SWSLG Children and Families Subgroup Meeting by ab1W51


									           SWSLG Children and Families Subgroup Meeting
    Conference Room 3, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh on 23 October 2007

1. Introductions


Gail Abraham (Renfrewshire Council)
Anna Aitken (East Ayrshire Council)
Anne Anderson (Aberdeenshire Council)
Raymond Buckley (Scottish Government, ScotXed)
Patricia Clapham (East Renfrewshire Council)
Lorraine Don (Clackmannanshire Council)
Alice Dow (West Dunbartonshire Council)
Murray Dunlop (Scottish Government, ScotXed)
Hazel Fraser (Stirling Council)
Laura Greechan (North Lanarkshire Council)
Caroline Hand (East Dunbartonshire Council)
Claire Horsley (North Ayrshire Council)
Andrew Keir (Scottish Government, Transformational Technologies Division)
Kathleen Kennedy (Inverclyde Council)
Andrea Lockhart (Dumfries and Galloway Council)
Denise Macleod (Scottish Government, Statistics) Minutes
Graham McCann (Scottish Government, Looked After Children)
Matt Mclay (Stirling Council)
Jill Morton (SWIA)
Suzanne Murray (East Lothian Council)
Pauline Otreba (Perth and Kinross Council)
Iona Payne (Angus Council)
Debbie Redgate (City of Edinburgh Council)
Ewan Smith (Aberdeen City Council)
Gary Sutton (Scottish Government, Statistics) Chair
Gerry Sweeney (South Ayrshire Council)
Maggie Veitch (Fife Council)
Kelly Abel (Scottish Government, Youth Justice)
Gayl Wall (Dundee City Council)

Jeremy Akehurst (Moray Council)
John Campbell (Scottish Borders Council)
Esta Clark (HMIE)
David Jason (Aberdeenshire Council)
Martin Kane (South Lanarkshire Council)
Anne Mollision (Angus Council)
Ian Nicol (Glasgow City Council)
Isobel Prentice (South Lanarkshire Council)
Malcolm Thomson (Argyll and Bute Council)

2. Actions from previous meeting

2. Previous action points
    Gary Sutton (Statistics, SG) to pursue review of PIs with Policy.

4. Child protection survey
    Gary has not progressed the legal implications of collecting SCN of children on child
       protection registers because general discussions have begun with internal colleagues
       and the Scottish Information Commissioner which will include this.
    ACTION: Gary to set up a subgroup with policy colleagues and some local
       authorities (LAs) to look at de-registrations (to see if table 9 can be expanded for
       2008/09 or 2009/10).
    ACTION: Gary to carry forward discussion at the next IT Task group meeting on the
       issue of outputs for standard reports to help LAs complete their CLAS & CP returns
       as the last meeting was dominated by individual CLAS collection.

5. Obtaining information on secure accommodation authorisations turned down
     Kelly Abel (Youth Justice) to give an update on this today.

6. Children looked after
    Hazel Fraser confirmed receipt of Stirling’s CLAS form which had been re-sent.
    Gary has updated the 2008/09 form and guidance notes with stability of placements
       on children looked after at home. However, this form will in effect become redundant
       when the individual level data starts.
    Any LA that requires the final LogicaCMG report is to let Gary know.

   The contacts lists for SWSLG Children and Families Subgroup and the survey forms
    have now been revised.
   The data specification for the individual level CLAS will be covered today.

3. Update on Getting It Right and eCare - Andrew Keir (Transformation Technologies)

Andrew reported that version 2 of eCare was still being developed and is looking at
additional access control that will be dependent on information requirements. There will be
workshops to decide what practitioners require. The design phase should begin in summer
2008, with the finished version available in 2009.

Andrew joined the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) team a month ago which aims
to create a single virtual record for every child (in a federated system). By December 2007,
there will be a requirement that all requests going to Children’s Hearings should follow this
outline. Andrew’s team have contacted the relevant person in LAs and outlined

An on-line ‘Learning Community’ is being set-up and it was hoped to set up meetings where
people can get together and learn good practice from one another. Some Road Shows were
planned for next year.

The Children’s Services Bill has not been progressed in this year’s legislative programme. It
was decided to see how the GIRFEC legislation works first.

4. Update on We Can and Must Do Better working group – Graham McCann (Care &

Graham reported that the We Can and Must do Better working group had been charged with
developing a reports framework for the educational attainment of looked after children. The
first meeting had mainly been on introductions and to address why existing reports didn’t
work by looking at what was currently available i.e. the CLAS form and care leavers, Audit
Scotland PIs and schools LAC. It shouldn’t be about what the Scottish Government want but
what children need.

The second meeting had taken place at the SEEMIS Group in Hamilton to look at data
sharing with Glasgow. A signification point about the tabled draft reporting framework was
that they would be looking for data collected in the school year which has implications for the
CLAS form (as this is to a different time scale). There was a great deal of discussion around
Graham’s question as to whether this should be part of CLAS, schools or standalone. The
feeling of the Working Group was that it should be the corporate parent. However, LAs felt
quite strongly that Education should provide educational outcomes, not Social Work. LAs
thought there was a clear message that this issue needed to be addressed as both Social Work
and schools are provided with the same information on the status of looked after children but
schools is incomplete in this respect.

Also addressed was what were improved outcomes. This had to be measurable and the
following have been selected: improved outcomes compared to previous year, a narrowing of
the gap when compared to non-looked after children and experience in care. Indicators
would be attendance and absence, exclusions, possibly 5-14 attainment (schools/LAs still use
this although it’s no longer collected by SG), national qualifications, average tariff scores and
other non-qualification learning activities (such as Duke of Edinburgh Award etc) and
possibly care leavers achievements after leaving school. It’s also important to keep in mind
that most LAC are under school leaving age.

It was hoped the next meeting would have better attendance although Graham reported that
the Framework was moving in the right direction. This Working Group is a Subgroup of the
We Can and Must Do Better group and consists of members from the SG, HMIE, Audit
Scotland and LAs.

5. Child protection survey

2006/07 survey – feedback
The 2006/07 data was published on 25 September and can be accessed at
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/00609. There was some media coverage. LAs did
not report any issues with completing the form. Gary reported that the 2007/08 and 2008/09
would remain as aggregate forms.

2008/09 survey – finalise form
Ethnicity and disability is not currently asked for in the child protection survey (although it
was included in the old CP1-4 form). Gary asked if this could be added to the child

protection registrations section, confirming that no confidential data would be published.
LAs agreed this would be fine. The same codes used for CLAS will be used.

ACTION: Gary to add tables on ethnicity and disability to the last section of the CP form.

6. Children looked after survey

Update on individual level CLAS development – Improving data on Looked After Children
Raymond Buckley (ScotXed, SG) thanked LAs for attending the CLAS meeting in Glasgow
on 26 September and said that feedback had been favourable. The afternoon workshop
sessions had been particularly useful. Thirteen LAs have expressed an interest in becoming
an early adopter and 14 bids have so far been received for funding. The deadline for funding
submissions has passed (Friday 19 October). There is pressure to finalise this so Raymond
will be e-mailing reminders with a final deadline. Any bids received after this may not be
included in the costs submission to the project board.

The Scottish Government have also allocated funds to LAs to enable them to enhance their
role as 'corporate parents' to children in care in 2007/08. Further information on this can be
found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2007/10/04111427 . Raymond said that
this funding was more flexible and could include non-capital items like staffing costs. As it
is not yet clear if the ScotXed funding can be used for non-capital items, LAs were urged to
contact the relevant person within their authority about this funding.

LAs that will not be early adopters will still continue to be supported although initially the
focus will be on early adopters.

Gail Abraham (Renfrewshire) was confused as to what funding Anite SWIFT would receive.
It made producing a bid for her authority difficult. Murray Dunlop (ScotXed, SG) has been
in touch with Anite to discuss this issue and a meeting has been arranged with Anite to
finalise their requirements.

ACTION: Murray to circulate information provided so far by Anite.

ACTION: Gail to send Murray a copy of Anite’s costing breakdown.

Andrew reported that they had an agreement with Anite who were building adapters once for
eCare that LAs would receive free of charge. Murray said this would be the case for one

There was some debate regarding the use of capital funding. It remains unclear whether or
not the capital funding that ScotXed has secured for 2007/08 can be used to fund LAs to
employ staff to clean/insert data.

Gerry Sweeney (South Ayrshire) felt it would be a huge task to input all historical placement
and date information required and, if funding was not available, asked how this could be
addressed. Gary agreed that this was what was expected and said that the issue over non-
capital funding was being addressed. It was hoped there would be an answer within a couple
of weeks. LAs were advised to include this in their bid in the meantime. Other funding will
also be available to authorities for improving data records etc (see link above). Pauline felt

that the apportionment of the ‘corporate parenting’ funding was unfair. Graham McCann
(Care and Justice) volunteered to find out how this had been calculated but reported that
COSLA had found it agreeable. It seems to have been based along the lines of GAE for
Community and Residential Care.

There are issues with historical data as some LAs didn’t migrate over some information to
new systems. Gary thought that authorities should know this information to properly
understand LAC and said LAs do have time to get their systems ready. Funding can be
applied for with help in populating data but it can’t be guaranteed. However, LAs have been
alerted to the other funding available which could be used for this purpose. It was also
clarified that the ScotXed funding was there for all authorities, not just early adopters. Gary
also emphasized that although SG were the driving force for improvements to CLAS, it
would help LAs in the longer term (particularly in working towards eCare).

For early adopters selection, Murray said it was preferable to have 7 IT users split as 2 OLM
CareFirst, 2 Anite SWIFT, 1 Corelogic and 2 independent. It has recently been discovered
through talks with the large software suppliers that particular versions will be required -
version 21 for Anite and version 5 for OLM. With this in mind, he has been visiting LAs
who are using the correct version. Murray is considering proposing the following to the
project board when it meets on 1 November:-
     Anite SWIFT          – Perth and Kinross Council and Renfrewshire Council
     OLM CareFirst – Aberdeen City Council and East Lothian Council
     Corelogic            – Scottish Borders Council
     Independent          – Dumfries and Galloway Council and Falkirk Council.

There was further talk around funding and what could be included (e.g. extraction of data,
software licences etc.). Anna Aitken (East Ayrshire) felt it was confusing about the scope for
bidding and what Anite had said they could do. Gary reported that the SWSLG Children and
Families IT Taskgroup would be meeting on Monday (29 October). Suzanne Murray (East
Lothian) would like to attend this. Gary also pointed out that to be fully compliant by
Summer 2009, Anite users will have to be on version 21 or above and OLM users on version
6.0 or above.

Finalise Data Specification
Gary ran through the revised version of the data specification (most changes are made in the
aftercare section) following September’s meeting. SCNs are still included at the moment as
it was hoped to get permission to use these.

Section 2.3.1 (child details) - Gary emphasized that his team would not see names.
Section 2.3.2 (episode details) – Historical information not required for episodes that ended
before 1 April 2007 (for early adopters) or 1 April 2008 (for non-early adopters).
Section 2.3.3 (placement details) and 2.3.4 (legal reason details) – Codes are the same as in
the current CLAS form. All placement and legal reasons should be included for episodes
being reported.

Section 3.3 (aftercare section) –To clarify that this is for all children eligible for aftercare at
31st March (snapshot), not just those receiving aftercare.
Variable (p) is new – ‘in receipt of aftercare services’ with a yes/no response (LAs should
state why a child is not receiving aftercare if ‘no’ selected – this is a validation query)

Variables (s) and (t) – ‘Homelessness’ has been added back in and asks for spells of
homelessness and number of days homeless to add context.

Section 4.3 (short term placements) – again this is a snapshot.
Variables (g) and (h) - Ethnicity and main disability added.

Gary has also produced guidance notes. There are three (one for each part of the CLAS
return – LAC, Aftercare, Current Planned Series of Short-Term Placements).

ACTION: These will be circulated to the group. Any comments back to Gary.

To conclude, the group agreed that the data specification and codes were now finalised but
that there may be revisions/expansions to the guidance notes, where necessary.

Gary summarised the current situation as follows:-

      Data specification now finalised for early adopters and would be fully rolled out from
       Summer 2009 for all. However, there may be changes to the guidance notes.
      Funding bids and what could be included as capital spend were being looked at. This
       will also be discussed at Monday’s SWSLG Children and Families I.T. Task Group.
      No definite answer on staffing costs as yet but LAs urged to apply for funding from
       the £2.5 million fund that is available to ‘corporate parents’.
      Following the SWLSG Children and Families IT Task Group on 29 October, an
       ‘Early Adopters’ meeting will be arranged.
      Work would also progress with non-early adopters who could start by looking at what
       they currently collect and need to start recording for 1 April 2008 and beyond.
      OLM CareFirst and Anite SWIFT users must ensure their versions will be compliant.
       There are also in-house users to consider.

2006/07 survey
Gary reported that his team were currently working with the data. Three LAs had not
supplied data so their previous year’s data would be used. LAs were warned they may
receive some late queries. There didn’t seem to be any major problems although aftercare
data was patchy for some LAs. The publication has been pre-announced for 28 November
and, as is the usual procedure, LAs will receive the embargoed results the day before.

Gary had recently attended a throughcare and aftercare leaders meeting with policy
colleagues which had been useful.

ACTION: Gary may arrange a meeting with LA aftercare contacts within the next couple of

2008/09 survey
This will be an individual collection. The SWSLG Children and Families I.T. Task Group
meets next week and there will be a meeting with early adopters shortly. Work will be on-
going with non-early adopters as they will require the same support and training. ScotXed
hopes to have a secondee in place to assist with this development.

2007/08 Audit Scotland Care leavers PI

Around 7 LAs took up the offer last year of assistance with completing the PIs for Audit
Scotland. This service will again be available next year and Gary will mention this nearer the

2006/07 SCN gathering
Not all LAs have been able to provide this. The priority is to get the CLAS publication done,
then this will be addressed. Gary asked LAs for feedback on any issues/problems. Gail had
not been able to provide SCNs on around 20% despite contacting her education department
and schools. She is now trying to get this information as a child becomes accommodated.

ACTION: Gary will aim to give a summary of the SCN collection at the next meeting.

7. Obtaining information on secure accommodation authorisations turned down-
update (Kelly Abel nee Walker)

Kelly Abel (Youth Justice) recapped on what had been requested at the previous meeting.
Her team were keen to get an idea of how many requests for secure accommodation from
LAs or Children’s Hearings have been turned down by either secure units or Chief Social
Work Officers.

SWSLG members had been asked to nominate the person within their authority who deals
with secure accommodation authorisations so that this information could be requested. There
have not been many responses although no time limit had been given. Kelly provided the
group with some examples that had been received.

There was some discussion on whether the information required would be of any use and
Kelly asked if the questions should be changed. It was felt that clarification was needed.
Gary suggested producing a survey form with guidance notes. Kelly said this should just be a
one-off exercise and thought that a brief e-mail would be fine. Kathleen Kennedy
(Inverclyde) asked for a note of who had responded so far.

ACTION: Denise to circulate list of those who have responded to request.

It was suggested that the request go directly to the Directors of Social Work and copied to
this SWSLG Subgroup. Gary also asked if the question that has been dropped after the
2004/05 secure accommodation census could be added back for the 2008/09 form? Kelly has
a meeting to discuss the form soon and will discuss this possibility. However, it would not
collect information on those requests turned down by Chief Social Work Officers.

ACTION: Youth Justice to consider how best to take this forward.

For any queries, please contact Kelly at Kelly.Abel@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 0131
244 5444.

8. Any Other Business

Ewan Smith (Aberdeen City) had heard that Audit Scotland SPIs were being dropped within
the next couple of years. Graham reported that as there was nothing currently to replace the
Care Leavers Education Outcome PI, this would remain. There is a move towards outcome

9. Date of next meeting

The next meeting would be organised for January or February 2008.


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