Eastern region update December 2016

Update from the Eastern region for the December meeting of the ADCS Council of Reference

The Eastern Regional Update

Self-assessment, peer challenge and review

The outcome of the 2016 self-assessment process has been the identification of two new regional priorities:

  • Doing things differently
  • Improving attainment of children especially around KS2, including narrowing the gap, which will build on the previous regional priority around narrowing the gap for looked after children.

Work continues to scope and define the outcomes of the following work strands:

  • A peer review was completed in November into arrangements surrounding the handling of cases of domestic abuse in Hertfordshire. This comprised a multi-agency peer review team, led by LA with health and police membership
  • A LAC and leaving care peer review has been planned for Central Bedfordshire; this is now scheduled to be undertaken in February 2017
  • Planning is underway to conduct a round of paired peer reviews into ‘Contact and Referral’, utilising our new peer review methodology. These should all be conducted in early 2017
  • A similar approach of paired peer review is also being considered for SEND peer reviews.

Regional priorities

Doing things differently:

  • The focus of this priority is to share innovation across the region; looking into the most efficient ways of achieving this, e.g. ‘open’ days, mini-conferences, use of the new website as an information resource
  • The peer review methodology will ensure our existing methods are aligned with the current Ofsted frameworks. Additionally this will include greater flexibility through the use of thematic peer reviews where LAs pair up to challenge one another. This builds on the success of the CSE paired peer reviews completed at the end of 2015. The peer review methodology has been applied in a themed context for domestic abuse
  • A draft high level framework for what good early help looks like is under development
  • A methodology for conducting ‘Contact and Referral’ paired peer reviews has been agreed. This links in with JTAI preparation and also forward planning for the next inspection framework. It is also a way of looking at demand management within contact and referral.

Improving attainment of children especially around KS2:

  • In addition to the action plan already developed by the regional virtual school heads, work is underway to plan the remaining elements of this improvement priority area.

Vulnerable adolescents:

  • Mapping the models of delivery for adolescent services for all 11 LAs in the Eastern Region has been completed and the final summary report has been produced
  • A regional workshop or a series of open mornings in different LAs is being considered as a means of sharing best practice and showcasing innovative ways of working across the region.

Leadership & workforce development:

The focus for this work stream is to:

  • Encourage LAs to work together to shape the QSW recruitment market with a focus on supply and demand
  • Manage agency pay rates, and quality and supply of workers
  • Improve quality of SW students and programmes
  • Deliver regional strategic workforce planning for QSWs
  • Encourage neighbouring regions to launch similar initiatives to manage the overall supply and demand of social workers at a national level.

Regional adoption agency development:

Work continues on developing the two regional adoption agencies within the region.

UASC national transfer scheme:

A rota scheme is being developed for the region with sign up from all local authorities in liaison with the Strategic Migration Partnership.

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