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HEALTHY LIVING AND SOCIAL CARE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 6th November, 2017.

 

Present:  Councillor Ms. B.E. Brooks (Chairman); Councillor K.F. McCaffer (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. J. Aviet, G.D. Carroll, Mrs. C. A. Cave, S. T. Edwards, K.P. Mahoney, Mrs. R. Nugent-Finn, L.O. Rowlands and N.C. Thomas.

 

 

433     MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 9th October, 2017 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

434     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

435     PRESENTATION - 12 MONTHLY PROGRESS UPDATE - MRS. R. WHITTLE, CLINICAL LEAD -CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE -

 

The Committee welcomed back Mrs. Rose Whittle, Head of Operations and Delivery, who had been invited to provide an update on progress around the development of emotional and mental health services for children and young people. 

 

Mrs. Whittle began by referring to the Emotional Wellbeing Service which had been launched in July 2016.  This was an open access, early intervention, mental health and emotional wellbeing service for young people up to the age of 18.  This service provided one to one sessions, group sessions and parent sessions and was working closely with primary health, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and other third sector providers to enhance the service available for young people.  Mrs. Whittle advised that referral rates for this service went up and down, with the main reason for referrals being anxiety and anger. 

 

For the Primary Mental Health Team, Mrs. Whittle advised that the service had previously been managed by the Cwm Taff Health Board, but had been brought back in-house to the Cardiff and Vale Health Board.  At the time of the transfer the longest wait for assessment was 36 weeks, since which significant progress had been made.  The latest performance data for September 2017 showed that 77% of children had been assessed within 28 days, this was against a target of 80%.  The longest wait for an assessment was now five weeks. 

 

Actions taken which had improved performance included: 

  • improved data capture
  • electronic referral process introduced reducing delays
  • referrals being appointed to in-month available slots
  • vacancies filled with new staff now operational and delivering part one assessments
  • staff having job plans with allocated assessment / clinical slots
  • telephone assessments piloted and used in suitable circumstances.

Mrs. Whittle went on to advise that one of the main areas for further development was around preventative work and support provided within schools.  There was a concern that following a reduction in this work, referral rates may increase. 

 

With regard to how the new service model would be sustainable, Mrs. Whittle referred to the following: 

  • New guidance produced by the Together 4 Children and Young People National Programme.
  • The new guidance has been developed because nationally and locally the focus on the Part 1 assessment measure has led to reduced delivery of other preventative elements.
  • Peer review of services to be introduced.
  • Working with partners to develop a sustainable GP/school cluster model with a single point of access.
  • Scoping the development of a 5 day consultation/advice line.

Then moving on to Neuro-developmental referrals, Mrs. Whittle outlined that a new multi-disciplinary neuro-developmental team had been established.  Referrals for this service fluctuated on a monthly basis and so, this was a trend that needed to be monitored.  Mrs. Whittle added that a lot of assessments took between 24 and 28 weeks, but the current average was a completion rate of 52 weeks.  This was set against a target of 26 weeks.  This was therefore an area that required improved performance.  Mrs. Whittle also advised that waiting times were improving but there was still some long waits particularly for complex cases.  Positive feedback had been received from parents with regard to earlier stage engagement and it had been recognised that good links had been established with third sector disability services along with close working with the new National Autism Service for Adults.   

 

For specialist CAMHS, Mrs. Whittle stated that this service was still provided by the Cwm Taff Health Board.  Referrals to CAMHS had decreased because the service was now receiving appropriate cases.  The service had a target for children and young people to be seen within 28 days.  At the end of September, the average wait to be seen was 10 weeks, with the longest wait being 26 weeks. 

 

Mrs. Whittle then referred to the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA) that had been introduced as a service transformational model.  CAPA aimed to put service users at the centre and would aid their choices and goals by using expertise in a collaborative manner.  This had been implemented during September and it was hoped would assist with improving waiting times.

 

In closing her presentation, Mrs. Whittle outlined current actions aimed at reducing waiting times.  These included: 

  • scoping of future plans for specialist CAMHS
  • developing a single point of access
  • Western Vale changes - all referrals to the St. David’s Children’s Centre with the exception of A&E presentations, acute paediatrics or persons on the Neuro-developmental register at a Cwm Taff or Bridgend practice and at a Bridgend school.

The Committee raised a number of queries regarding the support provided to schools and also around the previous low performance of the Primary Mental Health Team.  In terms of support schools, Mrs. Whittle stated that as a starting point, the service was looking at the easy interventions as these may not need an appointment.  This was important in order to build up a person resilience as no-one wanted to label children at a young age.  Mrs. Whittle further added that the aim of the service was for a person to receive support at an early stage, although CAMHS was still there when it was needed.  Mrs. Whittle stated that this was why there had been investment into the third sector, although it was recognised that closer links needed to be established with school based counselling services.  She also briefly alluded to those referrals that did not meet the support criteria and mentioned the importance for an early intervention service and new central hub approach.

 

With regard to previous low performance around assessment times within the Primary Mental Health Team, Mrs. Whittle stated that when the service was run by the Cwm Taff Health Board there had been a greater focus on early intervention in schools.  The low performance was one of the reasons why this service had been brought back in-house as this was a way to be fully accountable for not meeting the performance target.  Once the service had been transferred, there were a number of challenges including the development of new processes as well as staff vacancies and sickness.  These took some time to address. 

 

Mrs. Whittle also outlined the importance for the Primary Mental Health Team to meet two key priorities, which was to ensure that assessment targets were met as well as undertaking early intervention work with schools.  Since the Primary Mental Health Team had been transferred there had been a slight change of focus.  This was because the team was not fully staffed and so it was very difficult to do everything.  The reduction around early intervention with schools had been recognised across Wales, which was why new guidelines had been introduced. 

 

Mrs. Whittle further added, that previously, all referrals for mental health support were sent through, which meant that the service was unable to cope with the demand.  A sift of cases had therefore been undertaken in order to check that children and young people had been referred to the most appropriate team.  Mrs. Whittle also alluded to the importance for the development of more early intervention support.

 

A Committee Member commented on evidence which suggested that early intervention usually meant better outcomes for families.  The Member referred to the reduction in youth provision such as Youth Clubs and the impact this had on counselling and mentoring support for young people.  In reply, Mrs. Whittle stated that she agreed with these comments and outlined that where it could, the Primary Mental Health Team would work with the other support networks that were available.

 

In commenting on whether there should be a common performance data set for the whole of Wales, Mrs. Whittle stated that performance management should be about how well a child was supported.  Performance targets were there, but it was important to ensure that those young people supported by CAMHS, were those that needed to be there.  In addition, Mrs. Whittle also reiterated previous comments around the development of more early intervention services.

 

A Committee Member queried why there had been an increase in referrals.  In reply, Mrs. Whittle advised that today children and young people were under a lot more pressure, for example because of bullying on social media.    It was therefore important to focus on building up a young person’s resilience in life.  This was something that the NHS could not do on its own, and so, a whole system approach was needed.

 

There being no further questions, the Chairman thanked Mrs. Whittle for her presentation.

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the update on progress around the development of emotional and mental health services for children and young people be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

Having regard to the 12 monthly update.  

 

 

436     GLAMORGAN VOLUNTARY SERVICES - BRIEFING - INTEGRATED CARE FUND, OLDER PEOPLES SERVICES AND THE THIRD SECTOR - MR. C. CURTIS, OPERATIONAL MANAGER -

 

The Committee welcomed Mrs. Rachel Connor, Chief Executive, Glamorgan Voluntary Service, who was in attendance in place of Mr. C. Curtis.

 

Mrs. Connor thanked the Committee for allowing her to provide an update on the work provided by the Glamorgan Voluntary Services in order to highlight how the Glamorgan Voluntary Service had worked with statutory partners and the Third Sector to enable access to the Integrated Care Fund.

 

In beginning her briefing, Mrs. Connor outlined the co-location of a Third Sector service to the Vale Community Resource Service in Barry Hospital.  This had been funded by the Integrated Care Fund.  The value of co-location was demonstrated by the improvement in communication across sectors, the streamlining of referrals and the social prescribing element brought by the Third Sector. 

 

Mrs. Connor also referred to the small grant programme within the Integrated Care Fund and advised that Third Sector organisations had been invited to bid for proposals.  The Glamorgan Voluntary Service Health and Social Care Facilitator supported the production of guidance, the application and assessment process and facilitated a grant panel of external stakeholders to assess the bids.  The Grant Panel made decisions in June 2014 and, in liaison with the Vale of Glamorgan Council, funding was awarded to two Third Sector organisations, who continued to receive Integrated Care Funding as of today.

 

In July 2016, GVS and the Vale Council, developed a further Third Sector Small Grant programme for Older People’s services in the Vale, with a total of £27k.  This provided funding for eight Third sector organisations.


Another successful programme was the Voluntary Sector Broker in the Vale.  This was based within Contact One Vale of the Vale Council and had been funded by the Integrated Care Fund.  This role was highly valued with the broker managing a caseload of referrals relating to frail older people in order to ensure that the right services are provided in order to support complex needs.  In the year ending March 2017, the Broker received 189 referrals and undertook 25 home visits.  This was almost double the referrals from the previous year. 

 

Mrs. Connor  went on to state that there had however been some issues identified.  These included the following: 

  • Sometimes, short notice to statutory partners of the Integrated Care Fund continuation funding meant that some grant programmes introduced had short deadlines and therefore limited time in order to put in place the proposed service.  This made it difficult for Third Sector organisations to demonstrate the impact of these services.
  • Focus on developing social enterprises was welcomed and small grants could help with the set up costs and the piloting of services.  However, it could take time to develop a social enterprise and this model was not always appropriate or suitable to all Third Sector organisations. 
  • Monitoring of Integrated Care Fund funding should be proportionate to the amount and timescale for spending, so that Third Sector organisations were able to maintain a sensible balance between time spent delivering the service and time spent processing the monitoring of the service. 
  • Managing and administrating grant programmes and ensuring governance checks and a fair, robust process, take time.

A Committee Member commented on the valuable role of the Third Sector, and the Member queried the challenges that existed around working with the Council.  In reply, Mrs. Connor stated that the Integrated Care fund had another three years left to run. For the area of Social Services, the Third Sector already worked closely with the Council to ensure that the Vale received its fair share of funding.  This was quite a challenge, and so, it was important for the Third Sector and the Council to be joined at the “hip”.  From a wider perspective, Mrs. Connor advised that the Third Sector would be able to access money that was not available to Local Authorities, but this was becoming a greater challenge.  She stated that a joint approach had shown to be of benefit, and so, this was something to be built on. 

 

Having considered the update, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the briefing by the Glamorgan Voluntary Services regarding the Integrated Care Fund be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

Having considered the briefing by the Glamorgan Voluntary Services.

 

 

437     AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDER – ADULT AUTISM TEAM (DSS) –

 

The Autism Project Lead Officer presented the report, the purpose of which was to provide an update on the Adult Autism Team and to outline future actions to be taken.

 

The inception and delivery of the Adult Autism Advice Service across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan was specifically designed to offer low level of support, advice and signposting for adults who found it difficult to access services.  Adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) did not fit easily within Learning Disability (LD) or Mental Health (MH) Services, and for people with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism, this could be especially difficult.

 

The need for such a service had been confirmed by the level of uptake for short term, preventative work.

 

Funding that was previously provided as a grant was now included in the Revenue Support Grant.  Sufficient funding had been identified from the ring-fenced amounts for Cardiff and the Vale to continue providing the service.

 

Over the past five years the Adult Autism Advice Service Team had collated information about available services, both within Local Authorities and from external service providers in order to appropriately signpost clients to available services and support them in accessing such services, should this be a barrier.  This preventative work was aimed to enable clients to access support or opportunities that may already be available to them, with or without a diagnosis, but where they may not have known, or felt able to access the service, without the low-level support available through the service.

 

The Adult Autism Advice Service offered short-term, targeted intervention which promoted the independence and autonomy of adults with High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome by: 

  • providing them with a clear point of contact for information and advice;
  • ensuring that those who were eligible for statutory support were redirected to existing services;
  • signposting those who did not meet the eligibility criteria for statutory social services to appropriate services located in their communities;
  • reducing the risk of crisis and helping to prevent enduring mental health problems by encouraging socialisation and directing individuals to social groups, local events and activities; and
  • profiling any unmet need and highlighting any gaps in provision which can then be relayed to local steering groups and to the Welsh Government for consideration.

Access to the service was via telephone, online engagements, face-to-face meetings or by referral from partner agencies.  To date, the service had been contacted by over 600 different people.  Some were simple requests for information whilst others resulted in multiple contacts over extended periods, depending on need.

 

The service was effective in preventing or delaying the need for more extensive care and support.  The service acted to try to minimise the effect on disabled people of their disability, one of the key requirements of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act.  For example, a client at imminent risk of losing their home was supported to engage with Advocacy services that provided direct intervention and support to prevent the client reaching crisis point.  This preventative work from the Autism Service supported the client in accessing a service already available in the community thus minimising and, hopefully, preventing any urgent need for Council services, i.e. housing services, mental health services, etc.

 

In addition, the service continually worked to enable clients to live their lives as independently as possible.  Rather than creating a dependence on support staff, the Adult Autism service, where possible, worked with the individual to encourage their independence and autonomy.  Case work was based on short term intervention not long term, continual support.

 

The service had created innovative opportunities for social contact: 

  • monthly daytime forums in both Barry and Cardiff which provided a medium for adults to influence the development of the service and provided adults with a range of information from local groups and services which they could access;
  • a Couples Support Group had also been established, where one or both partners were on the spectrum to provide an opportunity for couples to share difficulties and experiences and to allow for some group therapy.  This group was established as a result of research carried out by and in collaboration with Cardiff University, which funded the venue;
  • since last October the service had delivered two series of social skills workshops to adults on the spectrum through the Socialeyes Programme.  One set of workshops was run in Barry and the other in Cowbridge, through links with West Vale Community Mental Health.  A third series of workshops was scheduled for Penarth, commencing in November 2017;
  • staff helped to engage clients with a cycling project, “Changing Gear”, run via Pedal power in Cardiff.  Adults with autism could often feel socially isolated and struggle to get out and about.  Staff worked with adults to increase confidence in using public transport to get to Cardiff and then supported them to take part in a Pedal Power project which aimed to work with groups of people who would not normally be able to access cycling to achieve the health and wellbeing goals that mattered to them;
  • staff ran a “Women with Autism Day” to coincide with International Women’s Day attended by 30 plus women, the team also facilitated a second “accessible” chamber music concert as part of the Penarth Music Festival.

The Minister for Health and Social Services Welsh Government announced an investment of £13m across Wales to develop an Integrated Autism Service (IAS) based on Health Board footprints.  The structure of the IAS was prescribed by Welsh Government.

 

Local Authorities in both Cardiff and the Vale, through the Regional Partnership Board, were supporting the local implementation of the IAS by co-locating the staff currently making up the Adult Autism Team to the Integrated Autism staff team funded through the Integrated Care Fund.  Local Authority staff would continue to deliver the services described above.  The service would be enhanced by the additional of extra input and support available to existing staff from the IAS staff team.  Cardiff and Vale University Health Board were similarly supporting the implementation by adding the staff providing diagnosis to the IAS staff team.

 

The IAS for Cardiff and the Vale was formally launched by the Minister on 27th September, 2017.

 

In reply to a query regarding the makeup of the Adult Autism team, the Autism Project Lead Officer advised that originally there were two part-time project workers but through increased funding, three further staff members had been added.  The team also had access to a wide range of clinical staff such as speech and language therapists.

 

A Committee Member commented on the support provided through the Job Centre in order to help individuals find employment. This project had since finished, and the Member asked if anything similar was available.  In response, the Autism Project Lead Officer stated that this was a programme that had been developed by his staff and which had been rolled out on a national basis across Wales.  He added that with more resources, this was one programme that he would like to revisit, although the team continued to work with employers in order to support individuals.

 

The Autism Project Lead Officer, in being asked to comment on the number of people that had contacted the Autism Service, stated that over the last year 150 individuals had been diagnosed with Autism.  Numbers contacting the service was however difficult to predict as not all individuals would want to have support.  He added that some individuals required support for a short duration, which could also be sporadic.  He also stated that there was always more that could be done in order to promote the service.

 

In reply to a query regarding how quickly the service would respond to referrals, the Autism Project Lead Officer advised that for a formal referral there was a single point of access. If a referral was made on a Monday morning then a person would be contacted at some point during that week.  He went on to state that the quicker that the team could respond the better, as this would help to alleviate their anxieties.  The support provided by the Autism team would be short and last a matter of weeks.

 

Following consideration of the report, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the work undertaken by the Adult Autism Team be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee receives an annual update on the work of the Team.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To keep Members apprised of the work of the Adult Autism Team and its achievements to date.

 

 

438     ANNUAL REPORT OF THE VALE, VALLEYS AND CARDIFF REGIONAL ADOPTION COLLABORATIVE, 1ST APRIL 2016 TO 31ST MARCH 2017 (DSS) –

 

For this item, the Committee welcomed the Regional Adoption Manager.

 

As a background summary, the report outlined that on 28th November, 2014, Cabinet approved the business case, service delivery model and implementation plan for creating the Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Regional Adoption Collaborative.  The recommendations in the report were resolved also by the Cabinets of Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil during December 2014.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council acted as host Authority for the Collaborative, which became fully operational on 1st June, 2015.

 

The governance structure of the Collaborative involved a Joint Committee and a Regional Management Board.  The Joint Committee involved the Lead Cabinet Member from each of the four Local Authorities and Heads of Service; it meets twice a year.  The Management Board meets bi-monthly.  It comprised the Heads of Service from the four Local Authorities which made up the Collaborative and representatives from Healthy, Education and the Voluntary Sector.  The Management Board was chaired by the Director of Social Services from Merthyr Tydfil until July of this year when the role transferred to the Director of Social Services for Rhondda Cynon Taf.  In line with the Partnership Agreement, this position will rotate on a yearly basis between the Directors of the four Local Authorities.  The Regional Adoption Manager reports to the Management Board and Joint Committee.

 

The report outlined the performance and work of the service for the period 1st April, 2016 to 31st March, 2017.  It summarised the progress, achievements and areas for development against the Regional Plan put in place to deliver the service and the priorities set by the National Adoption Service.

 

The report included information on: 

  • staffing and service development;
  • Adoption Panel functioning and membership
  • advertising and marketing;
  • performance in relation to children referred and placed for adoption;
  • placement disruption;
  • adopter enquiries and approvals;
  • adoption support, service user engagement and consultation;
  • external monitoring and governance;
  • complaints and compliments.

In picking out some of the key highlights for the Collaborative over 2016/17, the Regional Adoption Manager referred to the following: 

  • an increase both the number of children referred for adoption and also in Placement Orders had impacted on the ability of the Collaborative to place children in a timely manner;
  • the level of sibling groups placed for adoption had represented a significant challenge;
  • there had been a reduction in enquiries from perspective adopters, down 30% from the previous year; although the Collaborative was part of the National Adoption Framework, there was a realisation that the Collaborative needed to actively recruit adopters so required its own marketing campaign;
  • it had been recognised that adoption support was an area that required greater focus by the Collaborative; as a result there had been a drive to improve training and support to adopters with additional resources allocated.

The report outlined that establishing the Collaborative had represented a significant organisational change to the way in which adoption services were delivered.  This had created challenges but also provided opportunities to develop services differently.  By enabling a more consistent and unified approach to service delivery, providing a clearer picture of need and resource and highlighting gaps in provision and areas for development, collaborative working had the potential to demonstrate further benefits.  The priority was to build upon what had been achieved to date, to further develop the service to meet the needs identified and to ensure that performance levels were maintained and enhanced in key areas.  The outcome of the Best Value Review currently being undertaken would help to inform how best the Collaborative did that, and where there were resource challenges for consideration.

 

A Committee Member queried the range of performance indicators used to monitor the work of the Collaborative.  In reply, the Regional Adoption Manager stated that the main indicators were shown in Appendix 1 to the Annual Report.  Other indicators were not included and related to timeliness and the monitoring of deadlines through the adoption process.

 

The Regional Adoption Manager added that in terms of the recruitment of prospective adopters, performance had improved with four adopters approved during the first quarter this year.  In addition, the Collaborative had also developed its website which had improved accessibility.

 

There being no further questions, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report and the work undertaken to date be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee continues to receive annual reports in line with the requirements of the Partnership Agreement which underpins the Collaborative.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To enable the Committee to exercise scrutiny of this key statutory function.

 

 

439     THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN AND CARDIFF INTEGRATED FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICE ANNUAL REPORT 2016/2017 (DSS) –

 

The purpose of the report was to ensure that the Committee was able to consider the 2016/17 Annual Report for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS).

 

For this item, the Committee welcomed the IFSS Service Manager and the Service Manager – Children Services.

 

The IFSS programme was intended to provide holistic support to families by breaking down boundaries between local government and health, and between Adult Services and Children’s Services.  It was delivered by a combination of highly skilled professionals from social care and health, acting as a single workforce.

 

Under the Children and Families (Wales) Measure (2010), Local Authorities and the NHS have a joint statutory responsibility for ensuring delivery of an IFSS in their region.  In July 2011, a consortium involving the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cardiff Council and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board made a successful bid to the Welsh Government to become one of two regions in Wales chosen to implement an IFSS under Phase II of the national programme.

 

In accordance with the very detailed regulations which prescribed the way in which an IFSS must operate, the three organisations established a Management Board chaired by the Director of Social Services for the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Management Board was supported by an Operational Steering Group which was responsible for overseeing implementation and development during the first year of operation.  In order to resolve any operational issues and to provide closer monitoring of the service, an Operational Group was reinstated in 2016/17.  Cardiff Council undertook direct management of the Service.

 

The IFSS was based at the Alps and had been operational since the end of February 2012.  This was its fifth year of operation.  The service had five principal functions: 

  • undertaking intensive direct work with families through the application of time-limited, family focused interventions;
  • providing advice and consultancy to practitioners and agencies on engaging complex families with parental substance misuse;
  • working jointly with the case managers and others to ensure that the family could gain access to the services they needed;
  • spot-purchasing services not otherwise available; and
  • providing training on evidence-based interventions for the wider workforce.

Section 64 of the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 required an annual report on the effectiveness of the IFSS to be submitted to Welsh Government.  The report for 2016/17 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The annual report summarised: 

  • key achievements and outcomes;
  • summary of the past five years;
  • effective partnership working;
  • challenges faced by the service; and
  • priorities for 2017/18.

It was advised that the report demonstrated that the IFSS was meeting expectations in terms of numbers of referrals and the outcomes achieved.  It outlined the robust system of data collection and analysis in place to demonstrate how families were referred and prioritised for support and the impact upon key areas of well-being such as education, parenting, relationships, alcohol or drug cessation.  This was complemented by qualitative evaluation through service user and referrer feedback. The results demonstrated that the IFSS was taking a lead role in strengthening services to support some of the most disadvantaged children, those who were in need or at risk because of parental alcohol or drug dependence.

 

The IFSS aimed to receive at least 100 referrals during the year and planned to work with 83 families.  The annual figures demonstrated that they had received 154 referrals and worked with 88 families; 57 in Cardiff and 31 in the Vale of Glamorgan.  This was an increase compared to the previous year where IFSS worked with 22 families in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The increase in overall referrals reflected the work undertaken by Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan officers was maximised and children and families in both Local Authority areas were benefitting equitably from this service.

 

The IFSS Service Manager, in summarising the latest performance of the service, stated that since its inception and across Cardiff and the Vale, the service had: 

  • helped over 500 children to remain at home
  • seen an increase of over 400% to the level of families accessing support services
  • assisted with over 100 children being safely removed from the Child Protection register.

The main priorities for the year ahead would be to increase the number of referrals where the child was subsequently worked with by intervention specialists.  IFSS would take direct referrals from the Vale of Glamorgan for domestic abuse in line with Part 9 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.  Priority would also be given to train the wider workforce in the IFSS model, including housing associations and their housing support teams.  At a local level, there were plans to strengthen the maintenance phase that followed IFSS intensive intervention and to embed the system for formal review of cases.  In addition, the Operational Group would continue to plan the structure and pattern of future service delivery and identify funding for the medium to long term.

 

The Welsh Government’s ten year strategy for Social Services included a commitment to a career pathway and ongoing qualification requirements for Social Workers, thereby enhancing professionalism and promoting high quality services.  The national career pathway was intended to retain more Social Workers in practice roles and consisted of four levels: 

  • newly qualified Social Worker (Years 1 and 2)
  • Social Worker (Year 3 plus)
  • Senior Social Worker Practitioner (3 Years Post Qualified)
  • Consultant Social Worker (5 Years Post Qualified).

The Consultant Social Worker role within the IFSS was demonstrating that specialist and evidence-based social work intervention (as part of planned, systematic multiagency involvement in the lives of families) could have considerable impact and deliver better outcomes.

 

A Committee Member queried how referrals were made to the service.  In reply, the IFSS Service Manager stated that referrals, for the family, would come via the Council’s allocated social worker.  Cases would be high-end and would relate to children at risk of being added to the Child Protection Register or becoming looked after.  This would be because there were concerns of parental substance misuse.

 

The IFSS Service Manager also advised that IFSS Intervention Specialists were all qualified social workers and had completed the “Train the Trainers” programme.

 

Having considered the Annual Report it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the Integrated Family Support Services Annual Report for 2016/2017 be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the work being undertaken to provide intensive support to families, especially those where children were adversely affected by parental alcohol or drug dependence, be endorsed.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To ensure that the Council’s statutory functions in relation to providing an Integrated Family Support Service are fully met in accordance with Welsh Government guidance.

 

 

440     2ND QUARTER SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND UPDATED WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2017/18 (MD) –

 

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer presented the report, the purpose of which was to advise Members of progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and to confirm the updated work programme schedule for 2017/18.

 

Attached at Appendix A to the report were recommendations for the 2nd Quarter, July to September 2017, while at Appendix B were the recommendations for the municipal year 2016/17.

 

Attached at Appendix C was the updated work programme schedule for 2017/18.

 

The Committee queried whether a report on the Third Sector and Families First was pending.  The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer agreed to check.  In addition, it was noted that the Committee would be briefed on the visits by Leisure Management Contract Monitoring Working Group to Penarth and Barry Leisure Centres.

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the recommendations deemed completed as outlined below be accepted:

 

10 July 2017

Min. No. 126 – Children And Young People Services – Annual Placement Review (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the Committee continues to receive   regular updates through existing reporting arrangements, including the monthly Budget Programme report and update reports on the Corporate Strategy for Children in Need of Care and Support and also through the Foster Carer   Recruitment Strategy.

(3)   That a further Annual Placement Review   report be received in July 2018.

(4)   That the report be referred to the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee for its consideration.

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(4)   The Learning and Culture Scrutiny   Committee, on 18th September, 2017, noted the reference and report.

(Min. No. 274 refers)

Completed

11 September 2017

Min. No. 256 – Service Fit For Future: Quality And Governance In Health And Social Care   Consultation (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That Cabinet be advised of the Scrutiny   Committee’s concerns regarding the lack of recognition around the role of Scrutiny Committees.

Cabinet, on 18th September, 2017, noted the Scrutiny Committee’s comments and resolved

(2)   That the response from the Council   attached at Appendix 1 to the report be approved, and delegated authority be granted to the Director of Social Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure to make final amendments to that   response, incorporating feedback from the Scrutiny Committee (Healthy Living   and Social Care) and Cabinet.

(Min.   No. C78 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 257 – Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2016-2017 – Challenge   Version (DSS) – Recommended

(3)   That the Director’s Annual Report be   referred to Cabinet for its consideration.

Cabinet, on 9th October, 2017, endorsed the contents of the report.

(Min. No. C83 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 258 – Report of the Chief Inspector’s Annual Performance Evaluation of the Vale of Glamorgan Social Services Department 2016-2017 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the key messaged to emerge from the   evaluation, including areas of progress and areas for improvement be referred   to Cabinet for its consideration.

Cabinet, on 9th October, 2017, resolved that the key messages to emerge from the evaluation, including areas of progress and areas for improvement be noted.

(Min. No. C84 refers)

Compared

Min. No. 261 – 1st Quarter Decision Tracking and Updated Work Programme Schedule (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the updated schedule attached at   Appendix C to the report be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website.

Work programme schedule uploaded to the Council’s website.

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the updated work programme schedule attached at Appendix C to the report be approved and uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To maintain effective tracking of the Committee’s recommendations.

 

(2)       For information.