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Agenda item

Quarter Four 2018/19 Performance - Report of Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager


Stephen Tracey, Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager introduced a report and delivered a presentation which provided an overview of performance for the final quarter of 2018/19 (for copy of report and presentation see file of minutes). 


The Panel commented as follows:


a)    that it would be useful to have a percentage breakdown to show the number of young people in short-term placements and the number in long-term placements;

b)    referring to the charts showing the characteristics of the cohort of children in care, it would be helpful to have figures for the previous two years, in order to identify any emerging trends;

c)    panel members commented on the figures for the provision of stable environments noting that some children are placed with foster carers for respite, and, on some occasions young people request temporary placement moves.  It was acknowledged that some placement moves result in positive outcomes, for example, to secure permanence through adoption;

d)    the Panel noted the figure for the number of foster carers approved and requested that information be provided on the number of carers leaving the service.  The Strategic Manager for Looked After Children and Resources responded that the Fostering Annual Report includes more detailed information on the retention of foster carers;  

e)    concerns were raised regarding the number of health assessments not completed within 20 working days of the child becoming looked after.  The Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager responded that it is vital that consent for the health assessment to take place is received by health workers within 4 to 5 days in order for the 20 day deadline to be achieved.  M Baister, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding and Looked After Children, added that when consent is received within a week of a child becoming looked after, approximately 90% of health assessments are completed within the deadline.  The Panel noted that a large number of health assessments are completed just outside of the deadline, within 25 days;

f)     the Panel requested further information with regard to social worker caseloads including whether senior members of staff have fewer cases and whether their cases are more complex;

g)    Referring to data for the 2017/18 academic year, the Panel noted the decline in  maths at Key Stage 1.  The Head of the Virtual School reassured the Panel that work is being undertaken to identify the most effective teaching methods and that the focus for the forthcoming academic year will be maths.




That the report be noted.


Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714