Agenda Item No.











In attendance for this item: Ms. G. Huws-John, Ms. A. Ferris and Ms. S. Van Eijkern, CSSIW.


CSSIW had now reviewed and analysed evidence from the 2011-12 performance year, and Committee received the overall evaluation of the Vale of Glamorgan Social Services performance which evidenced areas of progress and areas for development.


The representatives of CSSIW summarised the outcome of the Evaluation and Review by means of a presentation to Committee, the contents of which were as follows:



•                     The Vale of Glamorgan council has a major change plan in place and priority areas include a focus on integration and collaboration.

•                     In Adult Services strengths include promoting access to services, and in particular access to community support and processes in relation to adult safeguarding.

•                     In Children’s Services performance has been sustained including good performance in safeguarding children.

•                     The Council faces significant financial challenges with a projected overspend.

•                     The Director’s report gives a fair and consistent account of the work.


Good Practice Identified

•                     Clarity of forward planning – the Social Services’ Change Plan is coherent and detailed and sets clear objectives, priorities and timelines.

•                     Use of joint funded and shared posts to achieve economies and access to expertise in particular to areas of specialist service delivery.

•                     Development of an online learning training package for staff in Autistic Spectrum Disorder. This won a national award and the tool has been adopted by several other councils.


Potential Risks to the Local Authority

•                     Financial pressures in the face of increasing demands. In particular the consequences of not achieving the anticipated reduction in numbers of looked after children.

•                     Workforce resilience in the longer term; recruitment and retention in the face of increasingly high caseloads.


Shaping Services

Area of Progress

•                     Progress with modernisation and working in collaboration with others.


Areas for Development

•                     Recruitment of foster carers.

•                     Ensuring and demonstrating positive engagement of citizens in the development of services.


Getting Help

Area of Progress

• Improved response times to initial requests for help.

• Improved transition arrangements for young people moving to Adult Services.

• Delivering timely assessments and reviews for looked after children.

• Services to carers.


Areas for Development

• Review quality of decision making and initial assessments and possible impact on re referral rates in Children’s Services.

• Continue to review how service can reduce the numbers of people experiencing delayed transfers from hospital.

• Review how the health needs of children looked after can be improved.


The Services Provided

Area of Progress

•                     Innovation in supporting people with Autism including awareness raising in staff and facilitating access to transport.


Area for Development

• Commissioning person centred services for younger adults with complex mental health problems which are age appropriate.


Effect on People’s Lives

Areas of Progress

• Support for children leaving care.

• Timeliness of responding to children’s referrals and safeguarding concerns.



Area of Progress

• Leading on a number of partnership / integrated working strategies.


Areas for Development

• Recruitment and retention in Children’s Services.

•                     Expenditure on residential care placements for adults and children.


Providing Direction

Area of Progress

•                     Corporate support for Social Services  combined with a stable management team.


Areas for Development

•                     Continue to drive the modernisation agenda to improve and develop a range of services with key partners and stakeholders.

•                     Achieve sustainability in the light of increasing demand.


Members were given an opportunity to comment on the Inspection Evaluation and Review and the following points were raised.


A Member expressed the view that, in terms of the whole picture, complex cases arose, which could not be anticipated.  The Member enquired if there were any examples of best practice for dealing with such unexpected cases. 


Ms. Ferris replied that the Vale of Glamorgan was good with its preventative agenda.  It was felt that as the preventative agenda worked through, the number of referral cases would fall.  Ms. Ferris added that a positive feature of all Welsh Local Authorities was that they shared good practice ideas.


A Member, in noting the list of follow up actions for the following year, enquired on what grounds they had been chosen and was advised that there were a number of reasons, i.e. the subject area had been chosen by the Council, some were thematic reviews which were being carried out on a national basis and others were listed because they were regular reviews. 


A Member expressed the view that the CSSIW imposed more stringent conditions in England than in Wales, and asked if the CSSIW website could show a list of accredited suppliers.  The Member also enquired as to the difference between a site visit and an inspection, and what role should the Local Authority plan.


In reply, the Member was advised that Local Authorities should not leave it to the CSSIW.  Local Authorities also had a role in challenging suppliers.  The CSSIW were also suffering from financial constraints and were looking towards collaboration.  The Local Authorities could hold these services to account and ensure that they were receiving value for money from care plans.  CSSIW visits were unannounced, CSSIW were streamlining their process and were improving their reporting formats.


It was important that Local Authorities performed their role.  As holders of the purse-strings, they were in a powerful position. 


The Chairman asked if the Director could give a statement on Delayed Transfer of Care and was informed that the current position was that the Council was within target (which was significantly lower than the Welsh average).  Much work had been carried out with the NHS.  Work was progressing on the Integrated Discharge Service which, although not complete yet, had made significant progress.


The Chairman requested that a future meeting of the Committee receive a report on the recruitment of foster carers.


In conclusion, the Director thanked the representatives of the CSSIW for the way in which they had conducted the exercise.  The encouragement of CSSIW was to be welcomed.  Furthermore, the Director expressed the view that the positive report reflected well on the staff of the Directorate.




(1)       T H A T the contents of the Social Services Inspection Evaluation and Review 2011-12 be noted.


(2)       T H A T the document be referred to Cabinet for information.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       Having regard to the contents of the Social Services Inspection Evaluation and Review 2011-12.


(2)          To inform Cabinet.”





Attached as Appendix - CSSIW Annual Performance Evaluation

Attached as Appendix 2 - Presentation to Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 3rd December, 2012