Minutes of meeting held on 20th July 2011, at the Civic Offices


Present: Councillor Dorothy Turner (Chairman), Councillor Anthony Hampton (left at 4.50pm), Councillor Sally Bagstaff, Councillor Val Hartrey,  Councillor Sophie Williams, Councillor Janice Birch;  Gareth Jenkins (Head of Children & Young People Services),  Jenny Smith (Specialist Teacher – LAC), Catherine Hanlon-Vanstone (Minute Taker)


Presenters –             Mr Gareth Jacobs – NYAS – Service Manager

                        Ms Lesa Pates – NYAS – Senior Advocate


Apologies: Bryan Jeffreys (Director of Learning and Development); Phil Evans  (Directors of Social and Care Services) ; Caroline Rees (Head of Service – Additional Learning Needs.)


Cllr Hampton had to leave the meeting at 4.50pm to Chair another meeting.




(1) Apologies for absence



Apologies were received from Bryan Jeffreys (Director of Learning and Development); Phil Evans (Director of Social Services); Caroline Rees (Head of Additional Learning Needs.)



(2) Minutes of Meeting – 18 May 2011



The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a true record and were signed by the Chairman Cllr DT.


Matters Arising:

Training, Education and Work Opportunities for Looked After Children and Care Leavers – DT has written to the CX and has received a response to the Panel indicating that the issue will be raised at CMT on 20 July 2011 and the Chief Executive will then write again to advise further.


Guest D attendance at future Panels   - JS confirmed that she has spoken to Guest D regarding attendance and Guest D has confirmed that she is keen to continue her attendance at the Panel Meetings.  JS also has another LAC who has shown interest in joining the Panel. 


>JS to confirm arrangements with the second LAC representative for September.


Higher Education Bursaries (HEB) – Panel discussed problems surrounding the HEB, with the implications that this will have on the budget.  JS outlined that the Council currently have at 2 LAC attending University which is excellent but some consideration needs to be given to funding.


Ø      HEB to be put on Agenda for next meeting. 



Ø      GJ/JS to present a Paper to Panel on this issue at the next meeting.


Ø      Families First Report and LAC Exclusions – both items to be put on Agenda for next meeting for consideration by the Panel.









Panel Noted



















(3) To receive declarations of Interest



No declarations were received.




(4) Presentation – National Youth Advocacy Service - NYAS



DT welcomed Gareth Jacobs and LP from NYAS and introduced the Panel Members.  Panel members were all issued with a copy of the NYAS Information Pack - (Master Copy available for viewing from Cabinet Office).


Gareth Jacobs indicated that the focal point of the presentation would be a Service Outline with the opportunity for the Panel to ask any questions they may have.  Some of the key issues referred to within Gareth Jacob’s presentation are as follows;


Ø      NYAS was established in 1979 by a group of Social Workers in Liverpool with the key aim of listening to children and young people who feel that their voices are not being heard.


Ø      It is a statutory duty for every Local Authority to provide advocacy services and that Advocacy was about empowering young people.


Ø      For those who approach NYAS who may not be eligible for their services they still work with the applicant in order to signpost them to the relevant person/agency who can help.


Ø      Gareth presented some results from a recent qualitative study that NYAS have carried out with LAC which yielded very interesting data.


DT queried whether we have similar study information that can be reported, like the data presented by NYAS.


GJ confirmed that we are able to report on some features.  The LA has a rolling programme of consultation concerned with broad themes but there has historically been a poor response rate.  This could be the result of the method of sourcing the information.  It was also recognised that there can be a problem engaging children in work when the Local Authority is leading it  - NYAS are an independent organisation and young people are often more willing to discuss their thoughts and feelings with an independent person.


JS indicated that the PEP’s also provide an insight into some of the areas. 


Discussion among the Panel regarding how the LA could source information on very basic questions to LAC, for example ‘Are you hungry’ (as some of the responses on the NYAS study worryingly indicated that some children reported feeling hungry as their personal experience of  being looked after.)    It was suggested that there is the potential that the Council could commission NYAS for specific consultation to capture information – NYAS confirmed that they would be very willing to work with the Authority to capture such data if requested.


JS also suggested that School Councils could be used as a mechanism to try and encourage engagement of young people in such studies.


GJ confirmed that he was pleased that the Council have now reached the position in which the contract has been awarded to NYAS and highlighted the role that each Panel member plays in ensuring universal access to these services, including in their role as local Councillors.


DT highlighted that as a result of the work of the Panel and all involved the Vale of Glamorgan Council now has a sound awareness of the issues that affect Looked After Children, and the work is supported across the Council, and by all Councillors.


GJ enquired if NYAS are in a position for the Local Authority to have some of their leaflets which have been published for different age groups on their service.  NYAS confirmed that the packs are currently being prepared with the intention that they will be hand delivered for Social Workers to then have an input in disseminating them to LAC.


Gareth Jacobs provided the Panel with some case study examples of Advocacy work that NYAS have been involved in.    He explained that in some cases children may ask for something that they are unable to have, e.g. something that may be harmful to them, or may make unreasonable requests.  In these cases NYAS can then assist by acting as independent advisors to the young people.


Gareth Jacobs stressed that Article 10 of the UN Convention states that all young people have the right to be heard but this cannot mean that they can always get what they want. 


Gareth Jacobs introduced Lesa Pate whose role is that of a visiting advocate.  LP outlined that she had her first visit to Wentworth Place on 19 July 2011 during which she met with LAC’s there and was able to explain her role and the services available.  She outlined that as a result of this meeting she has been invited to WH’s Young Person’s Team Meeting which she plans to attend.


She outlined that he role is to extract information from children in residential homes, regarding their experiences, happiness, care etc.. and to relay this information back to the Local Authority.


DT thanked NYAS for their presentation and their attendance and intimated that she hoped they would return to a future CPP Meeting to update the Panel.


NYAS left a copy of the Information Pack to go on the CPP file.


> CHV to file pack for information.

















































































(6) Update on the Forward Work Programme – Gareth Jenkins


GJ circulated the new Cabinet Forward Work programme for the Panel to take away to consider.   GJ stressed that all completed items have now been removed from the Plan and that Higher Education is to be added as an action for the FWP.


> GJ to add HE to the FWP.


  The group discussed the Forward Work Programme and GJ provided updates as follows:-


Items 1 - 3 – all have been brought forward from the last FWP with an update in the Progress Column for each item.


Item 4 ( Maintain and Improve Engagement, Involvement & Participation) – GJ indicated the first action has been completed given the update provided earlier in the meeting by JS in that Guest D would like to remain on the Panel and an extra representative has been approached.


GJ also highlighted that he has included the Awards Evening within the FWP as it is important to recognise this work.


Ø      Cllr VH to enquire as to Charlotte Church’s availability to attend the Awards Evening.


Ø      JS to email details of the Event to Cllr VH.


Item 5 (Health of LAC and Young People)


DT circulated letter to all Panel Members from Cardiff and Vale UHB regarding Health and LAC Provision.    DT outlined that the letter states that in order to provide an equitable level of service between the Vale and Cardiff there is to be a loss of service for the Vale in order to minimise the gap.


Cllr DT expressed her extreme disappointment at the contents of the letter and the outcome and advised that Panel that she intends to discuss the issue with the Chair of the LHB at her next meeting.


Ø      Cllr DT to speak with Chair LHB regarding Health Provision for LAC.


JS intimated that to lose the service of specialist nurses after 10 years is very sad.


DT suggested that a response to the letter be drafted from the CPP that she will sign as Chair.   Dental Care provision for LAC should also be raised as an issue within the letter.


Ø      GJ to draft a response for the Chair to send


Cllr SW enquired whether leisure passes provided to foster families are for the whole of the foster family or just for the Looked After Child?


GJ indicated that he is still awaiting confirmation on this point.  He has also queried whether all LAC receive leisure passes or just those of Secondary School age.


All Panel agreed that the passes should be for the whole foster family in order to promote cohesion and unity within the family so as to not single out the LAC.


> GJ to make some enquiries with Leisure Services and will report back to the Panel at a later date.


Item 6 (Education, Training or Employment) – GJ outlined that this item has been left on the Programme.  Panel hopefully will have a report for the next meeting regarding CMT Support for Care Leavers. 


DT suggested that there may be an opportunity with the new development at the Waterfront for work experience placements to be worked into agreement – suggestion of potential for S106 for Educational Purposes.


> Cllr DT to informally discuss how to progress options for work placements for LAC with the Leader.


Action will also be added to the FWP under this heading regarding LAC and Higher Education.


> GJ to update FWP to reflect this.


> HE to be scheduled on Agenda for next meeting.


> GJ to circulate papers with the Agenda for next meeting.




















Cllr VH














Cllr DT

















Panel Agreed
















Cllr DT











(7) Awards Ceremony 2011 – Jenny Smith


JS updated Panel on arrangements for Awards Ceremony.


 JS has now been in touch with Rotarians and has been informed that there is a Rotary Scheme which LAC may be interested in getting involved, known as The Rotary Young Leaders Awards (RYLA) as part of which young people are able to go away to carry out activities.


Cllr DT confirmed that she is happy to meet with the Rotarians with JS if desired.


Ø      Cllr VH to contact Charlotte Church to enquiry as to availability for the Awards Ceremony.


JS stressed that there is also the potential for the date of the Awards Ceremony to be altered to suit Charlotte Church’s availability as the date has not yet been publically circulated. 


Ø      JS to send CYPP report to VH to send with the letter for background on the Panel.













Cllr VH








(8) Future Meeting Dates  



Ø      Cllr DT to circulate proposed dates for future meetings to all Panel Members.


Ø      SW indicated that if the meetings have to be scheduled on Wednesdays then she is unable to meet until 5.30 onwards.




Cllr DT



Cllr SW

(9) AOB


 A copy of the WLGA News Release was circulated to all Panel Members.


GJ outlined that there is nothing contained within that the Panel has not already considered.  GJ congratulated Panel members on the work undertaken to date.



Next Meeting Date



To be confirmed.