Agenda item

Performance Update - Report and presentation of the Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager


The Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager provided an update on performance during the second quarter of the year in relation to children looked after and care leavers (for copy of report and presentation, see file of minutes).


The Panel heard that the long term trajectory continues to see an increase in the number of children and young people looked after.  Recently, the number of children entering and leaving care had fluctuated from month to month, partly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The number of unaccompanied asylum seeking young people was at a historic high and the trend is expected to continue. 


The Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager highlighted that the majority of children looked after were fostered, within in-house provision and details were shared on the types of living arrangements. In respect of placement stability, there had been an increase in the number of young people having three or more placements within a year. 


Data indicated that the number of young people and children missing from care and missing incidents had increased, however,  the Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager pointed out that data recording may be leading to over reporting, therefore closer analysis of the data was being carried out.




There were 285 care leavers in Durham’s care at the end of September and there had been an increase in the number of care leavers in suitable accommodation and the number in education, employment and training was in line with national benchmarks.


In response to a question from the Panel, officers explained that ‘unsuitable accommodation’ is a DfE measure and categories include being held in custody and circumstances when a young person chooses not to share information as to their whereabouts.


The Panel raised concerns at the increase in missing incidents and asked what monitoring was in place.  The Practice Lead for Children and Young People responded that the safety of children and young people looked after is paramount therefore after any missing incident a young person is invited to talk about their situation at a return to home discussion, to identify any additional support that may be required. The Practice Lead explained that some of the incidents reported as ‘missing’ occur when older teenagers stay with friends, following a night-out, without informing their carers and this may be considered normal teenage behaviour. Therefore, deeper analysis of missing data was being carried out into the figures, to clarify actual missing incidents.




That the report be noted.


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