Agenda and minutes

Children,Young People and Families Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday, 14th June, 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH

Contact: Earl Piggott-Smith  Tel: 01902 551251 or Email:

No. Item






Apologies were received from Rosalie Watkins and Jon Dovey.



Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest recorded.



Minutes of the previous meeting ( 29 March 2017) pdf icon PDF 91 KB

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record]


That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 March 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Matters arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes]


9. Update on Youth Offending Team Inspection Action Plan


The panel agreed to receive the information about the findings and recommendations of the doctorate research as a briefing paper rather than a report when published.



Children and Young People Plan and Priorities 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 312 KB

[Emma Bennett, Service Director, Children and Young People, to present update report on the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection of services for children in need of help and protection  ]

Additional documents:


Cllr Val Gibson, Cabinet member for Children and Young People, introduced the report.


The Cabinet Member gave an overview of the recent Ofsted Inspection for children in need of help and protection and praised the ‘good’ overall judgement that was achieved.


The Cabinet Member informed the panel of the successful outcome following the inspection of children services and noted that City of Wolverhampton Council is the 2nd authority in the region to have achieved ‘good’ rating.


The report identified many strengths of the service. The Cabinet Member added that the recommendations made by Ofsted will be incorporated into the Children and Young People Service Plan for 2017-2018.


Emma Bennett, Service Director, Children and Young People, gave an overview of the Children and Young People Service Plan for 2017-2018. The Service Director advised the panel that the service plan will be revamped and simplified from last year and will include the recommendations from the recent Ofsted Inspection.


The Service Director advised the panel they intend to monitor the Ofsted recommendations on a monthly basis. The performance of the service will be monitored on a quarterly basis. The Service Director agreed to bring a further report back to the panel to consider progress on a quarterly basis.


The panel discussed the funding to deliver the Children and Young People Service Plan for 2017-2018 and queried the support available to vulnerable families.


The Service Director informed the Panel they intend to focus on offering domestic violence training in June 2017 to ensure all Social Workers are confident in responding to victims and perpetrators.


The panel discussed the increase in the number of permanent exclusion since 2013/2014 and discussed whether the number of school exclusions should be included as a performance measure in the Children and Young People Service Plan 2017-2018.


The Service Director confirmed there will be a specific action plan put in place to tackle the rising exclusion rates which will focus on restorative practice. The service intends to raise the profile of restorative practice throughout the workforce and is currently working with schools to improve the situation.


The panel expressed concerns about the increase in the levels of childhood obesity and the work being done within the plan to tackle this specific issue.

The Service Director confirmed they are working with Public Health on this issue and a recent report has been published that she will share with the panel.


Isabel Ricketts, Wolverhampton Youth Council, asked about support for young people with mental health issues. The Service Director advised there will be a work force development centre and specialist training will be offered to allow staff to support more young people.


The Chair thanked the Service Director for her presentation and agreed to receive an update on the progress of the service plan in six months.



  1. The panel congratulated the Cabinet Member and Service Director on achieving the ‘Good’ overall judgement from the recent Ofsted inspection of children’s services.
  2. The panels’ comments on the service plan to be considered.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Draft People Directorate Commissioning Strategy pdf icon PDF 91 KB

[Paul Smith, Head of Commissioning, and Linda Sanders, Strategic Director People, to present report]


Additional documents:


Cllr Val Gibson, Cabinet member for Children and Young People, introduced the report.


Brendan Clifford, Integration Project Director, People Directorate, gave an overview of the strategy and explained that the document is in its early stages. He advised the panel that this is the City of Wolverhampton Council’s first joint commissioning strategy that covers Adults, Children’s and Public Health Services and the progress of drafting the document has been a challenge.


The Integration Project Director advised that the strategy will focus on prevention and early health.


There was a detailed discussion by the panel about both the content and layout of the report. The panel were concerned that the document was difficult to follow and also to get a clear idea about the overall aims of the strategy – this would make it difficult to explain to residents the reasons for proposing a new commissioning strategy.


The panel questioned the reference to there being an over-supply of care homes in the City and wanted evidence of this. (Page 113. Section 2.1.6.) The Integration Project Director explained that this is an accurate statement and there is a sufficient supply of care homes in the city to meet current demand. It was noted that this does not mean that individuals do not find it hard to find a placement which suits them.


The panel enquired about the views of providers about the proposed changes and specifically their initial thoughts on the initial document.  The Integration Project Director commented that the document has been shared with providers are at an early stage and dialogue is on-going.


The panel discussed how the intention to bring Children, Adults and Public Health together in one strategy was a good idea but agreed the document should be re-drafted in a way that would make it easier for the public to follow and understand.


Emma Bennett, Service Director, Children and Young People, agreed with the panel’s comments and will make the agreed changes to the report which will be presented to Cabinet on 19 July 2017.


The panel suggested that Appendix 1 could be used as a template to summarise the main aims of the commissioning report.


The panel were informed that the final version of the strategy will be agreed by Cabinet in October who had requested scrutiny consideration. The panel requested to see the final document when it was complete.


The panel were advised that the final draft document will be shared after Cabinet in October.


The Cabinet Member advised the panel that when the final document is seen by Cabinet, the Scrutiny Panel’s comments will be included.



  1. The panel noted, scrutinised and commented on the draft People Directorate Commissioning Strategy 2017-21 Shaping Futures, Changing Lives.
  2. The panels’ comments on the document will be included in the report to Cabinet.
  3. The final version of the commissioning strategy will be sent to the panel for information.