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Public Performance Reports

Child protection and children's social work

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2012-17.  Connect ambitions and objectives should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others.  In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our ambitions show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

Each year we produce an Annual Performance Report which details how we have performed in achieving our Connect objectives. To complement the Annual Performance Report we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports.  This report outlines the performance in relation to our child protection and children's social work services and how this links to the outcomes of our ambitions to ‘Get it right for children and young people’ and 'Improve health, care and wellbeing'.

Child protection and children's social work

Social Work Resources is responsible for a range of services to protect vulnerable children and young people. We work to ensure that children, young people and their families get the right help they need, when they need it.  Our vision is to ensure that children and young people live in a community where they are safe from harm and abuse, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included.  We work closely with partner agencies to ensure that we Get it right for every child (GIRFEC). Partners include, NHS Lanarkshire, Housing Services, Education Resources, Police Scotland, Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) and voluntary sector organisations.

We have had a Joint Inspection of services for children and young people in the South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership area and you can download a copy of the final report here SLC Joint Inspection Report of Children's Services.

A range of community services are provided - follow the links to our website to find out more about intensive family support, additional support needs, family support servicesfostering, adoption  and kinship care.  We also provide residential care in our own Children’s houses, and when specialist care and education is commissioned, a variety of other registered children’s care services are utilised.

The Care Inspectorate is the independent scrutiny and improvement body for care services in Scotland. They make sure people receive high quality care and ensure that services promote and protect their rights. All our care services are registered and inspected by the Care Inspectorate and you can view the individual reports on South Lanarkshire Council services and facilities on their website.

Please see table below for current grades:

Care Service Last Inspection

Care/ Support  

Environment Staff Man/Lead Require Recommended
Bardykes Road 08/06/2016      4      N/A   4     N/A     0           3
Hillhouse Road 24/08/2016      5       5  N/A     N/A     0           1
Hunters Crescent 09/06/2016      4       4   4      4     0           6
Langlea Avenue 20/05/2016      5       5   5      5     0           0
Rosslyn Avenue 04/02/2016      5       5   5      5     1           1
Station Road 01/06/2016      5       5   5      5     0           0
Supported Carers 01/11/2016      5      N/A   5      5     1           1
Fostering Services 16/02/2016     5      N/A   5      5     0           1
Adoption Services 16/02/2016     5      N/A   5      5     0           0

Legislative implication for Children’s Social Work
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 became law on 27 March 2014 and contains changes to how children and young people in Scotland will be cared for.  It created new requirements to support children and young people and helps to identify problems at the earliest opportunity. There are also changes to early learning, childcare and extra help for looked after children and young people in care.

Performance Indicators:

The Gross Cost of "Children Looked After" in Residential Based Services per Child per Week – No target set

What this means In terms of children's social work services a major cost incurred by local councils is the cost of caring for looked after children in a residential setting. This indicator calculates the cost per child per week in order that comparisons can be made year on year and between other service providers.
Why this matters In terms of children's social work services a major cost carried out by local councils is the cost for caring for looked after children in a residential setting, getting it right for every child matters.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2013-14 2014-15  2015-16 Are we improving?
SLC £2,623.63 £2,535.16 TBC (April 2017) TBC (April 2017)
Scotland £3,098.31 £3185.00 TBC (April 2017)
How we have performed in improving this public service The cost of looked after children in a residential setting has reduced compared to the previous year, mainly due to a fall in the number of secure of placements in 2014-15. Data for 2015-16 will not be available until March 2017.

 

The Gross Cost of "Children Looked After" in a Community Setting per Child per Week – No target set

What this means

In terms of children's social work services another major cost carried by local councils is the cost of caring for looked after children in a fostering/family placement setting. This indicator calculates the cost per child per week in order that comparisons can be made year on year and between other service providers.

Why this matters In terms of children's social work services another major cost carried by local councils is the cost of caring for looked after children in a fostering/family placement setting, getting it right for every child matters.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 Are we improving?
SLC £179.66 £202.00 TBC (April 2017) TBC (April 2017)
Scotland £264.83 £280.00 TBC (April 2017)
How we have performed in improving this public service

The gross cost of looked after children in a community setting has increased compared with previous year's results, representing a decline in performance. This is attributed to the needs and circumstances of the individual children being looked after, local availability of placements, the policy choices and service models adopted by the council, inflationary pressures and the decisions of Children's Hearings. The results are, however, better than the Scottish average reported. Data for 2015-16 will not be available until April 2017.

Balance of Care for looked after children: % of children being looked after in the Community – No target set

What this means This indicator calculates the proportion of all children that are in the care of the local authority who are being looked after in a community (foster/family placement) rather than a residential setting.
Why this matters The balance is weighted towards supporting children in the community, we need to get the balance right, and therefore getting it right for every child matters.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 Are we improving?
SLC 88.0% 87.0% TBC (April 2017) TBC (April 2017)
Scotland 91.0% 90.0% TBC (April 2017)
How we have performed in improving this public service

Our Residential Children's Care Home places have reduced and we have increased placement opportunities within the community through foster care, adoption and kinship care placements.  We have targeted resources at Parenting Capacity assessments in order to ensure a child's "forever" home is identified earlier.  The shift in the balance of care is evident as we close the gap and near the national figure.  Data for 2015-16 will not be available until April 2017.

 

The percentage of children seen by a supervising officer within 15 days - Target 95%

What this means This indicator measures the speed and efficiency with which the council progresses cases involving vulnerable children, newly placed on a Compulsory Supervision Order.
Why this matters Timely support to our most vulnerable children matters in order to ensure that they are safe, healthy, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included in decisions effecting their lives.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 Are we improving?
SLC 95% 92% 95% Yes
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service

Results have improved.  The council continues to maintain a high level of service.  Families must engage with the service in order that we can effectively support vulnerable children and we are continuously seeking new ways to encourage engagement with the service.

 

Number of reports submitted to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration within 20 days - Target 75%

What this means This indicator measures the speed and efficiency with which the council submits reports to the Reporter to the Children's Hearings for cases involving vulnerable children where a compulsory supervision order is being recommended. A target of 20 days is set.
Why this matters The Children's Hearing System provides the operational setting in which SCRA and partner agencies work.  The aim is to provide a safety net for vulnerable children and deliver tailored solutions which meet the needs of the individuals.  Providing timely reports matters to both the children and their families involved in the Children's Hearing System.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 Are we improving?
SLC 85% 81% 82% Yes
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service

We continue to perform well above our target of 75%.

Support Services

The council provides support to vulnerable children and young people through a range of targeted group work sessions and programmes, including the Give us a break! Group, Young Carers, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), young parents, multi-agency planning and early intervention. These programmes impact positively on young people affected by being looked after away from home, homelessness, youth offending, caring duties and additional support needs.

Fostering
Over the past year, 11 new fostering households, three respite carers and seven support carers were approved.  There were 101 enquiries to the service, with 50 initial interviews undertaken and two preparatory groups being held.

Adoption
Work has continued this year to build on the improved outcomes for permanence. Permanence is pursued for children and young people who are unable to remain in the care of their parents. These children will benefit from other placements through adoption or permanent fostering, as it will help their overall development as they grow older.  28 children have been registered for permanence and 26 children have been placed for permanence.  This is a reduction from the previous year and reflects the staffing issues within the service in the past year.  24 new adoptive resources have been approved in the last year and five permanent foster carers have been approved.  Regular advertising has been undertaken in a range of different mediums which has resulted in 64 enquiries and 39 initial interviews.  Four adoption preparatory groups have been held.  There are 15 family resources waiting for placements.  Children continue to be referred to the Adoption Register and the West of Scotland Consortium when a local resource cannot be found for them.  Four children are currently on referral to the Adoption Register and six children have been referred to the West of Scotland Consortium.

Kinship Care
There are 120 children being supported in kinship care. We also support a Kinship Care Forum which has developed quarterly newsletters.

Customer satisfaction

Child protection services are provided on an individual basis and deal with sensitive issues. However, when children are subsequently de-registered from child protection, they and their parents/carers are supported to undertake an exit interview in which they are asked how their circumstances have changed and how they experienced the child protection processes.

Children and Young People who are looked after and accommodated, and care leavers are consulted with on a range of issues. We use consultation tools such as Viewpoint and “having your say”.  We have a young voices group which supports our looked after and accommodated young people who are living independently and this group are consulted on a whole range of issues including their past experiences of being accommodated  and what should be done differently. Children and Young People were supported to contribute at a national level, for example at the Young Carers Festival. Social Work Resources Participation and Involvement Strategy 2014-17 was noted as providing a good platform for a joint strategy for participation, allowing partners to become better at co-ordinating the involvement of children, young people, families and other interested people/organisations.

We were praised within the Joint Inspection of Children’s Services on the opportunities that we take to consult with people on policy, planning and service development. Consultation with young people is very well supported and allows them to contribute meaningfully to improving services. Over 5,000 young people were engaged in some form of consultation.  A very well supported Youth Council provided a strong and genuine democratic process.

Areas for improvement and action

We will take forward the following key areas for improvement:

  • any requirements or recommendations resulting from Care Inspectorate and multi-agency inspections
  • continue to improve our performance for Private Welfare Guardianship visits to ensure that they are carried out within target timescales
  • continue to maintain grades of ‘good’ and above for external inspections of our registered children’s care services
  • in partnership, continue to contribute to the Scottish Government's Realigning Children's Services Programme, aimed at jointly creating strategies that help children and families get the support they need as early as possible

Further information

Follow the links to our website for further information about services and how to access them:
Young carers
Young carers service
Child protection

You can also download a copy of our Childrens Services Plan and Children Services Annual Report.

Resource Plans are prepared each year by all council Resources to outline the key developments they intend to take forward in the year. Performance and actions relating to Child Protection and Children's Social Work can be found in the Social Work Resource Plan.

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans. In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect Objectives are prepared - see Quarter 2 and Quarter 4 progress reports.   

More information on council objectives can be found in the Council Plan Connect  and also the Annual Performance Report.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (March 2017).