Agenda and draft minutes

West Yorkshire Adoption Joint Committee - Tuesday, 2nd August, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds

Contact: If you would like to find out more please contact Michelle Rawlings, Interim Head of Service for One Adoption West Yorkshire, Email: michelle.rawlings@oneadoptionwy.leeds.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

PRESENT   Councillor F Venner (Leeds) – Chair

  Councillor C Thirkill (Bradford)

  Councillor V Kendrick (Kirklees)

  Councillor K Scott (Wakefield)

 

OFFICERS  M Rawlings – One Adoption West Yorkshire

  H Gray – Clerk

 

1.

Appeals Against the refusal of inspection of documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 15.2 of the Access to Information Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded)

 

(In accordance with Procedure Rule 15.2, written notice of an appeal must be received by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting

Minutes:

There were no appeals against the refusal of inspection of documents.

 

2.

Exempt Information - Possible exclusion of the press and public

1  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.

 

2  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.

 

3  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-

 

  RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:-

 

 

Minutes:

The agenda contained no exempt information.

 

3.

Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration

 

 

 

(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes)

 

Minutes:

No late items of business were added to the agenda.

 

4.

Declarations of Interest

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with each Councillor’s respective Local Authority’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made at the meeting.

 

5.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence from the meeting.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor A Wilkinson (Calderdale) and Councillor M Isherwood (Wakefield). Councillor K Cooke (Wakefield) attended as a substitute.

 

6.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 15th February 2022.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – The minutes of the meeting held 15th February 2022 were agreed as a correct record.

 

 

7.

Election of Vice Chair

In line with Rule 4B of the Committee’s Constitution to invite Members to appoint a Vice Chair of the Joint Committee for the coming municipal year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That Councillor Kendrick be appointed as Vice Chair of the Committee for 2022/23.

 

8.

One Adoption West Yorkshire Annual Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Children and Families which sets out the developments within One Adoption West Yorkshire from April 2021 to March 2022.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Agency submitted a report presenting the Annual Report of One Adoption West Yorkshire (OAWY) which provided an overview of adoption service activity and development from April 2021 to March 2022. The Annual report was presented as required by the National Minimum Standards for Adoption 2014, pursuant to the Care Standards Act 2000.

 

In presenting the annual report, the Head of Service outlined key issues and highlights from within One Adoption West Yorkshire for the April 2021 to March 2022 period, which included:

· Use of Resources

· Partnership Working

· Performance Management

· Practice, Quality of Provision and Management Oversight

· Continuous Professional and Service Development

 

Use of Resources (Staffing) - The Head of Service reported on the interim management arrangements in place and the ongoing work to secure permanent arrangements which would bring stability to the service. There had been some fluctuation in team morale, but it was important to note that sickness levels were lower than the rest of the Children and Families Directorate.

 

In relation to previous workplace challenges, the team had adopted a hybrid working approach, with workspace now secured in all 5 partner authorities, with the team linking well with partners.

 

Medical Examinations – These continue to be a challenge. There is pressure across the health system to undertake medicals for children and young people but for OAWY, the pressure is also in medical checks for adults/prospective adopters. It was reported that some GPs were unwilling to undertake medicals due to workload pressures or charged elevated fees which were a barrier to some prospective adopters progressing efficiently.

 

Child Placement - The Head of Service informed Members that during the last period a total of 171 children had been placed, with 73% of those placements being made within the OAWY area. 197 children had a plan for adoption ratified by the 5 local authorities, of them, 133 children were from white British backgrounds and 33 children were from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

 

Recruitment - 112 adoptive households were approved during 2021/22. The training offer continues to develop and has returned to a face to face offer and some workshops /sessions re-introduced having been on hold due to Covid. Uptake of the workshops/sessions has been good, and Adoption UK has been commissioned to provide all new adopters with access to the Adopter Passport which in turn gives access to support resources.

 

The restructure of Stage 1 has been in place for 12 months and focusses on ‘front door’ enquiries. An audit of the approach showed improved responsiveness to individual need and good customer service.

 

Early Permanence Placements across the region were identified as a priority for 2022/23. Fewer households (19) were approved during 2021/22 as open to Early Permanence Placements, however this exceeds the number of children identified during the year to be placed via Early Permanence. OAWY has secured funding to develop Early Permanence in WY and have appointed a Project Lead to progress this.

 

Adoption Panels – 8 panels per month are held via Zoom. The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

To confirm the date and time for the next meeting.

Minutes:

*Following the meeting, this was confirmed as Tuesday 7th February 2023 at 10.00 am.