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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH

Contact: Dawn Mitchell, Senior Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 50 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 20th November, 2013, were considered and approved as a correct record.


Arising from Minute No 236 (Sarah Champion MP), it was noted that Clair Pyper had attended a meeting, together with representatives of a number of agencies and Councillors, to discuss Sarah’s understanding of the situation in Rotherham with regard to CSE and a particular section of the population.  Clair had supplied data which had proven this not to be the case.   Discussion had taken place on whether there was more agencies could do to help parents understand the need to keep their children safe and not just with regard to CSE.  It had been agreed to liaise with a particular school with regard to future work.


The meeting had also discussed engagement with communities.  It was reported from Jason Harwin that funding had been secured for this work and would be discussed further at the CSE sub-group.


Arising from Minute No. 237 (Emergency Hormonal Contraception), it was noted that a report had been submitted to the Local Pharmaceutical Committee with regard to arrangements for EHC.


Resolved:-  That an update on EHC be submitted to the March Partnership meeting.


Issues and Concerns

-        Youth Cabinet, Sarah Bellamy to report


The next meeting of the Youth Cabinet was to be held on 16th January, 2014, where they would be discussing the Lifestyle Survey and proposals around the Integrated Youth Service budget.


Warm and Well Families pdf icon PDF 862 KB

-     Presentation by Catherine Homer, Public Health Specialist


Catherine Homer, Public Health Specialist, gave the following powerpoint presentation:-



-          To conduct an indepth exploration of factors influencing the decisions and behaviour of households with children with asthma regarding keeping warm and well at home



-          Qualitative methods (interviews and focus groups)

-          Temperature measurements

-          Data collected in winter months

-          Framework analysis


Who we spoke to

-          17 households

-          13 staff

-          Focus groups – 2 staff, 1 school children, 1 young adults



-          Knowledge and awareness

-          Contextual factors

-          Behaviours

-          Social support and social factors

-          Attitudes and beliefs


The world of parents

-          Priorities and choice

Heat – luxury or need?

Needs of family members

Roof over head

Paying the bills/balancing the budget

Food/heating regime

Safety of family/possessions

-          Perception of risk

Child becoming ill

Losing home

Getting into debt

-          Responsibility and blame

Child’s health


Condition of house

Heating regime/equipment

-          Fear

Losing home


Child becoming ill


Shame or embarrassment/stigmas/loss of privacy

Being judged

Losing control

-          Knowledge and beliefs

Causes of asthma

Causes of mould/damp

Cost heating and energy saving measures

Preventative action

Who can help

Who to trust and not trust

They have no choice sometimes


Why is fuel poverty an issue?

-          It is sometimes the reason children do not attend school

-          It is sometimes the reason children are ill

-          It is sometimes the reason adults are physically and/or mentally unwell

-          It is sometimes the reason people are in debt

-          It is sometimes the reason why people are socially isolated

-          It is sometimes the reason why houses seem unkempt and not looked after


Discussion ensued on the presentation with the following issues raised/clarified:-


-          Properties were of mixed ownership


-          Families were receiving mixed messages.  Through energy efficiency measures, the properties were “wrapped” so well the house could not breathe; families could not understanding opening windows when the heating was on


-          Many of the families agencies dealt with through concerns of neglect did not have the funds to heat their properties.  Not only was there the increase in fuel poverty but the unsafe methods used by many to heat their homes


-          There were links with the Fire Service and their Hot Spot Schemes.  When they carried out safety checks they would discuss methods of safely heating the property


-          In times of diminishing financial resources, any practitioner visiting families should be encouraged to give simple messages to families on keeping their family safe and warm.  Pen portraits were being produced that front line staff could give to families


Catherine was thanked for her presentation.


CSE Update

-        Joyce Thacker, Strategic Director, Children, Young People and Families


Joyce Thacker gave an update on recent activity including the following:-


-          The recent media coverage over the Christmas and New Year period regarding 4 Slovak-Roma teenagers (3 from Rotherham) who had gone missing from home.  The case had been discussed extensively at a meeting of the Local Safeguarding Children’s broad Sub-Committee and it was the intention to hold an event in the Roma community to impress the message of keeping children safe etc.


-          “A Review of the response to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham” had been published and received a lot of media coverage


-          The CSE sub-group had received a viewing of the NWG e-learning product which, subject to revisions, would be used in Rotherham for CSE awareness raising for front line staff


-          South Yorkshire Police launch of “Say something if you see something” on 4th February


-          Vulnerability Conference to be held on 3rd February


-          Alexis Jay, Independent Inquiry lead, had been out to visit CSE ‘hotspots’ in the Borough.  A meeting schedule was to be drawn up of the key people she would like to interview


-          A multi-agency safeguarding hub was to be established at Riverside House.  The Police would close the Public Protection Unit at Maltby and relocate all services, including the CSE Team, at Riverside


-          Quarterly CSE plan/monitoring to be submitted to the 5th February Cabinet meeting


-          Attendance at the Improving Lives Select Commission on 22nd January to give an update


-          Training had been given to 50 hotel staff on the signs to look for CSE


-          The first Parish Council/community event around CSE was to be held on 28th January


Martin Kimber reported that a lot of work had been done by the Council and partner agencies during the last 18 months.  However, it was important that any information received regarding potential CSE was  clearly recorded and information shared. 


Resolved:-  That the update be noted.


Family Poverty and Welfare Reform

-      Carole Haywood/Michael Holmes, Policy and Partnerships


Carole Haywood and Michael Holmes, Policy and Partnerships, gave the following presentation:-


The Big Things

-          Child Poverty Act 2010 – national and local Government to reduce child poverty and mitigate its impact

-          Welfare Reform Act 2012 – save money, “make work pay” and simplify the benefits system via Universal Credit

-          After peaking at 29% in 1992, relative child poverty fell steadily from mid-90s due to rising employment/Tax Credits and, more recently, stagnating wages (i.e. reduced poverty threshold)

-          Poverty projected to increase during this decade as a result of benefit changes; Universal Credit should reduce poverty but was behind schedule

-          A recent study put the annual cost of child poverty at £29B including £15B in services to deal with its consequences


“State of the Nation”

-          2.3M UK children (1 in 6) in relative income poverty, absolute poverty up by 275,000 in 2011/12

-          2/3s of Britain’s poor children – compared to less than ½ in 1997, were now in working families

-          Coalition’s approach to deficit reduction was:-

·           Affecting young more that old and those with children more than those without

·           Seeing low income families, especially lone parents, lose out by more than their peers as a proportion of their net income

-          Report’s recommendations include:

·           Increased focus on ensuring work pays so that parents who “do the right thing” were able to escape poverty

·           Adapt Universal Credit and wider Welfare Reform Programme to better tackle in-work poverty (e.g. increase funding for childcare within Universal Credit to incentivise work)

·           Work with employers to devise actions for lifting earnings without damaging employment

-          Strong focus on emulating Nordic countries particularly in providing “universal, affordable and high quality” childcare


Impact of Welfare Reform

-          Analysis by IFS suggested increase from 2.3M to 3.4M children living in poverty between 2010/11 and 2020/21

-          Welfare Benefits Up-rating Act: 4.4M couples with children and 2M lone parents affected; CPAG suggested this alone would increase child poverty by 200,000

-          Cumulative impact: Sheffield Hallam University research estimated loss of income in Rotherham to reach £91M per annum; 37% of this was due to IB/ESA and DLA/PIP changes

-          Anecdotal evidence that increased “conditionality” and use of sanctions by DWP was a growing problem – families providing evidence to Council’s Scrutiny Review

-          New Policy Institute’s annual report – level of benefits for families with children was around 60% of what the public considered to be a minimum standard of living


Real Life Reform

-          Looking at impact of Welfare Reform on social housing tenants.  Findings to date included:-

·           36% of participants had no money left over after paying for essentials

·           Average spend on food per person per day was £2.10 in October down from £3.27 in July

·           In October, 83% said that benefit changes would affect the health of people in the household (down from 88% in July)

·           Over 60% feared that benefit changes would affect their children’s education


Poverty: the Local Picture

-          22.6% of Rotherham children lived  ...  view the full minutes text for item 250.


Children and Young People's Services Action Plan - 6 month update pdf icon PDF 276 KB

-      Sue Wilson/Tracy Blakemore, Performance Quality


Sue Wilson, Performance and Quality Manager, presented the 6 monthly progress report on the Children and Young People’s Action Plan.


Currently there were 26 actions on green, 121 on amber, 7 on red and 2 on blue.


An explanation was given for each of the red actions, the majority of which would have improved by the time of the next updated.


Resolved:-  (1)  That a further update by submitted to the July Partnership meeting.


(2)  That a presentation be made to a future Partnership meeting on the actions that were performing well.



Children and Young People's Services Commissioning Strategy pdf icon PDF 29 KB

-       Chrissy Wright, Strategic Commissioning Manager

Additional documents:


Chrissy Wright, Strategic Commissioning Manager, presented the CYPS Commissioning Strategy for 2014-17 which aligned with the Corporate Plan, the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, life stage priorities, CYPS Service Plan and also met the new requirements of OfSTED for a commissioning plan.  The commissioning priorities would be refreshed annually to reflect the priorities of CYPS to improve life chances of children, young people and their families.


It was noted that consultation on the Strategy had taken place across the Council as well as with partners in health and the VCS.  Comments and amendments had been incorporated where appropriate.


Resolved:-  That the CYPS Commissioning Strategy be endorsed.


Youth Cabinet pdf icon PDF 30 KB

-        Minutes of meeting held on 26th September, 2013


The minutes of the meeting of the Youth Cabinet held on 26th November, 2013, were noted.


Local Safeguarding Children Board pdf icon PDF 110 KB

-        Minutes of meeting held on 13th September, 2013


The minutes of the Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children board meeting held on 13th September, 2013, were noted.


Any Other Business


(a)           Health and Social Care Information Centre

A meeting had been held with a representative from the above Centre to discuss a project they had been working on with regard to Child Protection Information Sharing.  For a child who was either Looked After or subject to a Child Protection Plan and had a “flag” on the Social Care system, a link would be created between the 2 Social Care and Health systems to populate a “flag” against that child on the Health record.  Accordingly, if a child attended any health setting in England, officials would be able to see the record for that child and ascertain if they were subject to a CPP or Looked After.  If a child was no longer Looked After/subject of a CPP within a year, the “flag” would be deleted.


Rotherham had agreed to be 1 of the early adopters of the system.  The HS-IC had provided the capital outlay.


The HS-IC had created a joint confidentiality agreement and data sharing agreement to cover the whole country. 


(b)       DWP

Sue Skalycz reported that, due to shrinking staffing resources, unfortunately the DWP would no longer be able to provide representation at the Partnership.  Should there be particular issues that would benefit from attendance, a representative would attend.


Sue was thanked for her contributions to the Partnership.


(c)Director of Safeguarding and Families

Permanent recruitment would commence for the above post shortly.


Date and Time of Future Meetings

Wednesday, 19th March, 2014      at 2.00 p.m.

                        21st May

                        16th July


Resolved:-  That further meetings be held on 19th March, 21st May and 16th July, 2014, commencing at 2.00 p.m.