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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the SOCIAL WORK COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 1 June 1999 at 4.45 pm.

Present: Councillors GLENNIS MIDDLETON, BILL ROBERTON, IAN ANGUS, BILL CROWE, FRANK ELLIS, STEPHEN LESLIE, THE HON R J LESLIE MELVILLE, DAVID LUMGAIR, BILL MIDDLETON, JOY MOWATT, ROB MURRAY, GEORGE NORRIE and RICHARD SPEIRS.

Councillor GLENNIS MIDDLETON, Convener, in the Chair.

1. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

With reference to Article 5(c) of the minute of meeting of the Council held on 13 May 1999, the Committee agreed to note the members appointed to this Committee.

2. APPOINTMENTS

(a) Social Work Executive Sub-Committee

The Committee agreed to appoint Councillors Glennis Middleton, Bill Roberton and George Norrie to the Social Work Executive Sub-Committee.

(b) Social Work Case Sub-Committee

The Committee agreed to appoint Councillors Glennis Middleton, Bill Roberton, Bill Crowe, Bill Middleton and George Norrie to the Social Work Case Sub-Committee.

(c) Social Work Complaints Review Committee

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to appoint Councillors Glennis Middleton and Bill Roberton to the Social Work Complaints Review Committee; and

(ii) to note that Mr Alan Dallas had been appointed as the independent chairman.

(d) Registration and Inspection Advisory Committee

The Committee agreed to appoint Councillors Glennis Middleton, Bill Roberton and George Norrie to the Registration and Inspection Advisory Committee.

3. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee held on 13 April 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

4. ESTABLISHMENT OF ANGUS CONTACT CENTRE

There was submitted Report No 547/99 by the Director of Social Work advising the Committee of the work undertaken to date to establish a Contact Centre in Angus.

The aim of the project was to provide a suitable resource which would be available to children of separated families throughout Angus, enabling courts to make appropriate contact orders, thereby ensuring that children, who would otherwise have no contact, could maintain contact with both parents. The Contact Centre would minimise the long term negative effects suffered by children whose parents had separated, by improving the quality of contact and helping families in a time of acute crisis to move towards better communication and eventually mutually agreed arrangements.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the proposals outlined in the Report which were aimed at establishing an Angus Contact Centre;

(ii) to ask the Director of Social Work to monitor the arrangements for the operation of this new service and report back to the Committee, as appropriate; and

(iii) to authorise the Director of Law and Administration, in consultation with the Director of Property Services, to agree appropriate terms and conditions in respect of the necessary legal documentation.

5. NEW COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 19 January 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 531/99 by the Director of Education and the Director of Social Work informing the Committee of the outcome of a Council bid to secure funds for a New Community Schools’ pilot project in Angus.

The Report indicated that a multi-agency team had submitted a bid to the Scottish Office which had received approval on 29 March, with a formal offer of grant of £193,000 to support the pilot project for the period April 1999 to March 2000. In addition, approval had been given by the Director of Personnel under delegated powers to establish, on a temporary basis, a number of specialist posts to progress the pilot project.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to note the terms of the Report.

6. ANGUS CHILDCARE PLAN 1999-2002

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 13 April 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 532/99 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Education advising the Committee of the first draft Angus Childcare Plan 1999-2002, which had been produced by the recently established Angus Childcare Partnership. The main aim of the Plan was to ensure the provision of affordable, accessible, quality childcare and education for all children and families living in Angus.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report; and

(ii) to support the aims of the Angus Childcare Partnership, as contained within the Childcare Plan.

7. 1999 DRAFT ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE ANGUS CHILDREN’S SERVICES PLAN

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of 2 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 548/99 by the Chief Executive, the Director of Social Work and the Director of Education advising the Committee of the completion of the draft of the first annual review of the Angus Children’s Services Plan.

The process for reviewing the Plan was an ongoing exercise involving service providers, the voluntary sector and statutory agencies. The review of services and service development involved consultation with children, young people, parents and carers. The format of the review reflected the structure of the 1998/2001 Plan, but brought together specific areas of need in order to streamline the Plan arrangements.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to approve the 1999 draft of the annual review of the Angus Children’s Services Plan and refer the review to Angus Council for endorsement; and

(ii) to authorise the Directors of Social Work and Education to proceed with the printing of the review and to distribute it appropriately.

8. SOCIAL WORK DEPARTMENT SERVICE PLAN 1999/2000

There was submitted Report No 549/99 by the Director of Social Work advising the Committee of the production of a draft Service Plan for Social Work for the period 1999/2000, which had been produced in line with the guidelines on service planning. The draft Plan, which had been circulated to members of the Committee, related to the range of statutory plans which had been produced within the Social Work Department and reflected a wide range of strategic partnerships in which the Department was involved.

The Committee agreed to approve the draft Service Plan for Social Work Services for 1999/2000.

9. BEST VALUE SERVICE REVIEW: FOSTER CARE SERVICE

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 6 October 1998, there was submitted Report No 550/99 by the Director of Social Work outlining the process and the outcome of a review of the foster care service, which had been undertaken as part of the Council’s five year Best Value programme of service reviews.

The review had found that the Council’s foster care service provided an above acceptable standard of service, in terms of the supply of temporary foster placements to children and young people in need of accommodation, although there was scope for improvement in meeting the more complex and longer term needs of children and young people requiring placements. The Report set out a Service Improvement Plan which addressed the main areas requiring improvement and development.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the findings of the service review that the foster care service was operating at an acceptable level; and

(ii) to approve the Service Improvement Plan.

10. BEST VALUE SERVICE REVIEW: COMMUNITY ALARM AND OUT OF HOURS SERVICE

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 6 October 1998, there was submitted Report No 551/99 by the Director of Social Work outlining the findings of the Best Value service review undertaken on the above services during 1998/99.

The Report indicated that, from the evidence gathered during the service review, it appeared that the users of the service had a high level of satisfaction with it. Accordingly, the Service Review Team had concluded that the service provided was of an acceptable standard and that it should only be changed if service delivery would improve as a result, or if the nature of the joint arrangements changed significantly. Among the areas where services might be improved through different arrangements were the provision of mental health officers, out of hours support for home care and more general support for staff working outwith office hours.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the findings of the service review that the Community Alarm service was operating to an acceptable level;

(ii) to note the findings of the service review that the Out of Hours service was operating to an acceptable level; and

(iii) to approve the recommendations for improving these services, as detailed in Appendix 2 to the Report.

11. BEST VALUE SERVICE REVIEW: SUPERVISED ATTENDANCE ORDERS (CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES)

There was submitted Report No 552/99 by the Director of Social Work summarising the work of the Best Value review of the Supervised Attendance Order Scheme, as operated within the Criminal Justice Service of the Social Work Department.

The Report indicated that the review team had thoroughly examined and considered all the material and information gathered during the review process and had concluded that the Supervised Attendance Scheme, as currently operated in Angus, performed at an acceptable standard but had identified some issues for development and improvement. These were contained in the Service Improvement Plan attached to the Report.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report and that the service operated to an acceptable standard; and

(ii) to approve the Service Improvement Plan.

12. BEST VALUE SERVICE REVIEW: COMMUNITY SERVICE (CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES)

There was submitted Report No 554/99 by the Director of Social Work summarising the work of the Best Value review of the Community Service Scheme, as operated within the Criminal Justice Services of the Social Work Department.

The Report indicated that the review team had thoroughly examined and considered all the material and information gathered and analysed during the review process and had concluded that the Community Service Scheme, as currently operated in Angus, performed at an acceptable standard but had, however, identified some issues for development and improvement. These were contained in the Service Improvement Plan attached to the Report.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report and that the service operated to an acceptable standard; and

(ii) to approve the Service Improvement Plan.

13. BEST VALUE SERVICE REVIEW: REGISTRATION PROCESS

There was submitted Report No 555/99 by the Director of Social Work outlining the findings of the Best Value service review of the Registration process which had been completed during 1998/99.

The review had covered the registration function carried out within the arms length Registration and Inspection Unit, but had not addressed the registration function carried out on domestic providers of childcare. The review had concluded that the registration process was operating at an acceptable level. However, a number of recommendations for continuous improvement had been identified which were included in the Service Improvement Plan, attached to the Report.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the findings of the service review that the registration process was being conducted at an acceptable level; and

(ii) to approve the Service Improvement Plan.

14. MODERNISING COMMUNITY CARE: AN ACTION PLAN

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 19 January 1999, there was submitted Report No 556/99 by the Director of Social Work outlining proposals to take forward the Government’s agenda relating to modernising community care. These proposals were being made possible through additional funding from Central Government, specifically to develop a local action plan for community care. The proposals as outlined in the Report would form the first stage of the Angus Action Plan with future developments to be included in the 1999 review of the Joint Community Care Plan, which would be presented to Committee in August 1999.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the proposals as detailed in the Report, and

(ii) to ask the Director of Social Work to present a further report on the progress being made to further implement the policy of modernising community care.

15. CRYSTAL MARK FOR SOCIAL WORK PUBLIC INFORMATION

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 April 1997, there was submitted Report No 557/99 by the Director of Social Work informing the Committee of progress made to ensure that social work public information was in plain language.

The Plain English Campaign, an organisation which edited documents and publications to make them clear and concise, had been engaged to assist in this with the Crystal Mark being their seal of approval. Angus Council’s Social Work Department had successfully produced 28 leaflets which had Crystal Marks and, as a result, had gained a silver award.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report;

(ii) to note the achievements made in producing public information in plain English and obtaining crystal marks; and

(iii) to ask the Director of Social Work to carry forward the developments outlined in the Report.

16. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved in terms of Standing Order 27(2) that the public and press be excluded during consideration of the following items, so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part I of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraphs 1, 3, 8 and 9.

17. BEST VALUE REVIEW OF RESIDENTIAL CARE FOR OLDER PEOPLE

There was submitted Report No 553/99 by the Director of Social Work presenting the results of the Best Value review of residential care for older people. The Report outlined the main findings of the review and the key recommendations as areas for improvement.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Best Value review of residential care for older people;

(ii) to approve the findings of the review and accept the areas outlined in the Improvement Plan; and

(iii) to ask the Director of Social Work to undertake the option appraisals as recommended in the Improvement Plan and report back to Committee in August on the proposed action to be taken.

18. CONTRACTS FOR THE SUPPLY OF FOODSTUFFS

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 2 March 1999, there was submitted Report No 558/99 by the Director of Social Work advising members of the tenders received for the supply of fresh fish, frozen foods, groceries and provisions, fresh fruit and vegetables, bread and bakery products to Angus Council Social Work Department establishments and making recommendations regarding the awarding of these contracts.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the award of the contract for the supply of fresh fish to Alex Spink and Sons, 24 Seagate, Arbroath;

(ii) to approve the award of the contract for the supply of frozen foods to Drydens Frozen Foods Ltd, Smeaton Road, Wester Gourdie Industrial Estate, Dundee;

(ii) to approve the award of the contract for the supply of groceries and provisions to Watson and Philip Foodservice, Riverside Distribution Centre, Riverside Avenue, Dundee;

(iv) to approve the award of the contract for the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables to Dronley Produce, Unit 3, Bellfield Street, Dundee; and

(v) to approve that bread and bakery products continue to be purchased locally, that no contract be put in place and that no further tenders be sought in respect of this contract.

19. CONTRACT FOR THE SUPPLY OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY EQUIPMENT

There was submitted Report No 559/99 by the Director of Social Work advising the Committee of the need for new occupational therapy equipment supply contracts for Angus. The Report outlined the responses that had been received to advertisements seeking expressions of interest from potential suppliers and proposed that, in order to provide best value for money, the Director of Social Work invite tenders from current suppliers as well as those who had expressed an interest in tendering for this contract.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) that the contents of the Report be noted;

(ii) that the Director of Social Work issue tender documents to the suppliers listed in the Appendix to the Report; and

(iii) that the Director of Social Work report back to the Committee on the tenders received.

20. SOCIAL WORK (SCOTLAND) ACT 1968

REGISTRATION OF RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER ESTABLISHMENT

There was submitted Report No 533/99 by the Director of Law and Administration detailing applications for variations to the Certificates of Registration for residential establishments.

The Committee agreed to approve the proposed variations to the Certificates of Registration for residential establishments as detailed in Sections 3(a) to (c) of the Report.