Issue - meetings
Corporate Parenting and Safeguarding and Child Protection
Meeting: 04/06/2015 - Joint Education & Youth and Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 3)
(a) That the developments underway in relation to the discharge of the
Local Authority’s safeguarding duties be supported;
(b) That the responsibilities of Members as Corporate Parents be
acknowledged, and that Members continue to promote positive outcomes for children and young people;
(c) That the Committee make representations to the Welsh Government seeking their support in changing the legislation with regard to ‘no right of access on the doorstep’ for children who are home schooled; and
(d) That contact details of Members of the Children’s Services Forum be included in future information packs given to Looked After Children.
The Chief Officer (Social Services) introduced a report to provide an overview of activity and performance in relation to both corporate parenting and safeguarding/child protection. He introduced Vicky Allen, Senior Manager Children’s Lead, and invited her to provide detail.
The Senior Manager Children’s Lead, provided background information and referred to the key considerations which were detailed in the report around child protection, safeguarding, and corporate parenting.
The Chairman thanked the Senior Manager Children’s Lead for her overview and invited members to raise questions.
Councillor Hilary McGuill raised a concern around safeguarding and child protection in relation to home schooled children. She referred to a Serious Case Review which was held in 2011 and asked what measures had been put in place to address the shortfalls that were identified as a result of the Review. In his response the Chief Officer (Education and Youth) explained that following the Review strenuous efforts had been made to achieve a change in the legislative position if families refused to have a home visit, however, to date there had been no change in the legislation. Responding to the further questions and concerns raised by Councillor McGuill the Chief Officer advised that the Authority did not have a right of access to a child who was being home schooled. During discussion Officers referred to the processes for raising concerns around the well being, safeguarding and protection of young people and work ongoing. It was suggested that the Committee may wish to make further representations to the Welsh Government to secure a change in the legislation. Councillor McGuill proposed that a letter be sent on behalf of the Joint Education & Youth and Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee to set out the concerns raised by members and request a change in the current legislation. The proposal was seconded and when put to the vote was unanimously carried.
Councillor Dave Mackie referred to Members key role and responsibilities as Corporate Parents and emphasised the need for contact with Looked After Children (LAC). The Chief Officer (Social Services) responded to the concerns expressed by Councillor Mackie and acknowledged the point made in relation to the Children’s Services Forum and Annual Pride of Flintshire event. Councillor Carol Ellis proposed that the details of Members of the Children’s Services Forum be included in future information packs provided to LAC so that they could contact Members directly if they had any concerns they wished to raise. She also asked that the Education and Youth and Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committees be notified when that action had been taken. Councillor Andy Dunbobbin commented that some Members were also School Governors and suggested that this contact information also be included in the pack provided to LAC. The proposal was seconded and when put to the vote was unanimously carried.
Councillor Hilary McGuill suggested that Members be invited to the ‘speak out’ events. The Senior Manager Children’s Lead said that she would take this back to Gwenan Roberts as a suggestion.