Halton. In addition Members requested that the zcards and posters with the helpline be circulated.
1. the positive developments in the Missing from Home and Care Service be noted; and
2. the pro-active response to Child Sexual ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which set out an overview on the new Halton Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) 2014-17.
Members were advised that the Halton CYPP was the agreed joint strategy of the partners within Halton Children’s Trust, detailing how they would co-operate to improve children’s wellbeing. It was further noted that the Plan represented Halton’s local vision and aspirations for children and young people in the Borough and provided strategic direction to determine how the Children’s Trust Board would work together to commission services to address locally identified needs and better integrate provision.
It was noted that Halton’s first CYPP was published in 2006, which covered a three year period to 2009. The second plan for Halton was published in 2009 and ran to March 2011. The current CYPP had been in place since 2011 and was due to come to the end of its lifecycle on 31st March 2014.
Members were advised that although no longer statutory as of June 2010, the need for a CYPP to remain in place was universally agreed locally in Halton to provide the strategic direction for the continuing Children’s Trust arrangements. Following extensive consultation, the priorities for Halton’s Children’s Trust for the period 2011-14 was agreed to be based around –
· early help and support;
· integrated commissioning; and
· vulnerable children and young people.
It was further noted that it was agreed in Autumn 2013 to develop a new CYPP to frame the work of the Trust from 2014. On this basis a working group was established from November 2013 to develop the plan based around the agreed new priorities for Halton Children’s Trust, which were set out in the report.
The report further set out the Task and Finish Working Group which met bi-weekly and followed the development of a short project brief where a number of agreements were made around the approach to take for the new CYPP, these agreements were set out in the report for information.
Arising from discussion of the report Members commented on the web based document and the fact that it could be altered and felt that it was an excellent document.
1) Board notes the contents of the report; and
2) The Board endorse the CYPP 2014-17 and supports the roll out of the new CYPP and work in order to meet its priorities over the next 3 years.
The Board received the report of the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which sought the views of Members in relation to any work topics that they would like to pursue for 2014-15.
Members were requested to email the Chairman any suggestions by the end of June 2014.
RESOLVED: That Members email any suggestions of work topics to be considered for 2014/15 to the Chairman by the end of June 2014.
The Board received a report of the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which provided an update regarding Children’s Emotional and Mental Health and Wellbeing review.
It was reported that mental health was central to our quality of life, central to our economic success and independent with our success in improving education, training and employment outcomes and tackling some of the persistent problems that scarred our society from homelessness, violence and abuse, to drug use and crime. Mental Health encompassed mental wellbeing, good mental functioning and the absence of problems in relation to thinking, feelings or behaviour. Mental illness was common and was associated with significant individual, social and economic costs. It was noted that in England one in six adults and one in ten children would experience a mental illness at any one time.
Members were advised that 9.6% of all children and young people under age 16 would have some form of mental disorder (ONS 2005). This equated to 2,500 Halton children aged 0 – 15 with a diagnosable emotional and mental health condition. There was wide spread evidence suggesting that vulnerable groups were more at risk of developing mental health problems.
The report set out what Halton had done, locally, including the work of Halton Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the objectives which were outlined in the national strategy that were identified in Halton’s Strategy 2013-2016. The report further set out the six objectives outlined in the National Strategy for information.
The report also outlined five priorities which had been identified as areas for work to meet the needs of children and local people. It was noted that the strategy aspired to meet the needs of the whole population and by using the best evidence of what worked to increase the effectiveness and value for money of mental health services.
Members were advised that a Children’s Emotional Health and Mental Heal well-being event had been held on 10th July 2013 in Widnes where a wide number of stakeholders attended the event, which included parents, professionals and Members. From this event, a number of quick wins were identified and these were included in the development of a service directory guide which had been completed and widely circulated and was appended to the report for information.
The report further set out information on the CAMS Partnership Board, the two tier service specification which had been developed jointly between the LA, CCG and Public Health, details of a Young Person’s Focus Group and Next Steps.
Arising from discussion of the report Members commented on the increase in cases of young people who had been identified with mental health problems that were coming through the system and whether it had been exacerbated due to the down turn in the economic climate.
1) the Board note the report; and
2) a further report be presented to the Board in six months outlining developments.
The Board received an update on the Scrutiny Topic – Independent Living Skills and Learning Skills for Young People with ASC with respect of development in Ashley School.
The report received a presentation from Anita Parkinson, Divisional Manager – Inclusion 0-25, which set out the following.
· the aim of the group was to :-
o collect information on the experience of staff, children and young people;
o identify good practice in the delivery of Independent Living Skills in a variety of settings; and
o identify further opportunities to develop effective independent living skills for children and young people with ASD in schools;
· details of the visit to Inglefield;
· recommendations from the visit;
· recommendations to date; and
· progress to date.
The Board was advised that work on the existing independent living area at Inglefields was underway and was being altered to provide a lounge, kitchen, bathroom, 2 student bedrooms and 2 bedrooms for staff with en-suite facilities. Ofsted had visitied and had made some security and safety recommendations which had been incorporated into the plans.
In addition it was reported that the young people would have access to bus routes in Halton Lea where a range of experiences would be available such as visiting supermarkets and shops, the gym, restaurants and the cinema. It was further noted that there were plans to open similar new Post 16 provision at Ashley School in September 2014.
Arising from discussion of the information Members suggested the use of independent living bungalows. In response it was noted that this could be considered and that work was still being carried out by the scrutiny group where this could be investigate to take forward.
RESOLVED: That the update be received.
The Board received a report of the Strategic Director, Communities which set out the Mental Health Promotion Scrutiny Review Report and recommendations.
The report outlined the key findings and made a number of recommendations for consideration by the Health PPB.
The scrutiny topic was commissioned by the Health PPB Topic Group with representatives from Children, Young People and Families PPB, with a view to developing a joint intergenerational prevention and promotion campaign to tackle mental health stigma locally.
It was recent years of a troubled economic climate and welfare reform had the potential to add to existing strains on people’s mental health. Halton identified good mental health as a priority and as such sought to examine the breadth and quality of mental health promotion and prevention services and resources available locally.
The Group looked at how mental health was promoted and a range of services and interventions that were in place to prevent further escalation of mental health problems. In addition, there were already significant pieces of work being undertaken in relation to mental health treatment services, which fell outside of the scope of this topic scrutiny review. These included a full review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) provision, development of an Acute Care Pathway for adults and development of Later Life and Memory Services (LLAMS), as part of the dementia strategy. Updates were provided to the group on these services.
Members were advised that the topic group sought input from a number of Council and external providers through presentation, including the CCG Public Health from Whiston Hospital and site visits to Ashley House and Thorn Road CAMHS were also carried out. Members noted that the topic group was instrumental in development of a local anti-stigma campaign Like Minds which took the stories of local people’s journeys through mental health and provided links to a range of local support services. The campaign was launched in October 2013 and the resources were now available for use throughout the Borough by any organisation.
Arising from discussion of the report Members commented on the figures from the topic group’s research and requested figures be circulated which compared to statistical neighbours. In addition the Board requested an information sheet be circulated outlining definitions of self harm. The Board noted that it was pleased to see a reduction in the figures
RESOLVED: That Members note the contents of the report and the comparative figures be circulated.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Policy and Resources, which provided progress against service objectives and milestones and performance targets, and provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen during the period.
It was reported that key priorities for development or improvement in 2013-16 were agreed by Members and included in Directorate Plans, for the various functional areas reporting to the Board as detailed below:-
· Children and Families Services;
· Learning and Achievement; and
· Children’s Organisation and Provision.
Arising from the report the following points were highlighted / noted:
· the virtual Head Teacher had been in place since April 2014, this was a 2 year agreement and the progress would be reviewed to ascertain what steps would be taken next;
· in relation to SCS CYP09, the target was set before the new framework was brought in, which was why the direction of travel was pointing downwards;
· there was now a shared safeguarding unit with Cheshire West and Chester and an additional Conference Chair had been appointed in order to manage the increase in numbers of Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan;
· with regards to Participation and Involvement it was reported that there had been a decrease in participants from Widnes and events were being held to increase numbers;
· the clinical base in Halton Lea had recently closed and had moved into Halton Hospital. The council’s Public Health Department was currently in the process of commissioning a fully integrated sexual health service for young people;
· the Board noted a downward trend in relation to overall risk taking behaviour of young people; and
· that teenage pregnancy had had the best performance results since the strategy began and Halton was in line with some of its statistical neighbours.
RESOLVED: That the fourth quarter performance management reports and comments made be noted.
The Board considered the report of the Strategic Director, Resources which provided information to Members on progress in achieving targets contained within 2011 – 2016 Sustainable Community Strategy for Halton.
It was reported that the SCS for Halton was the central document for the Council and its partners which provided an evidence-based framework through which actions shared performance targets had been developed and communicated.
Appended to the report for information was the mid-year progress report from April 2013 to September 2013 which included a summary of all indicators for the Children and Young People’s priority within the SCS.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.