Joint Area Review

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  • 1. Joint Area Review Self Assessment Performance Management Overarching Statement Performance management is central to the achievement of our main priority which is to take all necessary actions across the County Council and the wider Children and Young People’s Partnership to bring about measurable improvements to the life chances of children and young people in Nottinghamshire, especially those that are most vulnerable. Executive Summary Arrangements for performance management are described and evaluated within the context of Nottinghamshire’s developing partnership arrangements. There is a good track record of meeting local and national expectations and we have identified the components which contribute to effective performance management in a systematic way. To ensure that knowledge about performance is used to drive improvements in outcomes we have identified the need to adopt an outcomes based accountability model. We will continue to develop new ways of working, understanding and analysing impact and targeting resources to improve outcomes. Introduction This self assessment sets out our arrangements for managing performance and how performance management contributes to more effective outcomes for children and young people. Its role in driving improvement is at the heart of the modernising government agenda, as set out in the local government White Paper ‘Strong and Prosperous Communities’. Performance management responds to this agenda by providing a process through which individuals and groups take responsibility for the continuous improvement of services. As such, it is an important vehicle for encouraging partnership working, value for money, efficiencies and increased service integration. Context & Data Our work takes place in a complex multi-agency partnership context, involving the ongoing development of integrated services. Evaluating the development and effectiveness of integrated services is a key element of our performance management framework. ‘We will work together to provide integrated services for all children and young people in 1 Nottinghamshire aged 0-19 to improve their life chances and to help maximise their potential’
  • 2. As the lead children’s services authority for Nottinghamshire, the County Council has a duty, working with its partners, to produce a children and young people’s plan (CYPP). There is a statutory requirement to produce such a plan in order to deliver improvements for children and young people consistent with the Every Child Matters outcomes. It is important that responsibilities for delivering the improvements articulated in the CYPP are clearly stated, owned by those charged to deliver the improvements and monitored to ensure that the plan makes an impact on outcomes. This is where an effective performance management framework is crucial so that partner organisations know how well they, each other and collectively are performing against planned outcomes. Monitoring and evaluation of the CYPP and its interim predecessor were built in from the start and are now being used in the review of the plan. The Nottinghamshire Children and Young People’s Partnership is Nottinghamshire’s Children’s Trust, required by the Children Act 2004. It is led by the Children and Young People’s Partnership Board, chaired by the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services and supported by an Executive Group. The Board’s responsibilities include monitoring performance at a strategic level, to agree on and improve outcomes for children and young people, and oversee the action plans arising from the annual performance assessment (APA) and the joint area review (JAR). Additionally, the County Council has a statutory duty to consult with partners to produce a three-year local area agreement (LAA) between the partnership and central government, containing local improvement targets and the management of key pooled budgets. The CYPP and the LAA have their own performance management reporting arrangements. Supporting them are our departmental, divisional and service business plans. These are the key documents that translate the priorities in the CYPP and the other strategic plans into annually renewed targets and objectives for our services and their staff. As far as data is concerned the government earlier this year published ‘The New Performance Framework for Local Authorities & Local Authority Partnerships: Single Set of National Indicators’ (NIS). 185 national indicators came into force on 1 April 2008. The remaining 13 indicators will be subject to further consultation in the summer before final definitions for them can be released. Of the 198 indicators 70 relate to children and young people and from 1 April 2008 replace the previous Best Value and Performance Assessment Frameworks. The NIS and other data will be collected via new and existing central government arrangements for statutory reporting by agencies and will provide much of the data required for our performance management arrangements. It is planned to make the data available via a national “hub” into which individual agencies will feed their data. Methodology We have in place a performance management framework which enables us to address performance at an individual service, divisional, departmental, County Council or Children and Young People’s Partnership level. Our reporting arrangements provide a consistent and rigorous approach to performance management which staff are aware of since methods are open and well publicised. Needs analysis, benchmarking and trend analysis are key elements of our methodology. The performance management process is cyclical and evidence about current outcomes and trends in performance is used to adjust and refine plans for the future. We do need however to be able to more rapidly target resources in response to the evidence we obtain. Knowledge of the needs of the local population is critical and the Joint Strategic Needs Analysis has provided much useful data which will be further developed. ‘We will work together to provide integrated services for all children and young people in 2 Nottinghamshire aged 0-19 to improve their life chances and to help maximise their potential’
  • 3. Benchmarking against the performance of other councils is carried out with particular reference to our statistical neighbours. The council is a partner in Price Waterhouse’s early collection and dissemination of Best Value Performance Indicators and also participates in a similar exercise hosted by Norfolk County Council for the gathering of social care Performance Assessment Framework data. This benchmarking activity aims to identify areas of good practice from which we can learn. Effective performance management requires there to be robust systems in place to gather and analyse a range of management information – the overall objective of which is to chart progress, ensuring there is improvement in outcomes to our clients and service users, and give managers early warning where that is not the case. It is dependent on reliable quantitative and qualitative data. Accurate and timely production of data is a crucial requirement for performance management. In this context departmental and corporate computer systems, and our ability to interrogate and extract data from them, are critical. We use this information to:- • identify what needs to be achieved to improve our services, in conjunction with our partners and communities; • determine our priorities, allocate resources, set targets and plan what action we will take; and • monitor the impact of the collective actions of our services and partners in meeting our targets for improvement. Our arrangements provide clear lines of accountability down to the level of individual named officers or partners – for example, our heads of service are directly accountable for the performance indicators and targets for improvement in their service business plans and each target in the children and young people’s plan (CYPP) has an identified lead within the partnership responsible for the relevant actions and reporting on progress. We have systematic procedures in place for reporting on performance against the LAA targets for the children and young person’s theme, which are aligned with the CYPP reporting process. This includes obtaining progress reports from named individuals, including those from partner organisations, who have lead responsibility for particular targets. The partnership’s Executive Group has responsibility for performance management, exercised through a performance management sub group, in respect of the implementation of the children and young people’s plan and the children and young people’s theme of the LAA. There is an established six monthly reporting cycle on progress against the targets contained within the CYPP and quarterly monitoring of LAA targets. This monitoring of performance against the CYPP and LAA targets and the impact on outcomes is fed into the annual review of the CYPP. Our departmental performance management arrangements have been developed in the context of the County Council’s overarching performance management framework which our departmental arrangements complement. Strong and consistent performance management needs to operate at corporate, departmental, service, team and individual level if it is to be effective. That means that community and corporate priorities are addressed through department plans and objectives identified at departmental leadership team level and subsequently reflected in service, team and individual objectives. Individual objectives are at the ‘We will work together to provide integrated services for all children and young people in 3 Nottinghamshire aged 0-19 to improve their life chances and to help maximise their potential’
  • 4. heart of the ‘Employee Development and Performance Reviews’ (EDPR) appraisal process. This provides the ‘golden thread’ from high level objectives to individual work programmes. It is a two-way process in that individuals, teams and services are able to feedback from the front line to inform the development of future departmental objectives and plans. In this way a culture of performance management is embedded within the organisation. The EDPR annual appraisal and six monthly review process is used across the Council to improve collective and individual performance and identify individual and collective development needs. Our departmental performance management arrangements are comprised of a variety of inter-related and complementary components which are described in detail in the recently produced report ‘CYPS Department - Performance Management Framework’. Important components which have been identified in this framework and which will be integrated systematically are:- • The role of elected members in prioritising corporate objectives and in their scrutiny role. • The role of the department’s leadership team (CYPLT) • Budget monitoring • Human resources staff absence monitoring • Schools causing concern reports • Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board • Serious case reviews • Youth Justice Board’s (YJB) serious incidents • Delegated decisions • Internal audit reports • Value for money (VFM) reviews • Employee Performance and Development Reviews (EPDRs) • Managing underperformance • External assessment Conclusions The performance management arrangements described in this self-assessment have developed apace from the arrangements which existed in the component parts brought together to form the Children and Young People’s Services Department. In addition, we have worked closely with partners to develop the performance management framework required to demonstrate whether our CYPP is having an impact on outcomes for children and young people in the county. All this is described in more detail in the ‘CYPS Department Performance Management Framework’ document. We now need to accelerate the impact of our work in improving outcomes for children and young people by commissioning and targeting resources on the issues and areas of the county where the evidence shows most improvement is required. Recommendations 1) Outcomes based accountability. With the assistance of consultants, we will develop an outcomes based accountability approach to measuring our performance, based on the ‘Turning the Curve’ model. Our intention is to develop new ways of working, understanding and analysing impact and evidencing improvements. It is intended that this approach, supported by appropriate training, will be extended to all our middle managers prior to the business planning cycle for 2009 – 2010. ‘We will work together to provide integrated services for all children and young people in 4 Nottinghamshire aged 0-19 to improve their life chances and to help maximise their potential’
  • 5. 2) Reporting Cycles. We need to refine and regularise performance management reporting. Regular reports will be produced for elected members, senior managers, the CYPP Executive Group, and the Safeguarding Children’s Board. These will be produced on a monthly, quarterly, six monthly or annual cycle as appropriate. An annual programme of reporting has been developed and will be finalised by the department’s leadership team on 16 May 2008. 3) Managers at all levels need to have access to timely and accurate management information. To this end electronic computerised reports are being made available which enable managers to generate their own reports and “drill” down to the level required, for example at team or district level. 4) In addition, “hot spot” reporting will continue in areas where we have concerns about performance and where increased management scrutiny is required. 5) Resources need to be targeted to improve the impact of our work in improving outcomes for children and young people. This means commissioning services in geographical and service areas where the available evidence shows most improvement is required. 6) The views and experiences of service users need to be more influential in our performance management. In addition to the annual Tellus survey we will ensure that children and young people and their family or carers views are listened to and acted upon. ‘We will work together to provide integrated services for all children and young people in 5 Nottinghamshire aged 0-19 to improve their life chances and to help maximise their potential’