Agenda and minutes

Corporate Parenting Panel - Friday, 26th April, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room, County Hall, Lewes

Contact: Aaron Sams  01273 335274

No. Item


Minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 98 KB


1.1     RESOLVED to agree as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2019.



Apologies for absence


  2.1     Apologies were received from Councillor Jim Sheppard, Councillor Kathryn Field, Councillor Chris Dowling, Councillor Charles Clark and Ian Williams, Registered Home Manager for Hazel Lodge.

2.2     Councillor Martin Clarke and Councillor Angharard Davies were present as substitute members. 


2.3     The Panel welcomed Dr Katy Arsharpad who has been appointed as the new Designated Doctor for Looked After Children (LAC)



Disclosure of Interests

Disclosure by all members present of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the member regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.


3.1       There were none.


Urgent items

Notification of items which the Chair considers to be urgent and proposes to take at the end of the appropriate part of the agenda. Any members who wish to raise urgent items are asked, wherever possible, to notify the Chair before the start of the meeting. In so doing, they must state the special circumstances which they consider justify the matter being considered urgently.


4.1 There were none.


Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider excluding the public and press from the meeting for the next two agenda items on the grounds that if the public and press were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as specified in Category 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), namely information relating to any individual.


5.1       The Panel agreed to exclude the press and public for the next agenda items on the basis that if they were present there would be disclosure to them of information considered to be exempt by virtue of Category 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), namely information relating to any individual.


Ofsted Inspection reports for the following:


6.1       The Panel received an Ofsted report on The Bungalow at Sorrell Drive.

6.2       The Panel discussed the outcome of the Ofsted report and were informed by the Registered Home Manager of the actions that have been taken forward since the visit. These actions included: a successful staff recruitment drive and a new process in place to improve record keeping. The Panel welcomed the positive actions being taken forward.          

6.3       RESOLVED: to note the reports.




Children's Home Regulations 2015, Regulation 44: Inspection reports for January 2019 to March 2019


7.1       The Panel considered Regulation 44 Reports for the period January 2019 to March 2019 for the following Children’s Homes:

a) Acorns at Dorset Road

b) Brodrick House

c) Hazel Lodge

d) Homefield Cottage

 e) Lansdowne Secure Unit

 f) The Bungalow, Sorrell Drive

7.2       Each Registered Home Manager (RHM) gave a verbal update on activity at the home covering the period since the last Panel meeting.

7.3     The Panel were informed about the progress of the building improvements being made at the Registered Homes and welcomed the introduction of Mobile Maintenance Officers to address building issues.

7.4     The Panel commended the hard work of all staff at the homes.

7.5     RESOLVED: to note the reports.


Any other exempt items considered urgent by the Chair.


8.1 There were none.


Bright Spots survey highlights - presentation


9.1       The Panel received a presentation from Mandy Lewis, Head of the Virtual School, detailing the results from the Bright Spots survey which was conducted by the children’s charity Coram and the University of Bristol. The survey asked a range of questions to Looked After Children (LAC) about their experiences in care.

9.2       The Panel were informed that all LAC aged 4 to 18 in East Sussex were invited to respond to the survey. The response rate was 39% which the Panel were informed accounted for over a third of all LAC and that compared to similar surveys in other local authorities this was a high response rate.

9.3       The Panel welcomed the many positive outcomes of the survey, these included:

·         89% of LAC in East Sussex felt that their lives were improving.

·         90% of LAC in East Sussex felt safe ‘all or most of the time’ in their placements. The Panel were informed that this level is higher than the general population of  8 to 13 year olds which another survey found to be 75%.

·         93% of LAC aged 11-18 reported that they could easily get in contact with their social workers.

·         In East Sussex, the turnover of social workersis lower than in other authorities. 11% of young people wrote that they had had three or more social workers in the previous year. This is significantly less than in other authorities where on average 28% young people reported this.

·         Children and young people in East Sussex were more likely than their peers in the general population to report that their carers showed an interest in their education.

·         In comparison to their peers in the general population, higher proportions of children and young people in care in East Sussex had access to nature. The Panel discussed  the mental and physical benefits of this.

9.4     The Panel also discussed the areas for improvement that the survey highlighted, these included:

·         ­­Bullying: The Panel questioned that outcome that 45% of LAC surveyed  aged 8 to 11 reported that they were afraid ‘all of most of the time’ or ‘sometimes’ of bullying. In response Mandy Lewis explained to the Panel that this question was not necessarily indicative of the amount of children that experienced bullying, but rather the amount of children that are fearful of being bullied. The Panel were also informed of the steps being taken to address the issue of bullying in schools, which included: explaining to schools what is being reported by children; ensuring that schools have policies in place to support the emotional and mental health of LAC; making sure that children have someone they can talk to in confidence about bullying and including information on mental and emotional wellbeing as part of PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education).

·         Stigma: The Panel also discussed  the finding that 15% of LAC aged 11 to 18 surveyed reported that adults did things that made them feel embarrassed about being in care. Liz Rugg, Assistant Director for Early Help and Social Care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Looked After Children (LAC) Statistics pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Report by Director of Children's Services.


10.1    The Panel considered a report by the Director of Children’s Services which provided an update on Looked After Children (LAC) statistics.

 10.2    The Panel were informed by Liz Rugg, Assistant Director, Early Help and Social Care on the slight reduction  in the number of East Sussex LAC since the last quarter.

10.3                RESOLVED: to note the report.



Any other non-exempt items considered urgent by the Chair.


11.1 There were none.