Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Pontypool NP4 6YB
Contact: Geraint Thomas
Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)
Welcome & apologies / Croeso ac ymddiheuriadau
1.1 Apologies were received from Councillors Glyn Caron, Kathy
Evans, Alan Jones, Richard Overton and Raymond Williams.
Declarations of interest / Datganiadau o fudd
2.1 The Chair reminded Members that if they felt that they had an
interest to declare in any items, they should do so and record it
on the Declarations of Interest pro forma provided.
2.2 Councillor Rose Seabourne declared a personal interest in agenda
item 5 as she was a member of the Fostering Panel.
2.3 Councillor Colette Thomas declared a personal interest in agenda
item 5 as she was a member of the Corporate Parenting
Minutes 25/9/2019 / Cofnodion 25/9/2019 PDF 368 KB
3.1 The minutes of the meeting held on 25th September
2019 were confirmed as an accurate record.
Action sheet / Taflen Gweithredu PDF 109 KB
4.1 The Committee noted the action sheet.
LAC Reduction Plan / Cynllun Lleihau Plant Mewn Gofal PDF 387 KB
5.1 The HoC&FS gave a brief introduction to the report,
highlighting the following areas:
the end of quarter one 2019, there were 421 children in the looked
after population within Torfaen, compared to 290 children in 2015.
Following the end of the quarter the figure rose to 443 in October
2019; however it had stabilised and reduced to 434 at present,
following transformation work and the introduction of the
Multi-Agency Support and Safeguarding Hub (MASSH).
- Costs for a looked after placement varied enormously from
approximately £300 per week to £7,000 per
- Torfaen had the highest rate of looked after children per 10,000
population within Wales; however the Local Authority (LA) focussed
heavily on the safety of children and mitigating risks.
Members’ questions and comments, the HoC&FS made the following main
Looked After Children (LAC) population
in Torfaen was high for a multitude of complex reasons, such as
changes in practice and legislation, greater Court focus on risks,
increased poverty, focus on the impacts of domestic violence,
availability of substances to misuse and the reduction in early
interventions that were once available.
- Torfaen was one of five Welsh local authorities not to set a
target reduction figure for LAC; however there was officer and
political support for this decision within the LA, as well as from
Lynne Neagle AM. He was confident that
Welsh Government (WG) understood the reasons for the above; however
their response was not favourable.
LA had not set a target reduction figure for LAC because they
wanted to stabilise the numbers before focussing on reduction, and
it was the LA’s position that children’s safety was
paramount. He added that significant work in this area had already
taken place, in spite of WG targets, and that the LA’s
quarterly report to WG would highlight the recent reduction seen in
not setting any targets for reducing the LAC numbers, the LA had
put extra scrutiny upon itself.
- There were no punitive measures for local authorities who did
not meet the LAC reduction targets, as this would be
Deputy Minister would be visiting Torfaen on 30 January 2020, where
the positive work of the MASSH would be evidenced, alongside the
longer-term plan for this area.
performance management framework was going to be reviewed in order
for the information to be more analytical and effective in terms of
consistent understanding of thresholds and expectations were
required amongst the LA and its partners regarding referrals, as
often individuals only required to be signposted to available
- Residential placements can be the result of a multitude of
reasons, such as disabilities, level of risk, the need for
therapeutic work or simply that there is not another short-term
LA currently had 14 children placed in residential placements and
although most were better placed within Torfaen; some children were
placed out of the area in order to break a particular cycle. He
added that an in-house ...
view the full minutes text for item 5.
Date of next meeting 29/1/2020 / Dyddiad y cyfarfod nesaf 29/1/2020
6.1 The date of the next meeting was noted. The Chair informed the
Committee that they would be considering the EAS Business Plan. The
Chair also confirmed that a date would soon be set for the next
meeting of the School Standards Monitoring Sub Committee, and that
a list of priority schools would be considered by the Committee in
advance of the meeting.
6.2 Members suggested that the following items could be added to the
Committee’s work programme:
- Additional Learning Needs
Post 16 Learning Centre
- School Curriculum
6.3 The meeting ended at 12.00pm.