John Coleman, Assistant Director - Children & Families presented the performance report to the Committee who noted that 11 targets were currently on track, with 5 targets not on track.
The following highlights were presented –
o The target for Child Protection is on track.
o Children in Care is also on track. Warwickshire has the lowest number of children entering care in the region. The Committee noted that there is a lot of work in supporting families so that they can safely care for their children.
o The 6-to-8-week health care check remains an area on concern. The performance is not on track
o Warwickshire saw 86 conceptions to under 18s which is a reduction of 10 from 2020. This is slightly above the National average. The Committee noted that the data is not the most up to date but were reassured that officers were working on being in a position to present more up to date information.
o The Committee was happy to note that performance in relation to NEETs was continuing to improve.
In relation to education, Nigel Minns, Strategic Director People Directorate confirmed that while performance in this area is not on track, members of the Committee have been made aware of the issues and are aware of the improvement plan that is in place. It was confirmed that recent data shows a significant improvement in this area. In particular, in relation to the issues of summer 2022 and school placements, the new system is now working well and is having a positive effect.
Following a question from Councillor Brett Beetham, it was confirmed that there had been an overspend of the budget within the Children and Families Service area. Officers are currently reviewing the data but believe that the main area of the overspend is in relation to staffing and agency costs and the cost of residential care. The Committee noted that these costs were not in relation to the number of children in care but in the cost of each placement. It was agreed that there will be a more detailed report at a future meeting.
John Coleman Assistant Director - Children & Families confirmed that opening of council owned children’s homes will reduce costs for the service. In addition, the homes will provide knowledge and reassurance that good quality care is being provided and at a reduced cost to the Council. There will also be a reduction in the use of external foster placements which will also result in savings to the council.
It was confirmed that there are more resources in place for Early Help services with a high number of families receiving support. Officers are determined to focus on this area of work and are aiming for continuous improvement. It was noted that there is a waiting list for early help support, but members were reassured that families are kept regularly updated with progress and will receive some level of support every week.
Following a question from Councillor Justin Kerridge, Nigel Minns confirmed, ... view the full minutes text for item 5