Report of the Director of Children and Adults Services
The Director of Children and Adults Services submitted a report (previously circulated) to provide Members with an update on performance against key performance indicators.
The submitted report provided Quarter 1 (April-June) 2019/20 performance information in line with an indicator set agreed by the Monitoring and Co-ordination Group and subsequently by each individual Scrutiny Committee.
The submitted report highlighted where Children and Young People were performing well and where there was a need to improve. It was also highlighted that where indicators are reported annually quarterly updates will not be available.
It was highlighted that 96.8 per cent of referrals are screened and completed within one day which was above the target of 90 per cent; 14.8 per cent of re-referrals were repeated within 12 months which was in an increase on the target of 18 per cent; 100 per cent of children with a Child Protection Plan and 100 per cent of Children Looked After have an allocated social worker; 8; and 29.6 per cent of Care Leavers who were not in employment, education or training (NEET).
The areas highlighted for improvement in Quarter 1 was the timeliness of assessments which was 88.1 per cent, below the target of 90 per cent and the reasons for this have been analysed and monitored by the Head of Service; 94 per cent of statutory child protection visits were completed within 15 working days with 82.6 per cent completed within 10 working days; and 86 per cent of statutory children in care visits were completed within the timescale and performance was closely managed; the number of children in care had increased to 277; and 60.4 per cent of health assessment and 58.5 per cent of dental assessments due were completed within the required timescale although further work was required in ensuring records are kept up to date.
Members discussed in particular the percentage of Care Leavers that were not in employment, education or training (NEET) and the reasons for them being NEET and requested that for future reports this figure be presented as numbers with the specific reason for being NEET rather than as a percentage; and the criteria for referrals to the Children’s Access Point. The Assistant Director of Children’s Services also outlined the work of the NEED Reduction Group who meet monthly to discuss each young person who falls into this cohort and make plans in an effort to re-engage them in education, employment or training.
Members questions related to the 15 working days before an Initial Child Protection Conference is held, following the Strategy meeting, and what safeguarding interventions are put in place with the young person during this time; reasons why most of the young people missing in Darlington for Quarter 1 were in residential care when they were reported missing and the timeliness of Return Home Interviews which were completed within 72 hours and the level of engagement by the young person.
Members also discussed the increase in the number of children in care and how many are placed from outside the authority. The Assistant Director of Childrens’ Services advised Members that in addition to the 277 children in care there were 160 children placed in Darlington from other authorities.
RESOLVED – That the performance information provided for Quarter 1 2019/20 be noted.