Venue: Committee Room, County Hall, Lewes. View directions
Contact: Aaron Sams 01273 335274
65.1 RESOLVED: to agree as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 30 October 2020.
Apologies for absence
66.1 Apologies were received from Liz Rugg, Assistant Director – Early Help and Social Care.
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.
67.1 There were none.
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.
68.1 There were none.
69.1 The Panel considered the annual report of the East Sussex Foster Care Association (ESFCA). The report provided an update on the work of the ESFCA and its plans for future development. This included:
69.2 The Panel
discussed the importance of social inclusion for children in care
and asked the ESFCA about the impact Covid-19 has had on this
aspect of their lives. In
response, the Panel were informed that this has been a challenge
for the charity. However, creative
approaches have been utilised to adapt to the
situation. For example, remote
technology has to be used to help children and young people feel
engaged with their peers and avoid feelings of isolation.
69.3 The Panel
recognised the important work the ESFCA does in East Sussex and
thanked the Association for the help and support it
69.4 RESOLVED: to note the report.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
70.1 The Panel
considered a report by the Director of Children’s Services
which provided an update on Looked After Children (LAC)
70.2 The Panel
heard that there has been a slight rise in the number of East
Sussex LAC since the last quarter, but that this is in line with a
national trend. Members also heard that
the Fostering Duty service has, despite significant pressures due
to Covid-19, continued to place the majority of LAC in the County
Council’s in-house foster placements.
70.3 The Panel
asked about the location of residential placements for LAC and in
particular, whether children are being placed outside of East
Sussex. In response Members were informed that the choice to place
a child outside of East Sussex is dependent on the individual
circumstances of the case, with a range of factors being considered
before a decision is made. The Panel were also assured that the
Department aim is to place children within county whenever it can
and where that has not proven possible, children do return to East
Sussex as and when a suitable placement arises
70.4 RESOLVED: to note the report.
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.
71.1 RESOLVED to exclude the public and press from the meeting for items 9 and 10 on the agenda (see minutes 26 and 27) 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 12(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), namely information relating to any individual. It was considered that the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.
Ofsted Inspection reports for the following: The Bungalow, Lansdowne Secure Unit and Acorns
72.1 The Panel
considered Ofsted Inspection Reports for the following
72.2 The Panel
welcomed the outcomes of the Ofsted Inspection Reports.
72.3 RESOLVED: to note the reports.
Children's Home Regulations 2015, Regulation 44: Inspection reports for October 2020 - January 2021
73.1 The Panel
considered Regulation 44 Reports for the period October 2020
– January 2021 for the following Children’s
73.2 The Panel discussed a range of issues, including: recruitment, retention and staff changes, building improvements within the homes and the challenges posed by Covid-19.
73.3 The Panel
gave their thanks to the Registered Homes Managers and their
73.4 RESOLVED: to note the reports.
Any other exempt items considered urgent by the Chair.
74.1 There were none.
Any other non-exempt items considered urgent by the Chair.
75.1 There were none.