Agenda item

Performance Report Quarter 3 - Report and presentation by the Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager


The Panel considered the Performance Update presented by Stephen Tracey, Corporate Equality and Strategy Manager, which provided an overview of performance in relation to looked after children and care leavers to the end of December 2022 (for copy of report and presentation see file of minutes).

The Panel noted the increase in the number of young people entering care aged 14-17 years and the impact of the national transfer scheme.  It was reported that placement stability continues to be an issue, with fewer young people in long-term placements.  A decrease in missing incidents was reported during the quarter and the number of care leavers not in education, employment and training continues to increase, following the Covid-19 pandemic, an issue which is reflected regionally and nationally. 

With respect to Social Worker caseloads the Panel was pleased to see that the majority of Social Workers have a caseload fewer than 25 cases and none have more than 30 cases.

In relation to missing incidents, the Service Manager for Countywide Services explained that a dedicated team had been established to investigate missing incidents and to implement strategies and disruption plans. 


The Head of the Virtual School informed the Panel that all young people looked after in year 10 are linked with DurhamWorks to provide support with pathway plans.  In response to a question as to whether education, employment and training outcomes were better for care leavers who remain with their carers, the Head of Children and Social Care spoke of evidence tosupport the theory that young people who are safe and happy achieve better educationally.  Members also referred to the importance of ensuring that young people are aware of key milestones such as deadlines for applications for college and university courses.  Luke commented that the young people had discussed extending the care starter pack, to design a pack for care leavers which could include relevant information.  The Head of Children’s Social Care suggested that it may be useful to undertake a survey of care leavers to gather their views on the type of information that would be of benefit. 


The Panel also discussed that care leavers may benefit from a care leaver mentoring scheme.  Officers highlighted the role that Young Person’s Advisers and Social Workers play in helping young people through the transition.  The Care Leavers’ Hub in Sherburn provides for care experienced young people to meet, socialise and access practical support and information on employment and training opportunities. 

There are plans to open similar hubs in other locations across the county and steps are being taken to identify suitable accessible buildings which are fit for purpose.




That the content of the report be noted.


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