Venue: County Hall, Usk - Remote Attendance. View directions
Declarations of Interest
Public Open Forum
Scrutiny Committee Public Open Forum ~ Guidance
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The amount of time afforded to
each member of the public to speak is at the chair’s
discretion, but to enable us to accommodate multiple speakers, we
ask that contributions be no longer than 3
No Members of the public in attendance.
The Cabinet Member introduced the report and officers discussed the contents in greater detail.
What is the total number of care leavers? Is this about average compared with other authorities? What additional support can be given to these children?
I'm not sure, but can clarify after the meeting (Action: Charlotte Drury), but what I will say is that we do have good outcomes. Our care leavers tend to fall into two distinct groups young people whose abuse trauma and transition through care has not been as reparative as one would hope and a lot of work is done with them in terms of training and support and access to education and later life education. In regard to the number of children who are actually in education in long-term education employment apprenticeships or in universities, we do quite well in relation to our colleagues in Gwent, although we don't have as many care leavers as some of the big authorities.
The most recent children's commissioner report 2021-22 suggests that there is insufficient provision for children with complex needs, which by nature, also has the potential to negatively impact the young people leaving the care system. I found that a little bit concerning. Has that improved since 2021-22?
If we're talking about the provision of care, when we say complex needs, invariably we're talking of children with significant mental health problems, children with disability or children who have experienced high levels of trauma, whose therapeutic needs and reparative needs are very high, sometimes with difficult behaviours. We’re in a difficult place and in fact, that position has got worse, in terms of destabilization of the market, not knowing what the future holds and how the eliminate agenda will progress. Monmouthshire has plans to create their own residential units so that we can take more control and more oversight over the outcomes for young people , but it is a nationwide problem. We have been heavily reliant on independent agencies which is a specific problem in Monmouthshire problem, but in terms of the difficulty of placing children in foster placements generally, we share the same challenge as the rest of Wales and the UK, which is that we don’t have enough foster carers and recruiting them is becoming more challenging. and the ‘eliminate agenda’ hasn’t assisted us in this respect. We struggle to find placements for sibling groups, who maybe don't have complex or challenging needs and for younger children, partly due to having an older demographic, with a lot of foster carers retiring and also we don't have younger people coming into the fostering arena because they cannot afford to live here. In some communities in the valleys, foster caring may support people’s income, if people have a spare toom and thinning they have good parenting skills and like children, but we don’t have the same motives here and that is why we have a greater reliance on independent fostering. Independent fostering agencies are now choosing to take English children over ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
The forward plan was noted.
The forward plan was noted.
The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 6th June 2023.