Venue: Virtual Meeting - Web ex meeting. View directions
This presentation will include the council’s statutory duties and responsibilities, and an introduction to the role of the Ambassadors for Vulnerable Children and Young People.
1.1 The purpose of this member development session was to give members an overview of children’s services in Gloucestershire, including the statutory responsibilities. (A recording of this development session is available at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjYURcIRCxE.)
1.2 The Director of Partnerships and Strategy gave a presentation outlining the responsibilities of the Director of Children’s Services (DCS) and the Lead Member for Children’s Services (LMCS); how children’s services support the delivery of these responsibilities; and, the council’s Section 10 and 11 Children Act responsibilities. (The presentation slides were uploaded to the council’s website.)
1.3 The presentation included a snapshot for children and young people, including:-
Ø A breakdown of the demographic, including, but not limited to, the number of children and young people with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), the number living in poverty, the number in receipt of free school meals (FSM) and the number who were NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training),
Ø Safeguarding data including the number of children in care and care leavers, those open to children’s social care, and the number of children in need (CiN),
Ø The local plans and strategies in place for children and young people,
Ø The council’s statutory responsibilities,
Ø Fair access to services, including home to school transport,
Ø Section 10 and 11 responsibilities.
1.4 It was highlighted that with regard to Academy schools the council does not have direct powers of intervention, nor could it commission additional school capacity, this was the responsibility of the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC). Officers were working on the development of an education improvement board with the RSC.
1.5 It was explained that following the implementing of the working together safeguarding guidance that the Police and Health were now statutory safeguarding partners alongside the council.
1.6 The Ambassadors for Vulnerable Children and Young People informed members of their role and how this influenced the implementation and improvement of children’s services, including on the Children’s Services Improvement Board, and involvement in the recruitment of Social Workers. It was explained that the Ambassadors all have care experience, and were drawn from across the county.
2.1 In addition to the items included on the draft workplan members identified elective home education, the balance between early intervention and prevention work, and child exploitation relating to ‘gangs’, as matters that should be considered in more detail by the committee.
2.2 It was agreed that Safeguarding Children would discussed and debated at the committee meeting on 25 November 2021; the Police and Health to be invited to the meeting.