Agenda item

Independent Reviewing Service Performance Management Report quarter 4 2021 2022


Councillor Alun Williams (Cabinet Member for Through Age and Wellbeing) presented the Independent Reviewing Service Report Quarter 4 2021/2022. Quarterly reports were taken to the Healthier Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee as part of an ongoing examination of the topic to ensure that the Local Authority fulfils its duties as the Corporate Parent. The report includes national and local standards and targets used to measure outcomes for looked-after children (LAC) and care leavers at the time of their review meeting and includes Welsh Government Performance Indicators. Based on the information available and the views expressed during the review meeting, the IRO makes a professional judgement about the effectiveness of a child/young person’s care plan in meeting their needs and may recommend changes to the care plan. During the review meeting, the IRO considers whether the child/young person requires assistance to identify relevant other people to obtain legal advice/take proceedings on their behalf. This action was not deemed necessary by the IRO for any child in the period. In addition, the IRO has regard as to whether the child/young person’s human rights are being breached in any way and, if so, might make a referral to CAFCASS Cymru. This action was not required at any of the review meetings in the period.


These reports are considered within Multi Agency LAC Quality Assurance Meetings which meet quarterly; these meetings provide an opportunity to identify and act upon performance and other issues with this area of work. The reports are also circulated and reviewed by the Local Authority’s Corporate Parenting Group, which takes place quarterly. Councillor Alun Williams proceeded to present a Summary of the Key Points noted on page 2 of the report.


Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by Elizabeth Upcott and Councillor Alun Williams. The main points raised were as follows:

·     There was no mother and baby residential provision in the county and therefore if an assessment was required, they had to go out of county. In addition, some placements were out of county due to the locations of foster carers whilst others were due to specialist placements which were not available in the county.

·     There was a process to follow when the public expressed an interest in becoming foster carers which included assessments and interviews that could take up to six months. There were ongoing recruitment drives nationally due to the shortage of foster carers. Foster carers worked either for local authorities or for agencies. 

·     Reference was given to the placement language and the child’s first language needs noted on page 6 of the Independent Reviewing Service Performance Management Report.

·     It was noted that the cost of out-of-county placements varied, dependent on the needs of children and young people. Out-of-county placements could be more costly than placing children and young people in a foster care setting.

·     Work was ongoing to increase the range of in-county care, which was important for the children, their families and potentially financially.

·     It was highlighted that GP services were under extreme pressure, particularly since Covid-19 however no problems had been reported regarding children and young people in the local authority’s care having access to appointments. Any issues would be discussed at quarterly monitoring meetings and escalated as required.

·     If the local authority had parental responsibility for a child, the child would be given the necessary immunisations. In the event a parent had parental responsibility and did not give consent, discussions would take place with the parent. 


Committee Members expressed their appreciation for the department and for

their hard work in very challenging times.


Following questions by the Committee Members, it was agreed to note the

contents of the report and the levels of activity within the Local Authority.

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