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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 held on 24th September, 2014 pdf icon PDF 87 KB


Resolved:-  That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 24th September, 2014, be approved as a correct record subject to the inclusion of a member of the public (Mr. D. Pickering) as being in attendance.


Issues and Concerns


There were no issues and concerns to report.


Budget analysis across all agencies


·         Joanne Robertson. 


In accordance with Minute No. 304 of 24th September, 2014, further discussion took place on the ability to disseminate partners’ budget spend across the Children and Young People’s Plan priorities.


It was again questioned what the outcome and benefit to children would be of the exercise.  In theory an understanding as to how much each partner contributed to the different parts of the children’s agenda was very much needed but in reality was quite complex due to the budgets not being aligned in that manner.


There would be an element of double counting and the data being out of date very quickly.


Partners, however, did feel that there needed to be an understanding of the finances and how much each was contributing to Children Services but not assigned to the priority headings.


Resolved:-  That Joanne Robertson, Finance Manager, contact each of the partners for the total spend that supported the Children and Young People’s Plan


Ian Thomas, Interim Strategic Director of Children and Young People's Services


The Chair introduced Ian Thomas, the newly appointed Interim Director of Children and Young People’s Services, who would take up post on 1st January, 2015.


Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report pdf icon PDF 52 KB


·         Steve Ashley / Phil Morris. 

Additional documents:


Phil Morris, Business Manager of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, presented the 2013-14 Annual Report.


Boards were required to produce and publish an annual report on the effectiveness of safeguarding children in the local area as mandated in the Children Act 2004 (S14a) as amended by the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.  Under the recently revised statutory guidance, the annual report should:-


-          Provide a rigorous and transparent assessment of the performance and effectiveness of local services.  It should identify areas of weakness, the cause of those weaknesses and the action being taken to address them as well as other proposals for action.  The report should include lessons from reviews undertaken within the reporting period


-          Be published in relation to the preceding financial year and should fit with local agencies’ planning, commissioning and budget cycles. 


-          List the contributions made to the Board by partner agencies and details of what the Board had spent including on Child Death Reviews, Serious Case Reviews and other specific expenditure such as learning events or training.  All Board member organisations had an obligation to provide Boards with reliable resources (including finance) that enabled it to be strong and effective.  Members should share the financial responsibility for the Board in such a way that a disproportionate burden did not fall on a small number of partner agencies


Key priorities for Rotherham’s Board within its Business Plan and highlighted in the 2013/14 Annual Report included:-


-          Child Sexual Exploitation

The LSCB had provided excellent training and awareness sessions for professionals working with families and the community.  It had audited the risk assessments used on child sexual exploitation cases and identified some improvements which had been implemented.  The priority for support for victims was currently being progressed with the Health and Wellbeing Board and commissioning groups within the Borough


-          Child Neglect

In 2013 the LSCB had undertaken a review of cases where children had been seriously neglected.  The review, the key findings of which were briefly outlined in the 2012/13 annual report, highlighted the importance of identifying neglect early, utilising assessment tools designed to assist in identifying neglect and in assertive interventions with the aim of addressing the factors underpinning the neglectful parenting.


The challenge to all agencies working with children and families was to ensure the review’s lessons were implemented.  To this end, the RLSCB had disseminated the review’s key lessons through presentations at a range of high level strategic inter-agency meetings including the Improvement Panel


-          Domestic Abuse

In 2013 the Council’s Improving Lives Select Commission conducted a Scrutiny Review of Domestic Abuse the focus of which was to develop more integrated domestic abuse service provision that had clear protocols and pathways for all risk levels that were understood by every partner agency.  It was also recommended that domestic abuse should be more integrated at a strategic level so that other workstreams were addressing the impact as it had on victims.  By responding to the review recommendations, Rotherham would be able  ...  view the full minutes text for item 311.


Oral Health of Children in Rotherham pdf icon PDF 96 KB


·         Rebecca Atchison. 


Rebecca Atchison, Public Health, presented a report on the oral health of children in Rotherham.


Oral health had become the responsibility of the Local Authority and Public Health in April 2012.  Public Health held 2 Service Specifications to deliver oral health activity i.e. Oral Health Promotion Service and the Dental Epidemiology Service.  Each of the specifications had been reviewed and the values reduced to ensure value for money.  Dentists and specialist community dentistry were commissioned by NHS England.


The CYPS Performance Team had been requested by the CYPS Departmental Leadership Team to explore dental heath activity and performance against Indicators.  A meeting was held to discuss the current commissioning and provider agreements and review the plans for the future. 


Current performance was measured by the DFMT rates in the Public Health Outcomes Framework 4.03 (Tooth Decay in Children aged 5).  It was recognised that the rates did not evidence the full impact of dental issues within the communities.


An Oral Health Improvement Strategy had been developed to address the issues and develop a clear outline of the Oral Health Needs of Rotherham residents.  It was anticipated that the Strategy would be out for formal consultation by December, 2014.


Discussion ensued on the report with the following issues highlighted/clarified:-


-          The reasons for Rotherham’s increasing poor dental wellbeing was not known, however, the Strategy would address oral health improvement across the Borough.  It would allow the Authority to take stock of where it was now as well as a clear vision of where it intended to go in the future


-          The newly commissioned Oral Improvement Service was now more focussed and targeted and hopefully would start to deliver improvements across the whole of Rotherham.  It had focussed funding on specifically increasing fluoride within the vulnerable communities targeting those communities where there were known high levels of dental decay


-          Dental Nurses no longer went into schools to check children’s teeth on a regular basis.  A survey was conducted on an annual basis by dentists but only for a particular cohort.  It was planned to move to developing “brush groups” that a specialist would go into school and set up sessions so that schools could take them forward with the messages provided by a number of professionals.  It was also noted that the Colleges had a high number of ESOL students with whom work could take place


-          The Healthy Schools Programme advocated and encouraged schools to only provide water and not have fizzy drinks/other drinks on the premises.  It was also strongly advocated that for younger children milk or water be the drinks of choice


-          It was suggested that dental health be included in the new Pre-Birth and Beyond Programme that was currently being developed


-          Public Health England were working on the issue of water fluoridisation


-          The options appraisal that would be considered by the Council would include fluoridisation possibly on a sub-regional basis due to the boundaries of the various water companies in South Yorkshire


-  ...  view the full minutes text for item 312.


Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 27 KB


·         All. 


Consideration was given to the Partnership’s terms of reference and membership.


It was felt that both required updating to reflect the findings of both the Alex Jay and Ofsted reports and a review of the Partnership’s purpose which would determine the terms of reference.  Partners suggested the following:-


-          Addition of  a Children and Young People’s Consortium representative

-          Representation from the Youth Cabinet

-          The Partnership should be pro active


Resolved:-  That a review of the Partnership’s terms of reference and membership be undertaken.


Children and Young People's Services Performance Indicator Report - Qtr1 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 33 KB


·         Sue Wilson.

Additional documents:


Sue Wilson, Performance and Quality Manager, presented the outline performance as at the end of Quarter 1 2014/15 against targets with direction of travel against previous year’s performance and comparisons with statistical neighbours and national data where available.


Attention was drawn to the following:-


-          There were no red Indicators in Quarter 1

-          Thematic qualitative case audit process - 192 case audits

-          Qualitative audit checklists for all Looked After Children Reviews – 267 cases reviewed resulting in 18 informal concerns, 7 Stage 1 concerns and 4 Stage 2 concerns being raised

-          Qualitative audit checklists for all Initial and Review Child Protection Conferences – 197 conferences (421 children) resulting in 38 concerns being raised through the escalation/challenge procedure

-          Active involvement in the development and contribution to the LAC Action Plan

-          Development of a new LAC Care Plan and LAC statutory visit template together with refreshed guidance and standards

-          Multi-agency training regarding the new Children in Need/Child Protection Plan delivered to 50 front line professionals

-          Refresh of CYPS Team Manager Learning Sets including the development of an intranet site providing a central repository of information that encompassed changes in national guidance, changes in legislation, sharing of good practice, evidenced based practice and research papers

-          Development of “Capturing the thoughts, feelings and wishes of Children involved with Social Care Services in Rotherham”

-          Monthly meetings between the LSCB Business Manager/Quality Assurance officer and CART manager or responsible Service Manager to carry out dip sample of contacts that had been deemed to required No Further Action


Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be noted.


(2)  That any Indicators where there were ongoing issues or poor performance be subject to performance clinics.


Children and Young People's Services Performance Indicator Report - Qtr2 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 33 KB


·         Sue Wilson.

Additional documents:


Sue Wilson, Performance and Quality Manager, presented the outline performance as at the end of Quarter 2 2014/15 against targets with direction of travel against previous year’s performance and comparisons with statistical neighbours and national data where available.


Attention was drawn to the following:-


-          Priority 2: Protecting our most vulnerable people and families, enabling them to maximise their independence - Measure Nos. 40 (% of Assessments completed to target date) and 41 (% of Assessments completed within 35 working days (local upper limit)) were rated Red


-          Qualitative Case Audit Process – 47 case adults including Child Sexual Exploitation risk assessments, enhanced Child Protection, Children in Need and Looked After Children


-          Qualitative Audit Checklists for all Looked After Children Reviews – 274 cases reviewed resulting in 54 informal concerns, 12 Stage 1 concerns and 1 Stage 2 concerns being raised


-          Qualitative Audit Checklists for all Initial and Review Child Protection Conferences – 203 conferences (429 children) resulting in 31 concerns being raised through the escalation/challenge procedure.  2 concerns had progressed to Stage 2 of the procedure


-          Active involvement in the Ofsted Inspection


-          Delivery of the new Children in Need/Child Protection Care Plan to 12 newly qualified Social Workers as part of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment


-          Learning Set developed and delivered to LAC Teams about the importance of how CSE Risk Assessments informed and influenced the child’s Care Plan


-          Development of CYPS Social worker Practice Aide-memoirs – initial 4 included reflective practice, missing children, meeting the needs of LAC children and LAC reviews


Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be noted.


(2)  That any Indicators where there were ongoing issues or poor performance be subject to performance clinics.


Looked After Children's Council (LACC) Update pdf icon PDF 50 KB


·         Lisa DuValle. 


An update on the work of the Looked After Children’s Council was submitted highlighting:-


-          Voice and Influence

The LACC were currently meeting for weekly training and development sessions.


They held regular meetings on weekends and evenings to prepare presentations and complete high profile project work.  Up to 15 Looked After and Leaving Care young people had attended meetings at any 1 time during the quarter in question.


Over the past 5 months the LACC had engaged in a variety of Voice and Influence sessions working on team building skills, self-awareness and self-esteem.


-          Annual Peer Consultation Feedback

LACC members had conducted their annual consultation asking 62 Looked After and Leaving Care young people their opinions of the Service they had been provided with over the previous year.  Face-to-face consultations had also taken place as well as visits to local residential accommodation and semi-independent units.  Social Care Managers had been asked to support the process and given the LACC ‘Have Your Say’ form to distribute around the young people they worked with to encourage their voluntary engagement, however, this had had limited success. 


-          Youth Voice Vehicle Overnight Residential

The LACC, UK Youth Parliament and Youth Cabinet had an overnight residential to Habershon House on 23rd and 24th July.  As well as team building activities they had collated and analysed the feedback from the above consultation and started to form the basis of their recommendations to improve their Service.


-          Summer Holidays Chill and Chat Activities

Young people had worked together to create a complete summer activity Chill and Chat activity schedule to cover the 6 weeks summer holiday with the aim of giving themselves the opportunity for continuing support, keeping in touch with each other and spending positive time together engaging in fun activities.


-          Healthy Eating on a Budget

A successful bid had been made to Easy P’s to purchase 5 Healthy Eating Life Skills Sessions whereby young people were encouraged to work together to create healthy eating on a budget menus and work in kitchens to cook their own creations.  The group had engaged in 2 of the sessions so far.


-          CSE Ofsted Inspection

2 Ofsted Inspectors had visited LACC to discuss, amongst other things, avenues and experiences of support, feelings and perceptions about the recent findings in the Jay report and media coverage.  4 LACC members chose not to participate.


-          Peer Consultation Feedback

Councillors Beaumont, Lakin and Jane Parfrement had been invited to a meeting where the feedback was presented together with recommendations to improve the Looked After and Leaving Care Service for Rotherham young people.  It was agreed that the suggestions should contribute to the LAC Pledge when it was updated.


-          Children in Care Council (CiCC) Conference

Members had visited Nottingham to take part in the conference which focussed on the Health and Wellbeing of Looked After and Leaving Care young people.  The annual conference drew together LAC Councils from across England to discuss and explore ideas.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 316.


CSE update


·         Jane Parfrement. 


Ian Thomas, Interim Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services, gave the following update on CSE.


-          There was an action plan following the Jay report and the Ofsted themed inspection


-          Work had started on the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy which was now out for consultation and to be introduced as from 1st April, 2015


-          Deputy Leader to launch a new campaign on 24th November at the New York Stadium entitled “Standing Together Against CSE”


-          Consideration being given to the practices in terms of CSE when referrals were received.  Working closely with the Police to ensure appropriate action was taken


-          Raising awareness of issues in terms of grooming, signs to look for etc.  It was hoped a learning event would be held in the New Year with other authorities that had secured convictions


-          The themed inspection had revealed that no area in the country had solved the problem and every partner should look at themselves critically and ensure they had all the processes and systems in place to prevent and disrupt such criminals


The voluntary and community sector reported on the following meetings that had taken place:


-          A conference had been held on 5th November which over 100 people from the voluntary and community sector had been invited to talk about some of the lessons learnt and moving forward in terms of community awareness training.  A number of victims had been in attendance and had spoken.  The conference had been commissioned prior to the publication of the Jay report


-          A VCS Women’s BME CSE meeting had been held on 3rd November as well as a meeting with some of the BME groups whose main focus of delivery was women.  The messages from those meetings needed to be fed in.  It had also been highlighted the need to work specifically with BMI groups and Asian women/girls/young people.  It was clearly not just the voice of young people but also the voice of women


-          There had been 5 specific areas of concern – raising awareness, working and supporting the victims, bringing the perpetrators to justice, issues with some specific areas where they did not feel safe and the rebuilding of Rotherham, learning from what had happened and building trust. 


-          Agencies who worked with older people, especially within the Asian community, stated that women did not feel safe going out any more and the impact it had had on families


-          A meeting had been arranged with the Police on 1st December because of the number of issues raised about the use of the 101 telephone number


Resolved:-  (1)  That the reports be noted.


(2)  That the notes of the VCS Womens BME CSE meeting held on 3rd November be circulated to Partnership Board members.


Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children Board pdf icon PDF 105 KB


·         Attached. 


The contents of the minutes of the meeting of the Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children Board held on 4th September, 2014, were noted.


Any Other Business


Ian Thomas, Strategic Director, Children and Young People’s Services gave a verbal update on the Ofsted Report the recommendations of which were fully accepted and the Local Authority committed to putting right. 


There had been a series of non-compliances at the Council.  The 2013 statutory guidelines “Working Together” had not been adhered to.  The Service had no vision, the Service Plan was weak, performance management was not used to drive performance, partnerships were fragile, lack of management from some partners and the LSCB had been found to be inadequate around the challenge to seek resolution and remedial action


Although the Service was not as bad as Ofsted had stated, more could have been done prior to the inspection to get the Authority to a much better position.  Assessments under the new Framework were much tougher with only 27% of authorities having reached “good”. 


It was not just Social Workers who came in at the end and dealt with the minority of cases.  There needed to be effective and robust Early Help Services that worked with community partners e.g. Health Visiting Service, GPs, teachers who saw the problems first before the clients met the Social Care threshold.


There needed to be 3 clear objectives.  Firstly to ensure people were protected from offenders, secondly that they were healthy and ready to start school and thirdly ensure young people and their families were ready to learn.  An action plan would flow from those with smart objectives that held agencies to account.  Frontline workers needed to be supported with their workload with management oversight through effective supervision.


A community response was required.  Meetings were to take place with Rotherham United and other sports/athletics clubs who had iconic status with the young people.  All were very supportive, as was the voluntary and community sector, in rebuilding the town.


Date and Time of Next Meetings


Dates for future meetings: -


·         14th January, 2015;

·         18th March, 2015;

·         27th May, 2015;

·         15th July, 2015.


All meetings will be held in the Rotherham Town Hall to start at 2.00 p.m.. 


Resolved:-  That the next meeting of the Children, Young People and Families Partnership be held on Wednesday 14th January, 2015, commencing at 2.00 p.m. in the Town Hall, Rotherham.