A report of the Director of Children, Families and Learning was presented to inform the Corporate Parenting Board of new arrangements to combine the functions of the Corporate Parenting Board (CPB) and the Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership (MALAP) to create a partnership which improved the lives of children who were looked after and improved their long-term outcomes by working closely with partners from key agencies and Elected Members. The new arrangements would also provide a direct interface between Elected Members and operational managers from a range of organisations.
A report detailing the proposed new arrangements had been submitted to the Executive and approved, and a copy was attached at Appendix A to the submitted report. A copy of the proposed Terms of Reference for the new Corporate Parenting Board/Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership was attached at Appendix 1.
The Executive Member for Children, Families and Learning and the Chief Executive had agreed that the CPB and MALAP should take on a more proactive role and a new model of involvement of Elected Members and Officers should be considered. The new model would also include senior officers from outside of the Council, stronger links with Children in Care Council (CICC). Middlesbrough Safeguarding Children Board (MSCB), Health and Wellbeing Board and Young People's Trust. A Foster Carer representative would also be included, along with up to six Elected Members. It was suggested that the Executive Member for Children, Families and Learning would Chair the new Group, with the Vice Chair elected by the Group's membership.
It was also proposed that the Virtual School established a full Governing Body with its membership made up of Elected Members and Officers, with the Chair of Governors attending the CPB/MALAP. Further information would be provided regarding the Constitution of the proposed Governing Body.
The CPB/MALAP would agree an annual work programme, which would be determined by the group and informed by the Children in Care Council. Issues that might be discussed included:
- Educational Achievement of Children Looked After.
- Children Missing From Home.
- Employment and Training.Opportunities for Care Leavers.
- Suitable Accommodation for Care Leavers.
- A Strategy for Residential Care within Middlesbrough.
- Managing Risk.
The intention of the proposals was to take the current CPB to another level in terms of responsibility and challenge. Whilst the interest and commitment of the current membership was acknowledged, in light ot the current difficult financial environment it was important to maximise the opportunity to access resources across all areas of the Council and its partner agencies to ensure better outcomes for all Looked After Children.
The representative from the Children in Care Council (CICC) informed the Board that the CICC's suggested name for the new group was Forum for Looked After Children (FLAC). The Executive Member for Children, Families and Learning suggested that, with the Board's approval, he would finalise the Membership of the FLAC for submission to the Annual Council Meeting.
RECOMMENDED as follows that:
the Corporate Parenting Board accepted and endorsed the proposal to merge the Corporate Parenting Board and the Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership.
the proposed terms of reference for the new Corporate Parenting Board/Multi-Agency Looked After Partnership be accepted.
the name of the new Partnership would be Forum for Looked After Children (FLAC).
the membership of the FLAC would be finalised by the Executive Member for Children, Families and Learning and submitted to the Annual Council Meeting for approval.