Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 25th September, 2019 1.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Pontypool NP4 6YB

Contact: Geraint Thomas  Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)

No. Item


Welcome & apologies / Croeso ac ymddiheuriadau


1.1       Apologies were received from Councillors Joanne Gauden and Richard Overton.


Declarations of interest / Datganiadau o fudd


2.1       No interests were declared.


Minutes 27/6/2019 / Cofnodion 27/6/2019 pdf icon PDF 399 KB


3.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 27th June 2019 were confirmed as an accurate record.


Action sheet / Taflen Gweithredu pdf icon PDF 104 KB


4.1       The Committee noted the action sheet.


Review of initial contacts / referral processes / Adolygu gweithdrefnau cyswllt cychwynnol / atgyfeiriad pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Additional documents:


5.1       The HoC&FS gave a brief introduction to the report, highlighting the following areas:

  • The review of initial contacts and referral processes was required as Children’s Services had experienced an increase in demand, which needed to be managed whilst ensuring an improvement in outcomes for service users.
  • The Local Authority (LA) received in the region of 5000 referrals to Children’s Services over a 12 month period. Over 80% of these referrals were generated from professionals and through various decision making stages, some 56% of them resulted in no further action.
  • Appendix 1 of the report outlined the current process, which was cumbersome; whereas Appendix 2 outlined the proposed new process that brought Children’s Services to the ‘front door’ of the process and should prove to be more effective.
  • Multi-agency information and having Children’s Services at the ‘front door’ instead of Customer Care should result in quicker and more effective decision making. It was believed that a significant number of cases could avoid escalation once the above was in place.
  • Better signposting and early advice would reduce the number of cases being unnecessarily escalated.
  • The early stages of the co-located service could be seen in Appendix 4 of the report and the mature stage was outlined in Appendix 5.
  • The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) used by Newport City Council could be seen in Appendix 6 of the report, which had been recognised as an effective multi-agency model. Despite an initial increase in referrals, the Newport model had experienced a decrease in actual allocations.
  • As the Torfaen MASH was in its infancy, it was difficult for the Committee to scrutinise the model; however it was important that the Committee viewed the plans and the HoC&FS hoped that they would agree with the direction of travel. Once the model was operational, a further report could be presented to the Committee.


5.2       Following Members’ questions and comments, the HoC&FS made the following main points:

  • The north and south duty pods would merge into one pod, to form the foundation of the MASH, with the decision making process shifting to the ‘front door’. He added that the above would result in greater consistency and expertise regarding complex decisions.
  • He hoped that the changes would help the current resources within the LA deal with the level of demand and evidenced the success of the MASH at Newport City Council, where more capacity was allocated to the right areas.
  • Referrers needed to understand the thresholds required within Children’s Services and a report on this would be presented at a future meeting of the Committee, alongside risk management. He added that professionals needed to develop confidence regarding thresholds and referrals.
  • The MASH would be operational in 2-3 months and the work around risk management and thresholds would be ready 3-4 months after that.
  • Administrative support from Customer Care could be utilised, as they would have greater capacity once the new MASH model was in place.
  • The Welsh Community Care Information System (WCCIS) was a case  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Date of next meeting 13/11/2019 / Dyddiad y cyfarfod nesaf 13/11/2019


6.1       The date of the next meeting was noted. The Chair informed the Committee that they would be considering the Looked After Children Reduction Plan.


6.2       The meeting ended at 2.45pm.