Issue - meetings

Warwickshire Response to the National Review Children with Disabilities and Complex Needs

Meeting: 16/01/2023 - Corporate Parenting Panel (Item 3)

3 Warwickshire Response to the National Review Children with Disabilities and Complex Needs pdf icon PDF 137 KB

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John Coleman, Assistant Director - Children and Families presented a summary of the report to the Panel.


A national review into safeguarding children with disabilities and complex health needs in residential settings was requested of all Directors of Children’s Services in August 2022.


The National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel undertook a review considering the experiences of children placed in three specialist independent

residential settings located in the Doncaster area.


Part one was to review every child where providers provide home and education.  The example of Witherslake in Warwickshire was given to the Panel, where there are 29 children.  A team of social workers and quality assurance officers completed a deep dive of the service looking at staffing, quality issues as well as talking to the children.  The Panel noted that this was a big piece of work and congratulated officers on completing it within the required timescales.


The findings of the review found that 27 out of the 29 children had no significant concerns.


Two children raised concerns.  One was in relation to the staff and the Panel noted that there had been a number of changes to the staff in recent months which meant that there was no stability for the children.  However, a rating of no major concerns was given.  The second child raised the issue of wanting to go home.


Warwickshire has two Local Authority Designated Officers LADO) in post, whose role is to deal with complaints about professionals who are responsible for the safeguarding of children.  The LADO raised no concerns and noted that all referrals in Warwickshire were dealt with appropriately.


John Coleman confirmed that OFSTED were happy with the Warwickshire Review and that the National Review Body were satisfied with the report and findings.


Councillor Marian Humphries reiterated the Panel’s thanks to all the officers involved in this work.


Councillor Jerry Roodhouse raised concerns about the high turnover of staff, stating that stability and consistency is so important to children.  Councillor Roodhouse wondered if the right experienced people were in place and if, perhaps, there was a shortage across the board of social care of experience people.


John Coleman stated that in relation to the Witherslake providers, there have been struggles but officers have been working with them to support continuing improvement.  It was noted that there are no Warwickshire children there at present.

Sharon Shaw, Service Manager, Corporate Parenting confirmed that there is a current challenge in recruiting to children’s home.  It is one of the lowest paid roles in children’s care; this is a national issue, not just in Warwickshire.  Warwickshire officers are looking at recruiting from across a range of professions, such as ex-teachers, nursery managers etc and then ensuring that the right training programme is in place.  It was noted that the management positions at the moment are very well fulfilled with excellent professionals in place.  Warwickshire officers are doing everything that they can to make sure that when the new Warwickshire children’s homes are open, the very best  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3