People Scrutiny Panel – 14 July 2015

PRESENT: –  Councillor Marper in the Chair.

Councillors Collinson (Vice-Chair), Armiger, Armitage, and Glover.

Statutory Co-opted Members: Mrs P Whittaker, Mrs D Senior (Parent Governor Representatives), Mr W Egan (Church Representative).

The panel met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.

308     DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – Mrs Whittaker declared a personal interest as a current foster carer, and Cllr Collinson also declared a personal interest as his relative co-ordinates respite care for foster carers as part of their role in the local authority (minute 311 refers).

309       PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAKThere were no requests received.

310       REVIEW OF CHILDHOOD WEIGHT IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE– The Chairman welcomed Emma Howard-Drake, Public Health Practitioner (Advanced), to the meeting.  The Chairman explained that Emma had been invited to update the panel on progress with the recommendations contained within their 2014 report “Childhood Weight in North Lincolnshire”.  Emma reiterated the recommendations in turn, explaining actions that had been undertaken since the report’s publication.

Members engaged in a discussion about the issue, asking a number of questions on subjects such as encouraging exercise, diet, planning considerations and referral pathways.

Resolved – (a)  That Emma Howard-Drake be thanked for her attendance and the update to the panel, and (b) that a short report be drafted to reflect the current situation, and tabled in draft form at the panel’s next meeting.

311     ADOPTION AND FOSTERING – The Chairman welcomed Mick Gibbs, Assistant Director Children, and Lois Highton, Independent Social Worker, to the meeting.

Mick gave a presentation to the panel on fostering and adoption, covering the number and demography of children in care, internal team structures, and key issues facing the service in the future.  Members engaged in a wide-ranging discussion with Mick and Lois, covering issues such as therapeutic support, input from social workers from outside the core teams, methods for allowing existing foster and adoptive parents to feed views into services, and placements from outside North Lincolnshire.

Resolved – (a) That work be undertaken to scope a potential review of the support provided to existing and potential foster carers and associated children and young people, and (b) that a related scrutiny brief and timetable be drafted and shared with the panel.

312     ADDED ITEM – No added items were requested.