Agenda and draft minutes

Dorset Council - Corporate Parenting Board
Thursday, 21st January, 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: A link to the meeting can be found on the front page of the agenda.. View directions

Contact: Kate Critchel, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01305 252234 - Email:


No. Item


Welcome and Introductions

The Chairman to open the meeting and note any apologies.  


The Chairman of the meeting welcomed all presented.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2020.


The minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2021 were confirmed as a correct recorded and would be signed by the Chairman at a date in the future.


Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest to report.


Public Participation

To receive questions or statements on the business of the committee from town and parish councils and members of the public. Public speaking has been suspended for virtual committee meetings during the Covid-19 crisis and public participation will be dealt with through written submissions only. Members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area, may submit up to two questions or a statement of up to a maximum of 450 words. All submissions must be sent electronically to by the deadline set out below. When submitting a question please indicate who the question is for and include your name, address and contact details. Questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda. Questions will be read out by an officer of the council and a response given by the appropriate Portfolio Holder or officer at the meeting. All questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.

The deadline for submission of the full text of a question or statement is 8.30am on Monday 18 January 2021.



There was no public participation to report.


Children in Care at Risk of Offending and Custody pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To consider a report by the Service Manager for Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service.





The Service Manager, Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service presented a report on Children in Care at risk of offending and of the work being carried out to address these issues.


Members were advised that the number of Dorset children in care entering the justice system for the first time had reduced in the last three years. There has also been a reduction in the number of children in care receiving a formal youth justice ‘outcome’.


No Dorset children in care had been remanded or sentenced to custody in the last two years. The Board discussed the report and asked a number of questions in relation to:-


·         Engagement with employees and unions in respect of health and safety issues and acknowledging the importance that employees feel safe in the work space.

·         It was noted that restorative justice approach should be a key element for victim led outcomes.

·         Further work on embedding restorative approaches would be carried out in the near future.

·         Members requested the figures of Dorset children in care provision outside of Dorset. They recognised the importance of each child either in the Dorset area or outside of it, was being treated equally.

·         Noted that following the first COVID lockdown the justice system backlog had been cleared locally.

·         Welcomed the approach to engagement through a combination of a speech and language assessment and a trauma formulation to enable YOS workers and other professionals to respond to individual(s) requirements.

·         The Service Manager confirmed that the approach of additional speech and language therapists had transformed the service.

·         Acknowledged that the local Protocol for Reducing the Criminalisation of Children in Care was working well and would be subject to ongoing scrutiny and improvement.




The Board noted and supported the work being carried out to reduce the criminalisation and offending of children in care.


Emotional Health and Well-Being in schools and briefing on the Emotional Health and Well-Being Steering Group pdf icon PDF 308 KB

To consider a report by Principle Educational Psychologist. 

Additional documents:


The Corporate Director for Education and Learning outlined a report that highlighted the importance of addressing the issues around emotional health and well-being of children; who may come into care with experiences of trauma associated with abuse, neglect, loss and separation from family and friends.


The Principal Education Psychologist set out the salient points of the detailed document  including the work being carried out with education colleagues and the wider work of Corporate Parenting in order to support looked after children. Evidencing the applications of the strength and difficulties questionnaire in order to support children better.


The Board welcomed the detail within the report and also discussed:-


·         The impact of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and its  progress;

·         Why were Dorset children more “sad” than other children outside of the area? Responding the Executive Director of People Children advised that to date the cohort had not been measured properly. Going forward it was essential to get the process right; for example  if you only ask people who are in crisis,  it is likely that the figures would be distorted. 

·         However, she continued that some of the children were sadder and this was probably due to too many being in residential care or far away from home.  Going forward this bench-mark allowed for the planned improvement to be recorded.

·         Members welcomed the early intervention work, but what support was being carried out with care leavers?

·         They noted that Health Care nurses were commissioned to work with care leavers. Educational psychologists were also supporting care leavers to ensure that their needs were being met.

·         Noted that life story work was being carried out.

·         Noted that children’s voices were heard in many different ways. They must feel secure and supported in order that they can build loving relationships in the future.

·         Acknowledged that a reporting framework would be regularly fed back to the Board. 




(a)       The Board noted and supported the work being done to develop

relationship-based approaches in schools with an emphasis on trauma informed practice.


(b)       That Board noted and supported to improve the emotional wellbeing of children in care and care leavers.




Sufficiency Strategy (Children's Provision) pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To consider a report from the Head of Commissioning.

Additional documents:


The Head of Commissioning updated the Board on the Placement Sufficiency Strategy. The strategy for children and young people was based on a rights-based approach to reducing the number of children in care which was adopted by the Council in 2019.

The strategy also outlined the targets for reducing the number of children in care in Dorset and increasing the number of homes available for children in care in Dorset. 

Members made the following observations:-

·         Noted that the strategy was approved by Cabinet on 19 January 2021.

·         Expressed concern regarding 16 year olds living with minimal supervision; Family care was the ambition.

·         Reconsider the importance of bringing children back into the Dorset area.

·         Requested more information regarding young adults. No figures for the ages between 21-25.

·         How were “the Strengthening of Services Plan”, “the Children and Young Peoples Plan” and “the Corporate Parenting Strategy” going to be monitored and which committee would be responsible for scrutinising them? In response, the Executive Director for People – Children confirmed that scrutiny committees would consider the delivery and the outcomes of the work; plus regular updates at the Corporate Parenting Board and potentially reporting to Health and Well-being Board when required.

·         Members noted that the annual report on Care Leavers would be considered by the board at a future meeting.

·         Expressed concern about the lack of foster carers; discussions were on-going with colleagues in respect of housing, the building better lives project and the local plan consultation. Plus consideration of opportunities for capital bid projects where appropriate.


Corporate Parenting Strategy pdf icon PDF 637 KB

To receive a presentation on Corporate Parenting Strategy.




Additional documents:


The Service Manager for Corporate Parenting and Permanence set out a power-point presentation on the Corproate Parenting Strategy covering the following areas:-


·         Increasing the opportunities to hear the voice of our children and young people and to take their views, wishes and feelings into account

·         Promote better physical and mental health and well-being through improvement access to health information and services.

·         Have high aspirations for children in care and care leavers in their, education, training and employment.

·         Ensure safe and stable accommodation within the family home or close relatives and friends, If not possible, children are moved to a permanent placment wirhout delay.

·         For our children to have a good enriching experience of care provision and to prepare for adulthood and an independent and successful life.

·         Effective governance and planning arrangements are in place to mean the Corporate Parent can be the best they can be.


Corporate Parenting Dataset pdf icon PDF 702 KB

To receive a report from the Service Manager for Corporate Parenting and Permanence.


The Board considered the report on the Corporate Parenting Dataset.


The Board made the following comments:-


·         Welcomed the work being carried out on the health assessments within 20 days.  Members acknowledged the issues with Covid-19, but improvement needs to be shown soon.

·         That data showed that the right children were coming into care.

·         Important to ensure that the right carers were in place and that permanence plans were put into place promptly.

Cllr S Jones and Cllr A Kerby left the meeting at 7.05pm


Date of Next Meeting

To confirm details and deadlines for papers for the next meeting of the (formal) Corporate Parenting Board which will be held on 29 April 2021.




The next meeting of the formal Corporate Parenting Board would be held on 29 April 2021.


Exempt Item

To consider passing the following resolution. To move the exclusion of the press and the public for items 12  in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of Paragraphs 1 and 2 of schedule 12A to the local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

The Live Meeting will end before Members consider the following item.



It was proposed by Cllr C Lugg seconded by Cllr R Biggs




That the press and the public be excluded for the following item(s) in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraphs 1 & 2 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).



CLICC Update and challenge cards- 18:55

To receive an oral update from Participation People and make comment on the CLiCC Challenge and Feedback Cards.


The Board received an update on the CLICC update and challenge cards from the Service Manager for Corporate Parenting and Permanence with the input of the young people representatives.


Urgent Exempt Item

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes. This item is scheduled as exempt business under Paragraphs 1 and 2 of schedule 12A to the local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


The following urgent, exempt items was considered by the Board.


Unregistered Placements

To consider a report of the Corporate Director Care and Protection, Children’s Services



Members considered a report of the Corporate Director – Commission, Quality & Partnerships on the current position regarding unregistered provision and the actions being taken to date.