The Panel considered a report and presentation of the Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager which provided information on performance during the first quarter of 22-23 (for copy of report and presentation see file of minutes).
The following additional information was provided in response to questions and comments from the Panel.
· All children looked after are provided with the full range of health screening available.
· Placements referred to as ‘other’ in the report included friends and family placements, NHS placements and a small number of unregulated placements.
· Whilst the number of young people in secure placements had increased, a number of those were welfare placements as opposed to criminal justice placements.
· Checks are carried out to ensure placements and accommodation meet the required standard to be deemed 'suitable accommodation'.
· A great deal of work had been carried out to reduce the amount of babies and younger children entering care. With reference to the increasing number of young people looked after in the 14-15 age cohort, the Panel noted that the pandemic had led to unprecedented challenges, with many young people struggling to cope with the pressures of lockdown.
· Whilst the data relating to placement stability showed an increase in placement moves, within that, there were positive outcomes as some young people had been supported to return to their families.
· Information is gathered on entry to care which is collated to inform emerging trends. Recent years had seen an increase in the number of children and young people with complex needs entering care.
· A total of 77 children accounted for 266 missing from home incidents, therefore some young people had multiple missing episodes.
· Referring to the high percentage of children aged 3 and 8 within the looked after cohort, health checks carried out at these developmental stages may account for this, when concerns are highlighted by professionals.
That the report be noted.