The Chairperson welcomed Lucy Peake, the Chief Executive of Kinship to the meeting who accepted the invitation to attend to support officers and contribute to the item.
The Service Director Children’s Services presented the report to Members which was in response to a Notice of Motion from Council on the 13th January 2021. The report detailed information received from a consultation exercise with connected person (kinship) foster carers to find out their thoughts and feelings in relation to the assessment and support provide by the service and to identify where improvements could be made.
The report also detailed the work of the Authority in collaboration with Kinship, formally called Grandparents Plus.
The Chairperson asked for more information on the working relationship with Kinship colleagues and asked if this was being developed.
The Director for Children’s Services advised that after the Committee previously considered this item, she asked her teams to develop those pathways with Kinship colleagues to ensure carers can access support that is available to them. She added that she was really pleased that a number of carers had praised the support that was available to them.
The Regional Development Manager advised that the response from the survey was positive with nearly 60% of Kinship carers responding to the survey. The survey respondents gave some good, honest feedback which will be used to develop the service, he added that most of the responses were positive.
The Chief Executive of Kinship commented that the Development Manager at Kinship for South Wales has advised of positive working relationships with various teams in RCT such as therapeutic family services, Looked After Children’s Service, schools and Educational Psychologists which, in turn gives Kinship carers trust in Kinship as a charity. She added that as an organisation they could see the commitment from RCT in supporting Kinship carers. She concluded that the outcomes for children were improved for children due to the continuity of carers and being able to stay within their family network, than they would be if they stayed within the foster care system, she hoped that they can continue to work together to build on the positive outcomes.
The Chairperson thanked the officers for their contributions and for Lucy Peake, Chief Executive of Kinship for attending the meeting.
The Committee then considered their formal response to the Notice of Motion and recommended to Cabinet the following:
To endorse the three steps set out in the report to the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee in February 2021 which were:
Members also recommended to Cabinet the following areas for development which were set out in the report to members which were: