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Website URL : http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=619

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 5, Guildhall, Swansea. View directions

Contact: Liz Jordan 01792 637314 

No. Item


Disclosure of Personal and Prejudicial Interests.


No interests declared.


Notes of meeting on 30 October 2017 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To receive the notes of the previous meeting and agree as an accurate record.


The Panel agreed the notes as an accurate record of the meeting.


Advocacy Update pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Chris Francis, Principal Business Development and Commissioning Lead


Chris Francis, Principal Business Development and Commissioning Lead went through the report, highlighting the main issues and answering questions.


Discussion points:


·         National Standards and Outcomes Framework from Welsh Government still in draft form even though local authorities had to have the Approach in place by June 2017.

·         Independent Reviewing Officers play an important role to ensure advocacy is taken up by children.  They also advocate on behalf of children at review meetings.  BAYS Plus provides advocacy for children aged 16 plus. 

·         The National Approach is in addition to what is already being done in Swansea.  It commissions independent advocacy.  Any child being considered by a case conference will now have explained to them that they can have an advocate to represent them.

·         Each Council has had responsibility for providing independent advocacy since 2002.  It is probable that this service was underused as there was not enough promotional activity.  The new National Approach should therefore lead to an increase in children wanting advocacy. 

·         Panel agrees with the aims and principles of the National Approach but it has to be done in a child friendly way.  The Approach has to consider what is already being done for the child locally.  For example, Swansea schools are rights protecting and Social Services use Signs of Safety which provide opportunities for children to give their views.

·         The National Approach is regional through Western Bay.  An independent organisation has been contracted to undertake the advocacy and they will employ staff directly.

·         Panel concerned about calculations used by Welsh Government for the range and level tool which calculates the level of need for advocacy and the funding required.  There have been no serious issues in Swansea in recent years so a 130% increase in budget seems far too high when Swansea’s advocacy service is working reasonably well. Panel support the department’s plan to make representations to Welsh Government to amend the tool.

·         In the past there has been a misunderstanding about what the role of an advocate is.  This no longer appears to be the case so should not put off referrals.

·         The language of the new Approach is challenging for young people.  It needs to be in a language children can understand.  Even the word ‘advocate’ is difficult to understand.




·         Send a letter to the Cabinet Member covering the main points and seeking a response.



Work Programme Timetable 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 75 KB


Work programme received and considered by the Panel.  An additional meeting is not required in January 2018 for pre decision of a commissioning review.


Letters pdf icon PDF 112 KB

a) Convener’s letter to Cabinet Member (30 October 2017 meeting)

b) Response from Cabinet Member (30 October 2017 meeting)

c) Convener’s letter to Cabinet Member (14 November 2017 meeting)

d) Response from Cabinet Member (14 November 2017 meeting)

Additional documents:


Letters received and considered by the Panel. 


Panel pleased with the comprehensive responses from the Cabinet Member, particularly to the convener’s letter on pre decision of the Family Support Services Commissioning Review focussing on Children with Additional Needs and Disabilities before it went to Cabinet.




·         Detailed information provided by Cabinet Member on scoring to be circulated to the Panel for information.

Letter to Cabinet Member pdf icon PDF 131 KB


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