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MINUTE of MEETING of the SOCIAL WORK COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 17 April 2001 at 4.20 pm.

Present: Councillors GLENNIS MIDDLETON, BILL ROBERTON, IAN ANGUS, BILL CROWE, FRANK ELLIS, The Hon R J LESLIE MELVILLE, DAVID LUMGAIR, BILL MIDDLETON, ROB MURRAY, GEORGE NORRIE MBE and RICHARD SPEIRS.

Apology: An apology for absence was intimated on behalf of Councillor JOY MOWATT.

Councillor GLENNIS MIDDLETON, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 6 March 2001 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. NEW DIRECTIONS: REPORT ON THE REVIEW OF THE MENTAL HEALTH (SCOTLAND) ACT 1984

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 30 May 2000, there was submitted Report No 444/01 by the Director of Social Work advising the Committee of the publication of the final report from the Millan Committee which had been set up to review the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984. The Report, entitled New Directions, had been laid before Parliament in January 2001 and gave detailed reasons for the recommendations which were made and which numbered over 400. A copy of the executive summary of "New Directions" was appended to the Report.

The New Directions Report was very clear, in terms of explaining why the Millan Committee had reached certain conclusions and what evidence and arguments they had considered. The key points were outlined in the Director's Report, as were the key implications for local authorities.

The Scottish Executive had announced that it would publish a policy statement in the summer on the Millan Report recommendations. It had also established a Mental Health Legislation Reference Group to inform the preparation of the policy statement, with representation from COSLA and from the Association of Directors of Social Work on the Group.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to note the content of the Millan Committee Final Report; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Social Work to submit a report to Committee when the Scottish Executive produced a policy statement on the Millan recommendations later this year.

3. COMMISSIONING RATES FOR ACCOMMODATION PROVIDED BY ARK HOUSING AND SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION FOR MENTAL HEALTH 2001-2002

With reference to Articles 9 and 10 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 445/01 by the Director of Social Work proposing commissioning rates for the accommodation provided by ARK Housing and Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) for the financial year 2001-2002.

The Report indicated that as part of the budget setting exercise for 2001-2002, discussions had taken place with both organisations and the proposed commissioning rates were based on these discussions. It was proposed to increase the commissioning rate for ARK Housing to £312.00 per week (an increase of 2.97%) and to continue the grant for "preserved rights cases" at an equivalent rate. It was proposed to increase the commissioning rate to SAMH to £345.00 per week (an increase of 3.15%).

The Report further indicated that during the course of financial year 2001/2002, SAMH would be moving towards de-registration of some tenancies. This process was being managed along with staff from the Social Work Department to increase the independence of service users, while ensuring that they had appropriate levels of support. There would be financial implications arising from this process and any adjustments that were needed to the commissioning arrangements would be reported to the Committee. The Report concluded that the adoption of the proposed commissioning rates would ensure the ongoing viability of these important services.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to approve the revised rate of £312.00 per week for accommodation provided by ARK Housing, with effect from 9 April 2001;
  2. to approve the revised rate of £345.00 per week for accommodation provided by SAMH, with effect from 9 April 2001; and
  3. to note that the position in relation to SAMH would be reviewed during the course of the financial year, with any adjustments being reported to Committee as they arose.

4. FUNDING FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES 2001/2002 AND DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

There was submitted Joint Report No 446/01 by the Director of Social Work and the Acting Director of Personnel advising the Committee of the funding allocation from the Scottish Executive for Social Work Criminal Justice Services and recommending an increase in the Social Work staff establishment in Criminal Justice Services of 1.5 Social Workers as a result of new funding for diversion and the anticipated continuing increasing workloads.

The Report indicated that the grant allocation for Angus Criminal Justice Social Work Services for year 2001/2002 showed an overall increase of around £55,000, including allowance for inflation of 3%. This, however, contained new funding of £19,361 for Diversion and £16,044 for Bail Supervision. The total allocation for 2001/2002 was £831,382. There remained concerns relating to the level of funding to Angus Criminal Justice Services from the Scottish Executive and these were outlined in a letter to the Executive from the Director of Social Work, a copy of which was attached to the Report.

The Report advised that in order to develop an effective Diversion Service, additional staffing resources were required. An increase in staff would enable the development of an Angus Diversion Scheme which would be developed with full consultation with the Angus Procurators Fiscal and would target the four priority client groups indicated by the Scottish Executive namely, women offenders, drug related offenders, young offenders and mentally disordered offenders.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:

  1. to note the funding allocation for Social Work Criminal Justice Services;
  2. to approve the establishment of 1.5 Social Worker posts; and
  3. to note the letter sent to the Scottish Executive by the Director of Social Work.

5. MENTAL ILLNESS SPECIFIC REVENUE GRANT: APPLICATIONS FOR 2001/2002

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 18 January 2000, there was submitted Report No 447/01 by the Director of Social Work advising the Committee of the applications which had been submitted to the Scottish Executive for revenue grant assistance in respect of community care projects in the mental illness field during 2001/2002. These applications had to be submitted to the Scottish Executive for approval by March 2001.

The Report indicated that the Mental Illness Specific Grant (MISG) had been introduced in 1991 with the aim of developing services in the community to support people with a mental illness. Funding had increased each year to 1995/1996 and then had continued at the same level to 2000/2001. In the letter issued on 19 January 2001, the Scottish Executive had advised local authorities that the overall MISG allocation for 2001/2002 had been increased by £1 million nationally.

Details of the projects were included in the Report which, if approved, would attract grant of £304,570, the net cost to the Council being £130,530 or 30% of the total cost of the projects.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to approve the applications submitted to the Scottish Executive for funding in 2001/2002; and
  2. to note that the Director of Social Work would advise the Committee in a future report of the outcome of the applications.

6. THE REGISTERED ESTABLISHMENTS (FEES) (SCOTLAND) ORDER 2000 ­ THE CHILDMINDING AND DAYCARE ORDER 1996

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 18 January 2000, there was submitted Report No 448/01 by the Director of Social Work informing the Committee of proposals by the Scottish Executive to amend the Registered Establishments (Fees) (Scotland) Order 2000 by increasing the maximum level of fees charged on registration and inspection of residential establishments. Similar increases to the fees charged for registration and inspection of childminders and providers of non-domestic daycare were proposed in the amendment to the Childminding and Daycare Order 1996. The Report outlined the basis of Angus Council's response to the consultation, a copy of which was outlined in Appendix 2 to the Report.

The Report indicated that the Scottish Executive proposed a considerable increase in the level of fees charged for registrations and variations to registration of residential care as from May 2001 following the order being laid before Parliament. The proposed fees for the registration of residential and nursing homes would become the same, while at present, separate fee structures existed and these were detailed in Appendix 1 to the Report. However, there were both short and long term implications for the Council arising from the proposed increase in the registration fee structure and the Director's concerns were detailed in the Report.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to note the potential long term implication of the proposals to increase the level of registration fees, outlined in Appendix 1 to the Report; and
  2. to note Angus Council's response to the Scottish Executive which highlighted the concerns with regard to the above, outlined in Appendix 2 to the Report.

7. INTERNAL MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS WITHIN SOCIAL WORK DEPARTMENT

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 6 March 2001, there was submitted Report No 449/01 by the Director of Social Work advising the Committee of changes made to the responsibilities of second tier managers within the Social Work Department.

These were being made as a result of the Change Agenda brought about by national strategies such as Community Care: A Joint Future; the Tough Options agenda relating to social work services to the Criminal Justice System; and the development of local Youth Crime Strategies. The Report also advised of arrangements for strategic planning/service design and related matters within the Department's Planning and Commissioning Team.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

8. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING AUDIT (PMP)

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 6 March 2001, there was submitted Report No 450/01 summarising the report by Audit Scotland of the Performance Management and Planning (PMP) Audit for Social Work which had been completed in December 2000, a copy of which had been placed in the Members' Lounge.

The Report indicated that, overall, the feedback from Audit Scotland had been very positive and they had concluded that Angus Council Social Work "could demonstrate a clear commitment and progress in implementing a Best Value PMP framework". There were a number of areas where the service had been found to have well developed approaches and performance and these were outlined in the Report. The PMP Audit had also identified specific improvement actions and a copy of the final Improvement Action Plan, detailing how these improvement actions were to be addressed, had been previously circulated to the Committee.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Social Work to report on progress in relation to the Improvement Action Plan at a later date.

9. ANGUS COUNCIL DOMESTIC ABUSE POLICY AND PROGRESS ON SERVICE DEVELOPMENTS

There was submitted Joint Report No 451/01 by the Chief Executive and the Director of Social Work giving a summary of progress of the Angus Partnership on Domestic Abuse and the development of services for people affected by domestic abuse.

The Report indicated that the Partnership on Domestic Abuse had been formed in November 1999 to develop an Angus strategy on domestic abuse and to prepare applications to the Scottish Executive and Scottish Homes for funding to develop services for the victims of domestic abuse in Angus. The Partnership included representation from Angus Council Social Work, Housing, Finance and Chief Executive's Departments, Angus Local Health Care Co-operative, Barnardo's, Victim Support, Women's Aid, Tayside Police, Angus College and Angus Housing Association.

The applications to the funding bodies had been successful with funding being provided for a domestic abuse officer (Barnardo's), for a full time Angus Women's Aid refuge worker, and to develop a second Women's Aid Refuge in partnership with Scottish Homes.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to note the progress of the work of the Angus Partnership on Domestic Abuse.

10. QUALITY SERVICE STANDARDS FOR SOCIAL WORK

There was submitted Report No 452/01 by the Director of Social Work advising the Committee of the further development of quality service standards for Social Work. These standards were being published in booklet format for easy reference by Social Work staff and a copy of the first booklet published ("Quality Service Standards for Children's Services") was circulated.

The Report indicated that further booklets were being developed in relation to quality service standards for community care services and services for all care groups. The next stage of the development of standards would be the production of comprehensive public information in a user friendly format which would promote user feedback.

The Report concluded that these revised standards would enable the Social Work Department to be more proactive in performance measurement and management, in line with the recommendations made in the Department's Performance Management and Planning Audit Report.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Social Work to report back to Committee at a future date with the remaining set of booklets.

11. 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 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraph 3.

12. REGISTRATION OF RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER ESTABLISHMENTS ­ MONTROSE DAYCARE CENTRE

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 14 November 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 453/01 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Law and Administration advising the Committee of the application for the registration of Montrose Daycare Centre, Panmure Place, Montrose.

The Report placed the application in the context of the efforts made by the Management Committee, the Manager and Staff of the Centre to work towards meeting the registration requirements of Angus Council.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to note the contents of the Report and acknowledge the work of the Management Committee, the Manager and Staff of Montrose Daycare Centre in working towards meeting the registration requirements of Angus Council;
  2. to approve the registration of Montrose Daycare Centre, Panmure Place, Montrose in terms of Section 62 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968; and
  3. to approve the conditions detailed in Appendix 1 to the Report being imposed on the registration of Montrose Daycare Centre.

13. REGISTRATION OF RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER ESTABLISHMENTS

There was submitted Report No 417/01 by the Director of Law and Administration detailing applications for registration of a residential establishment, variations to registrations and voluntary cancellations of registrations of residential establishments.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to approve, subject to the terms and conditions detailed in the Report, an application for registration submitted by Scottish Association of Mental Health, Cumbree House, 15 Carlton Court, Glasgow in respect of 52 Leonard Street, Arbroath, being a residential establishment for supported accommodation for adults with mental illness;
  2. to approve the proposed variation to the Certificate of Registration in respect of Bearehill Residential Home, 24 Castle Street, Brechin as detailed in section 4(a) of the Report;
  3. to approve the proposed variation to the Certificate of Registration in respect of Ark Housing, 2 Burnside Drive, Arbroath as detailed in Section 4(b) of the Report;
  4. to approve the proposed variation to the Certificate of Registration in respect of Ark Housing, 10 Windmill Brae, Forfar as detailed in Section 4(c) of the Report;
  5. to cancel the Certificate of Registration held by Scottish Association of Metal Health, Cumbree House, 15 Carlton Court, Glasgow in respect of 14 Timbergreens, Arbroath, being a residential home for adults with a mental illness who were independently ambulant; and
  6. to cancel the Certificate of Registration held by Mr James Stott, Lyndale House, 56 High Street, Montrose, in respect of Lyndale House, 56 High Street, Montrose, being a residential home for mentally ill adults who were independently ambulant.
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