Appendix 1 Action Plan and Progress Against Current Status of Peer Review and Ofsted Fostering Report Recommendations

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1 Appendix 1 Action Plan and Progress Against Current Status of Peer Review and Ofsted Fostering Report Recommendations Peer Review Recommendations Recommendation Timescale Lead officer Actions Evidence/Impact Achieved The improvement notice for looked after children s services was lifted in Feb The Fostering service was inspected in June 2013 and received an adequate rating. The Fostering service was inspected in June 2013 and received an adequate rating. Children and young people have a positive self-view and have developed sound relationships with their carers quote from Fostering Ofsted Inspection and Report p5. Embedding the progress that has been made to date in practice and organisational culture [22PR] Jan 2013 onwards Interim Divisional Director, Children and Families Two improvement workshops have been held April 2013 consolidating the improvement journey TriX procedures manual went live in May 2013 embedding consistent application of standards and practice. Framework I upgrade completed on 8 July 2013 to improve data quality and analysis Permanent recruitment to senior management posts. CAFCASS has reported significant improvements in the preparation of work for applications. Evidence of improvement in one to one supervision and appraisal. Data reports used effectively to increase compliance and quality evidence in improving performance indicators for care plans pathway plans 1

2 Lack of performance information framework impacts upon performance management and Member overview [23 PR] April 2013 Head of Management Support & Information Unit Frameworki implementation 8 July 2013 Weekly and monthly performance reports are presented at: CFSMT, Heads of Service meetings, PLM meetings, Director level meetings and the WFSCB Weekly missing children report prepared for Deputy Chief Executive, Families Directorate Refer to 10 CP Divisional Director and Head of Service Children in Care posts commenced Oct Recruitment and retention Strategy completed Head of QA and Safeguarding to commence Reliance on interim and agency staff [24PR] April 2013 Interim HR Consultant Human The focus is now on the front door Four local authorities have expressed an interest in learning from our recruitment and retention strategy and use of the micosite C&F induction pack now in use. Dedicated recruitment team setup for C&F recruitment. Reduction in the number of agency staff within the service: Placement & x1 agency worker Children in Care Services x4 agency workers Work on early intervention strategy to address early help and CAF [25PR] Directorate Programme Board (DPB) Early Intervention Strategy identified as a work stream by the DPB with support from PwC All Waltham Forest children s centres are judged good or outstanding by Ofsted Early Intervention Services demonstrate impact of effective 2

3 Group Manager Early Intervention and Prevention Tier 1 and Tier 2 practice, including the Short Breaks Service for CWDT and the Troubled Families Waltham Forest programme, which has the highest level of payment by results within the statistical neighbours group with 40,000 payment by results. The review on the Early Help service and the interface with children centres is now complete and an action plan is in development Low level complaints from CWD 6 complaints received for Draft strategy document out to consultation Dec Capacity and partnership capability of virtual school and Health Advisor [26PR] Sept 2013 Executive Head teacher PRUs, Alternative Provision and Looked After Children + Specialist Practitioner for Looked After Children The Promoting Educational Attainment of Looked After Children action plan addresses our improvement priorities through partnership working with other key stakeholders based on 12 quality standards. The Scrutiny Standard Report sets out how we will increase the size of the Virtual School in order to address our capacity issues and raise attainment. Additional funding for 1:1 tuition for looked after children impacts on standards Promoting Educational Attainment of Looked After Children action plan in place Scrutiny Standards Report to Overview & Scrutiny Management Committee 2012 Provisional outturn for indicates high performance against national standards 30% of LAC achieving 5 A*-Cs, including English and Maths. 75% of LAC achieved Level 4 in English at Key Stage 2 and 63% in Maths 25% of children in care achieve 5 GCSEs including English and Maths in

4 93% of children in care had an up to date health assessment in % of children in care had an up to date dental check in Need to promote learning from complaints [27PR] April 2013 Head of Service Quality Assurance & Safeguarding Practice learning workshops have been programmed to commence from April 2013 onwards to include learning from complaints and audits Learning from complaints report for 2012/13 highlighted 40 complaints received for April 2012 and March Service improvements are in place to address staff conduct, inaccurate information and non-involvement in decision making. Complaints report 2012/13 used at team meetings with IROs and chairs. Evidence from the Complaints Audit confirms change in practice as a result of learning from complaints IROs have a two monthly meeting with LB Islington to promote shared learning Quarterly meetings take place between IROs and Chairs Increase in-house foster placements [28PR] April 2013 Recruitment and Marketing strategy for 2013/14 contain targets to increase recruitment of in-house foster carers. Focus on developing foster placements to match needs of children in care population. Fostering inspection report notes As at 3 Feb 2014: Enquires have increased three fold at the information evening sessions 8 potential carers attended Dec 2013 Preparation Group Currently there are 10 4

5 that C&YP enjoy relatively stable placements June 2013 ongoing assessments of carers offering 11 placements 7 further assessments have been allocated inhouse. Assessment turnaround will meet the new 12 week requirement Of those 10 assessments, two are potential candidates for dual fostering to adopt approval 5

6 Fostering Recommendations Recommendation Timescale Lead officer Actions Evidence/Impact Achieved Portfolio Holder has sent letters to all looked after children, social workers and Foster Carers celebrating academic achievement along with an evaluation form to ensure their views influence 1:1 tuition and educational support. Evidence can be found on FWi and in audits/iro feedback to interim Director. Initial feedback from LAC following the 2013 education achievement is very positive from LAC and social workers. This includes a text from one of our young people: taking me into care has changed my life and improved my chances Ensure the wishes, feelings and views of children and those significant to them are taken into account in monitoring foster carers and developing the fostering service (NMS 1.7) [54 F] A senior management focus on the importance of the Voice of the Child and pathway planning has been communicated in all team meetings. Use of the Household Review Forms and in home visit recordings emphasised and monitored through audit and supervision. Key issues raised support for GCSE and 1:1 tuition: advocacy and planning to reflect the young person s interests. Involvement of fosters carers in the education of C&YP. Quarterly fostering report demonstrates how learning from feedback is improving the service. Updating Children s Guides incorporating the views of C&YP. Deputy of the Virtual School supports social workers and runs open sessions for foster carers and social workers on the educational issues raised. CiC council workshops facilitate feedback from C&YP A support group is in place for C&YP of foster carers to inform change communicated to all foster carers via fosternet. A care leaver appointed to sit on fostering panel Jan

7 Delegated Authority Policy and procedure has been written. Delegated Authority guidance and tool is available on Fosternet. The policy has been sent to Heads of Service and no amendments were noted. The existing document will therefore be rolled out on 1 October Ensure that foster carers are supported to make reasonable and appropriate decisions within the authority delegated to them, without having to seek consent unnecessarily (NMS 7.4) [55 F] Delegated Authority Checklist for Foster Carers to be agreed on and circulated to foster carers. A checklist is being rolled out to all of the support groups. The document will be added to the agenda as a standing item for training as well. Supv Social Worker to complete Delegated Authority tool for each Foster Carer. Foster Carers Handbook on Fosternet to be updated with Delegated Authority section. Agreed that the handbook should be electronically reviewed annually. Date for 2013 update to be agreed by the 4 identified reps. Checklist as evidence. WFFCA (Carers Association) to be briefed on Delegated Authority. All these actions to be completed by Oct

8 Ensure that allowances and any fees paid are reviewed annually and the fostering service consults with foster carers in advance of any changes to the allowance fee (NMS 28.3) [56 F] Prepare a Business Case to address recommendation. Benchmarking of service costs indicate that we are a medium/low cost service. The service is taking steps to reduce independent fostering placements. A report has been completed which proposes financial options to streamline age bands and associated payments and to implement an increase to the carer fee element to commence April Funding agreement in progress. Consultation with WFFCA to follow to enable implementation if funding and carer agreement approved. Ensure that the fostering service has a record of the recruitment and suitability checks which have been carried out for foster carers and those working (including as volunteers) for the fostering service (NMS 19.3) [57 F] Audit of statutory checks to be undertaken. Agreed that team managers to undertake audits. Dedicated Fostering Assessment Team now in place. Applicants are notified of when their DBS check has been completed. Prep groups are being used to discuss the changes. HR has introduced a required timescale for DBS renewal. An electronic and manual system to monitor all checks for foster carers is in place. Ensure that the fostering service produce a written guide to fostering which includes the address, including address, and telephone number of HMCI (breach of Regulation 3.3) [58 F] Completed, Statement of Purpose amended and uploaded to website. Web page link: /Documents/Fostering Statement of Purpose - FINAL.pdf 8

9 Ensure that all people working in or for the fostering service, and the central [list] of persons considered suitable to be members of a fostering panel, are interviewed as part of the selection process and have references checked to assess suitability before taking on responsibilities, and that telephone enquiries are made to each referee to verify written references (NMS 19.1) [59 F] All panel member files to be completed by Panel member files identified during Ofsted inspection have been reviewed. Fostering Support Team Manager to audit the files by w/c 07 October Head of Placements & to undertake a dip sample on the w/c 14 October Actions completed and panel functioning appropriately. Additional representation from health and a young person. All procedures checked and in place Ensure that children s safety and welfare is promoted in all fostering placements and that children are protected from abuse and other forms of significant harm (NMS 4.1) [60 F] Review procedures and processes to ensure compliance with conflict of interest issues. Safer Caring Policy Report of allegations by C&YP. Head of Service monitors spreadsheet re: allegations, complaints and issues of restraint Fosternet has been updated with new procedures and processes which foster carers can access via briefings, support groups and training. Head of Service reports all C&YP are safeguarded appropriately. Evidenced by fostering tracking spreadsheet. 100% of CIC case files audited in Oct 2013 were good/adequate. Quality assurance service to triangulate with IROs to ensure compliance. 9

10 Ensure that the manager regularly monitors all records kept by the service to ensure compliance with the service s policy to identify any concerns about specific incidents and to identify patterns and trends. Immediate action is taken to address any issues raised by this monitoring (NMS 25.2) [61 F] Clear protocols and procedures to be developed to ensure incidents of restraint/injury to be recorded by Foster Carers via agreed incident template. Outcome: focus on compliance, recruitment and exemptions. Team Manager monitors records in supervision. Central records closely scrutinised by Team Manager and Head of Service Panel business day to take place before the end of November Fostering Support Team Manager to ensure that this happens and that Head of Placements & is invited. Head of service auditing case files. Central records fully compliant. No trends identified. 10

11 Ensure that the executive side of the local authority (a) receive written reports on the management, outcomes and financial state of the fostering service every 3 months and (b) monitor the management and outcomes of the services in order to satisfy themselves that the service is effective and achieving good outcomes for children (NMS 25.7 (a) (b)). [62 F] Dec 2013 Executive Group consisting of LBWF Chief Executive, police, health and Portfolio Holders to receive quarterly performance and financial reports. Corporate Parenting Board to receive quarterly performance and financial reports. First report is due by the end of Dec A Data Quality Reporting Officer is now in post and will produce quarterly performance reports. Head of Placements & and Finance to address the financial element. a) Financial overview presented at the monthly Directorate Programme Board chaired by the Deputy Chief Executive of Families b) A third quarter report for Oct-Dec 2013 is in draft to be presented to CFSMT in Feb 2014 for sign off 11

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