Issue - meetings

Quarter 3 Integrated Performance Report

Meeting: 27/02/2024 - Children & Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 5)

5 Quarter 3 Integrated Performance Report pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Quarterly performance updates presented to the Committee by Johnny Kyriacou, Director of Education.


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Johnny Kyriacou, Director of Education presented the quarterly performance updates to the Committee, including and overview of the performance for quarter 3 – April to December 2023. 


The Committee noted that all the information was available in the report and was presented as part of the full report to cabinet on 15th February 2024.  It was noted that 51% of the Key Business Measures relevant to the committee are on track.


The following points were highlighted –


·           There has been an increase in the demand on services due to the cost-of-living crisis and the increase in mental health issues.  It was noted that this is a national trend.


·           In relation to the number of children with a Child Protection Plan, it was confirmed that the number is reducing and moving closed to the target.  The number is currently 396 child protection plans in place and the target is 330.


·           There has been a 20% increase in the number of referrals to the Front Door Service.


·           The total number of Children in Care stood at 693 and this includes Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC).  This was confirmed to be slighter higher than predicted, but lower than both the national figure and Warwickshire’s statistical neighbours.


·           In relation to the SEND service, it was confirmed that the performance remains on track and is consistently positive.


Councillor Penny-Anne O’Donnell referred to the report and the increases in demand and costs, asking if recruitment and retention of staff were issues.  Nigel Minns, Executive Director for Children and Young People stated that recruitment and retention were issues reflected nationally across the public sector and are particularly for local authorities and the NHS.  It was confirmed that one key challenge is pay and how staff are rewarded.  The appeal of working as an agency member of staff is hard for local authorities to address as the opportunities are different, including how staff work.  Agency staff are very expensive.


John Coleman, Director of Children and Families confirmed that there is currently a specific programme at Warwickshire County Council around growing our own Social Workers including an apprenticeship scheme for current family support workers.  The programme aims to have approximately 50 apprentices working towards becoming Social Workers. 


The Committee noted that officers know where some of the issues are with retention and that is around child protection and court work which can be extremely difficult.  There is wrap around support for workers, including counselling for the emotional impact. A new process has been introduced with an additional £3k salary for those roles.  It was confirmed that 10 people have already be appointed which means a reduction in the use of agency staff.  Officers are approaching college students to encourage them to apply to the council once they have finished their studies. 


Following a question from Councillor Chris Mills in relation to obesity in children, it was confirmed that this on the increase and in particular in Year 6 children (10 to 11 years old).  Shade Agboola, Director for Public Health  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5