The Committee scrutinised the following Cabinet Board items:
Cabinet Board Proposals
Western Bay Youth Offending Service Report From HM Inspectorate of Probation
The Committee received an overview of the Western Bay Youth Offending Service Report from HM Inspectorate of Probation (HMI), as detailed in the circulated report.
Clarification was given that the report was for Member’s information and no decision was required today. An action plan had been developed from the recommendations contained within the HMI report and the progress against the action plan would be brought to a future meeting of Social Care, Health and Housing Cabinet Board to enable Members to monitor the effectiveness of the mitigating measures put in place.
Discussion took place on the areas of positivity contained within the report on how staff were very child focused, and spoke warmly of the children and young people with whom they interacted and worked to achieve the best outcomes. The Committee asked that the positives should be highlighted to staff not just the areas of concern contained within the report.
Concern was expressed at the Management Boards lack of awareness of what was happening within the Western Bay Youth Offending Service. Officers explained that performance data presented to the Board was indicating a positive picture of the service with no issues of concern. As a result of the inspection it was identified that there were a number of areas that were causing difficulties within the team. Staff remuneration, risk thresholds and the Information Technology systems were not consistent and there was no link with Children’s Services.
The Director of Social Services, Health and Housing identified the measures that had been instigated as a result of the Inspection and explained that the management of the Youth Offending Team had been brought into Children’s Services and the monitoring for performance would be undertaken by Members of the Social Care, Health and Housing Cabinet Board.
Discussion took place on the lack of support identified in the HMI report given by partners who were also members of the Western Bay Youth Offending Service Management Board. Members were reassured, that as a result of the report, a commitment had been given by Swansea Bay Health Board to prioritize young people/children who needed to access mental health services.
Members identified the need to invite the Education representative who sat on the Management Board to attend Committee the next time a report was submitted on the Western Bay Youth Offending Service Management Board. This was requested by Members to enable them to gain an understanding of how children/young people subject to a referral to the Youth Offending Service received education and what additional support was in place, whether data was held on the numbers of exclusions, statements and the numbers of young people/children subject to reduced school hours.
In response to Members concerns in relation to safeguarding issues identified in the HMI report. Officers explained that a review of safeguarding was taking place by an external reviewer and that a report would be brought to a future meeting of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing Cabinet Board.
Following scrutiny, the report was noted.
Deferred Payments Policy
Members received an overview of the Deferred Payments Policy, as detailed in the circulated report.
The Committee received confirmation that an easy read version would accompany the Policy.
Discussion took place on the various scenarios that could arise in relation to receiving a deferred payment.
Confirmation was given to Members that Officers would clarify the criteria in regard to eligibility for the 12 weeks deferred payment in the Policy.
Following scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposals to be considered by Cabinet Board.
Social Services, Health and Housing – Staff Survey 2019
The Committee received an overview of the Social Services, Health and Housing, Staff Survey 2019, as detailed in the circulated report.
Members were pleased that the survey had been undertaken but disappointed in the low numbers of surveys returned. It was highlighted that staff were encouraged to complete surveys but due to the short timescale between this survey and the one circulated by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales, as part of their inspection, this was not possible at this time. In addition, work was being undertaken to look at the various ways of engaging with all staff for future surveys other than just via electronic means.
Discussion took place on the positive outcomes of the survey and noted that staff felt valued, enjoyed their work and that Neath Port Talbot was a good Council to work for. Also discussed was the importance of sharing the feedback with staff and whether the outcomes resulted in changes which would encourage staff to participate in future surveys.
Following Scrutiny, the report was noted.