North East Regional Update - December 2019

The North East Regional Update

Quality Assurance and Performance

We have established a new regional QA and Performance group as part of the NE ADCS network. The aim is to strengthen the role and impact of QA and performance activity in sector-led improvement across children’s services and create better join-up. An early task for the group will be to support and add rigour to the annual ‘Directors’ Challenge’ process.

Elective Home Education

The regional education group is carrying out some work to create a regional picture of LA approaches to monitoring elective home education. We are also hoping to carry out some regional analysis of LAs’ responses to the ADCS EHE survey.

Extra-Familial Harm and Exploitation

The Children’s Safeguarding Network is undertaking a mapping exercise to understand the current arrangements in place across the region to respond to concerns relating to extra-familial harm and exploitation. The exercise aims to understand strategic and operational responses to CSE, child criminal exploitation (including county lines), youth violence, gangs and modern slavery/trafficking in each local authority area, with a view to identifying opportunities to strengthen practice.

Agency Social Work MoU

We have carried out a review of our MoU relating to agency social workers, which has been in place for over two years. As a result of the review we have revised the capped rates, incorporated the use of project teams into the agreement and strengthened the escalation process.

Care Leavers and Council Tax Exemption

In response to a request from our Regional Children in Care Council, we are exploring council tax exemptions for care leavers and how this might apply across LA boundaries for care leavers who no longer live in their ‘home’ local authority area.

Applied Research Collaboration

The North East and North Cumbria Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) is now live. This research network, funded by the National Institute of Health Research for five years, is a partnership between HEIs and a range of care organisations which aims to improve outcomes in health and social care through high quality research on local priority issues.

DCS changes

The region welcomed Kathryn Boulton who took up the post of DCS in Redcar and Cleveland at the end of September.

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