Agenda item

Regulation 44 Independent Visiting Service Report

(To receive a report from Carolyn Knight, Quality and Standards Manager, which invites the Corporate Parenting Panel to consider and comment on the Independent Visiting Service report (October 2018 to June 2019)


The Panel received a report from Carolyn Knight, Quality and Standards Manager, which provided an update on the work of the Independent Visitor.


The Panel was advised that Independent Visitors conducted monthly visits to the seven children's homes within Lincolnshire and produced reports to the management team which were also shared with Ofsted.


It was reported that in addition, the service had recently begun to visit Denton Avenue supported accommodation on a quarterly basis.


Attached at Appendix A was a copy of the Independent Visiting Service report covering the period from October 2018 to June 2019. 


It was noted that visitor reports reflected the implementation of Signs of Safety across the authority, which ensured consistency of practice within a framework that all staff utilised within children's services.


The Panel was advised that overall the level of care provided in the homes was good and in some instances was exceptional.  It was reported that there was an ethos of reflective practice and approaches within the homes, which ensured that learning was shared across teams.  It was highlighted that staff had been resilient and had remained motivated even when there had been staffing issues; and management challenges.


The report highlighted that the staff and manager's commitment to providing good quality service to the young people in spite of the challenges was to be commended.


The Panel was advised that good quality training was being delivered and that access was being provided to a range of courses to aid the on-going development of staff.  It was highlighted that some training was tailored to meet individual children's needs; an example given was a CAMHS Psychologist delivering training to a team meeting focusing on the impact of trauma on a child's development.


It was highlighted that transport at times was a challenge, due to the amount of time a young person spent travelling from the home to school; and that some escorts did not fully understand the needs of the young person.  It was highlighted that in these instances staff had been proactive in advocating the needs of the young people.


It was reported that the homes offered a variety of activities to enable the young people to meet their needs and interests.


The Panel noted that a number of modernisations were on-going or in the process of being completed.  Particular reference was made to the significant refurbishment at Albion Street.


Reference was also made to the swift and supportive response from Beacon, Strut and Haven to the emergency admissions of young people arising from the suspension of a private children's home provider.


The Panel was advised that 4 of the homes were rated as 'outstanding', 2 were rated as 'good' and one (Albion Street) 'required improvement'.  The Committee was reassured that a plan was in place to address the issues at Albion Street. 


During discussion, the Panel raised the following issues:-


·         One member expressed thanks to staff for the provision of an excellent sensory garden at the Haven; and

·         Some concern was expressed relating to the refurbishment of Albion Street, and to the fact that there should not be any slippage in the programme of works.  Reassurance was given that a comprehensive action plan was in place to ensure that the work was completed on time.


The Chairman extended thanks on behalf of the Panel to officers for an excellent report.




That the Regulation 44 Independent Visiting Service Report be received.

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