On 20 August 2020, the Devon Improvement Partnership met for the third time to review progress against the Improvement Plan that was agreed following the judgement by Ofsted in January this year.
The Improvement Partnership includes representatives from health, education and the police as well as senior leaders from across the Council and elected members.
At the meeting in August, the Partnership considered an update on improvements being made and a scorecard that has been developed to present key information to help evaluate and scrutinise progress. The scorecard brings together a range of information on improvement activity alongside information about how the improvements we are making are impacting on the lives of children and young people in our priority groups (care leavers, children in care and children experiencing chronic neglect).
At the August meeting the partnership maintained a focus on how we supported these priority groups during coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact of this time on these children and young people.
The Partnership also took some time to review preparations for Ofsted’s September Monitoring Visit and considered a detailed review of our work with children and families across all of our eight improvement priorities.
Key headlines of progress by the end of July:
- Corporate Parenting Teams have maintained high levels of visiting and contact with our care leavers.
- Some young people who were in unacceptable arrangements are now in more suitable accommodation and risks to them have reduced.
- The new Pathway plan will be ready on Eclipse to start reviewing young people’s plans from September.
- Improved communication materials have been produced for young people to promote health passports and the local offer.
- A new framework for permanence planning is developing well.
- We have a really strong approach in place to prioritising children at risk of neglect across the partnership.
- Our pre-proceedings work is more focused, and we are now focusing on timescales for issued cases.
- A new Quality Assurance Framework is operating including a monthly approach to practice evaluation.
Key priorities for the next stage:
- Working closely with partners to ensure the needs of care leavers in the most challenging circumstances are fully understood and planned for.
- Revising young people’s Pathway Plans.
- Ensuring all young people have their permanence plan in place and correctly recorded on Eclipse, and that other work required for permanence such as life story work and ‘matching’, is in place.
- Completing our analysis of issued care proceedings cases to improve timeliness.
Key messages from the Improvement Partnership meeting in August:
- The partnership heard more about the impact of improvement work to date on outcomes for individual children and young people
- Schools, health and police representatives demonstrated proactive commitment to collaborative working on key priorities, including recognising the particular issues in rural communities
- Partners recognised the need to respond to the impact of covid-19 on children and young people when they return to school in September.
- The partnership committed to ensuring the needs of disabled children and young people were considered as part of the improvement work.
Additionally, a one-page version of the Improvement Plan has been produced which you should review in your team meeting to help you understand our priorities and the improvements we are making.