To receive an overview of the staff changes, service impact and response to the budget reductions of the department. .
The Interim Director of Early Help and Children’s Social Care introduced the report and the following was noted:
The sub-committee had the opportunity to ask questions
It was commented that there had been a noted increase in exclusions and officers responded that it had since been identified that six had been rescinded and a request would be made to the Interim Director of Education to provide further information as to the reasons behind the decision.
It was asked how Croydon Music and Arts was being funded as the £13k for the service had been removed from the General Fund. Officers said that this was correct as there was no longer additional funding from the Council for the service as it was able to operate without it. Croydon Music and Arts was self-funding, primarily through grants, which was in common with other LA’s.
An update was requested on the departments Transformation Funding. Officers said transformation funding had been utilised for transformation purposes only, with extensive work undertaken to ensure this. There had been success with a number of bids and there remained stringent reviews of spending. There had been success in support for short term court work teams to address loss of expert capacity in social work for families. There was targeted work on recruitment and retention with a focus on use of diverse media. There was some short term capacity on foster care department.
It was asked what the alternative would be if the departments could not achieve the savings indicated in the report. Officers said that in being transparent at the end of period two and if the identified savings were not made, the reality was that the savings would have to be found elsewhere.
It was requested that officers start reporting identified additional savings in the event that savings could not be achieved once finalised as it was expected that officers should have commenced discussions on the proposals.
The Chair added that through offline robust discussions that had taken place, he was reassured on the transparency of activities of the service that had been reported.
A Member commented that building skills in fostering was crucial to ensure future savings could be made and improve services for the children and families served.
Clarification was sought on the discrepancy in the figures in the DSG block figures for 2019/20 and 2020/21 and officers agreed to provide a response to this following the meeting.
The Sub-Committee came to the following conclusions
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