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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Richard Bellamy  The webcast can be viewed at

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


Councillor Senior made a non-pecuniary Declaration of Interest in Minute No. 13 (Domestic Abuse Update) - Manager of Charity that works with victim adults and children affected by Domestic Abuse.


Councillor Jarvis made a pecuniary Declaration of Interest in Minute No. 17 (Spotlight Review - Adult Community Learning) - links with North Notts College.


Questions from members of the public and the press


There were no members of the public or press present at the meeting. 





Caroline Webb, Senior Adviser (Scrutiny and Member Development), reminded Members that there were 2 Corporate Parenting training sessions to be held as follows in the Town Hall:-


Thursday, 19th July, 2018 2.00-4.00 p.m.

Monday, 23rd July, 2018 9.30-11.30 a.m.


Corporate Parenting Panel

Councillor Jarvis gave an update on the recent meeting of the Panel held on 9th July which included:-


-          The young people had received national recognition from the prestigious Diana Award recognising their outstanding contribution to society

-          Councillor Watson voted the Looked After Children’s Council Champion

-          The issue of securing a bank account to enable the LAC Council to access funding

-          2 young people had been elected as Treasurer and Vice-Treasurer

-          Revised Terms of Reference


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 5th June, 2018 pdf icon PDF 113 KB


Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 5th June, 2018, and matters arising from those minutes.


Arising from Minute No. 5 (Barnardo’s Reachout Service Update), it was noted that there was a discussion on potential limitations of the Service and if the preventative strategy focussed solely on awareness raising with potential victims rather than work with potential abusers.  The commissioning team had confirmed that it was something they did want to build up and would include in the needs analysis going forward.


Resolved:-  That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 5th June, 2018, be approved as a correct record, for signature by the Chairman.


Domestic Abuse Update pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Additional documents:


Further to Minute No. 103 of December, 2017, Councillor Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, and Sam Barstow, Head of Community Safety, Resilience and Emergency Planning, presented an update in relation to key activity and progress in relation to the provision of Domestic Abuse Services across Rotherham.


The Domestic Abuse Strategy was a partnership strategy, adopted by the Safer Rotherham Partnership and endorsed by the Cabinet.  The Strategy set out the collective vision for Domestic Abuse (DA) Services within Rotherham for the next 3 years.  There had been some key achievements to date, a number of which were outlined in further detail in the report submitted.  A summary of key achievements was as follows:-


-          The agreement of a revised action plan

-          Reduction in waiting lists in commissioned DA Services

-          Additional funding secured through Housing

-          Revised training offer

-          Commencement of a Perpetrator Programme

-          Development of a handbook for practitioners

-          Delivery of an independent peer review

-          Subject of the Council’s independent Health Check

-          OFSTED – Rated Good

-          PEEL – Rated Good

-          Complete data set

-          Delivery of a targeted World Cup operation

-          Additional DA support over the Christmas period

-          Enhanced engagement with Service users


Domestic Abuse had been subject to 2 independent reviews and was a specified area within the Council Commissioners’ Independent Health Check.  The Service had also undergone a full independent peer review led by colleagues from Bradford City Council and a sector-led improvement specialist.  The full outcome report was attached as Appendix A to the report submitted.  The findings of the report were largely consistent with those issues identified by the Partnership and made a clear case for improvement in some areas.  It also identified a number of areas of good and effective practice.


There was a clear ambition of partners to work closely with Service users, victims and survivors to better understand how the Service worked for them and to work together on designing services for the future.  During the Peer Review assessors and the team also ensured that Service users’ voices were captured to inform the overall outcome; this was done through a focus group.


Rotherham RISE had agreed to work with the Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator to plan an annual calendar of engagement events the purpose of which was to hear both feedback and consult on key policies/strategies.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-

-          How was the voice of the child captured? As a result of the work with Peer Review, a much deeper audit had been undertaken by South Yorkshire Police looking across all of the districts and at the voice of the child within those DASH assessments (Domestic Abuse, Stalking, Harassment and Honour Based Violence). Following this audit, the Police had increased their training offer specifically around DASH and capturing the voice of the child.  In addition, it had been made a specific requirement of all MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) Chairs that, when receiving/reviewing/discussing cases,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Children & Young People's Services (CYPS) 2017/2018 Year End Performance pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Additional documents:


Alisa Barr, Head of Service, and Deborah Johnson, Performance Assurance Manager, presented the 2017/18 year-end performance under the key themes for Children and Young People’s Services


Due to the comprehensive nature of the report, summaries of ‘good and improved performance’ and ‘areas for improvement’ were reported provided together with a more detailed report for each Service Area i.e. Early Help, Children’s Social Care and Education and Skills Section.


Performance had been considered against local targets, including associated ‘RAG’ tolerances.  They were reviewed annually and set in consideration of available national and statistical neighbour benchmarking data, recent performance levels and Rotherham’s


What is working well

-        Satisfaction rates for Early Help were consistently high with 100% of families completing exit surveys in March rating the Early Help intervention they received as Good or Excellent.  The Service had achieved a total annual performance of 96% overall

-        Annual performance showed that Rotherham’s local total engagement rate was high (92.2%) with 59.7% of families contacted and engaged within 3 working days

-        During the year partners had completed 15.9% of the total Early Help Assessments (6.5% 2016/17)

-        Troubled Families’ target of engaging with 633 families during the year had been exceeded (1,073 by the end of March, 2018)

-        96% of children living in the 30% most deprived super output areas were registered with a Children’s Centre of which 68% were actively engaged

-        Primary attendance rate was currently 95.7% compared to 96% nationally and secondary was 94.5% compared to 94.6% nationally

-        Youth Justice Board statistics showed that Rotherham had made a positive decrease of 49.6% in the number of First Time Entrants from the same period last year.  Re-offending rates had also decreased by 6.6% (29.2%)

-        5.6% decrease in the number of contacts with Children’s Social Care, however, the referral rate had increased from 26.6% to 28.6%

-        The re-referral rate had made incremental improvements (23.1%), a 4.4% decrease on the 2016/17 outturn evidencing that casework practice was significantly improving

-        Provisional performance in relation to assessment timeliness was 78%, a 7.3% decline on the previous year, however, the volume of assessments completed had increased by 32%

-        Less than 1% of children ceasing a Child Protection Plan (CPP) were subject to that Plan for 2 years or more.  At the end of the reporting year there was only one child being supported through a CPP for more than 2 years and only 10 who had been on a Plan for more than 18 months

-        The Looked After Children’s Virtual School had ensured 97% of eligible Looked After Children had a Personal Education Plan

-        Rotherham’s Care Leavers Service graded Outstanding by Ofsted in the 2017 re-inspection of services

-        The number of children living in a family based placement remained relatively stable at 82.4% (81.1% at the end of March 2017)

-        Rotherham was top quartile performer for timeliness of adoptions with the adopted training package recognised by Ofsted as an area of excellence

-  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Children and Social Work Act 2017 - Implications for Practice (CSW Act 2017) pdf icon PDF 146 KB


Ian Walker, Head of Service, reported on the implications for Looked After Children, previously Looked After Children and Care Leavers as a result of the Children and Social Work Act 2017.


The Act was intended to improve the support for Looked After Children (LAC), previously Looked After Children and Care Leavers, promote the welfare and safeguarding of children and make revised provisions about the regulation of Social Workers.


There were 64 Sections in the Act of which the first 10 had direct relevance to LAC and Care Leavers:-


Section 1

Introduced the 7 principles of Corporate Parenting which local authorities must give due regard to for both LAC and Care Leavers whether or not they were the local authority who looked after the child (set out in the report submitted). 


The Corporate Parenting Panel would need to review and formally adopt the principles and then benchmark current practice against them.  The Panel may then need to agree and implement an action plan in order to ensure that any shortfalls were reviewed and addressed.


Section 2

A requirement for local authorities to publish information about the services it offered to Care Leavers which may assist them in preparing for adulthood and independent living.  The services may include health and wellbeing, education and training, employment, accommodation and participation in society.  It was distinct from the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) local offer stipulated by the Children and Families Act 2014.


Although Rotherham had a formal offer to its Care Leavers, as approved by the Corporate Parenting Panel in February, 2017, it would benefit from a review as the focus on the health and wellbeing of Care Leavers and their participation in society was not as well developed as it could be.  In addition, the Leaving Care Team had instigated further developments over the past 12 months including a formal offer for Care Leavers who were pregnant or young parents.


Section 3


A requirement for local authorities to appoint a personal adviser for Care Leavers who requested one up until the age of 25 regardless of whether the young person intended to pursue education or training.  The local authority also had a duty to carry out an assessment of the young person’s needs and to provide the necessary advice and support.  This duty had come into force as from 1st April, 2018.


A scoping exercise had been undertaken with Trafford Council who had been offering such support for a number of years which suggested that approximately 15% of Care Leavers were actively receiving support in any given week.  On average this equated to each young person receiving 2 hours Personal Adviser time per week.  In Rotherham this would equate to approximately one full-time equivalent Personal Adviser role.


The Leaving Care Team had recently received approval to increase the number of Personal Advisers and, therefore, it was anticipated that the additional function would be assimilated within existing staff resources.


Section 4

Placed a duty on local authorities to make advice and information  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Improving Lives Select Commission Work Programme and Prioritisation pdf icon PDF 135 KB


Caroline Webb, Senior Adviser (Scrutiny and Member Development), presented an outline work programme for 2018/19.


It was hoped that the programme would be finalised in September with a regular report provided on the reports coming forward.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the prioritised items within the Improving Lives Select Commission’s work programme 2018/19, as submitted, be approved.


(2)  That updates be provided to each meeting of the Select Commission on the progress of the work programme and for further prioritisation as required.


Spotlight Review following the Ofsted Inspection of Adult Community Learning pdf icon PDF 110 KB


Caroline Webb, Senior Adviser (Scrutiny and Member Development), presented a report on the spotlight review that had taken place following the Ofsted inspection of Adult Community Learning.


A cross-party working group had been established to examine what actions had been taken to address the issues raised by the Ofsted inspection and had consisted of Councillors Clark (Chair), Beaumont and Cusworth.  Councillor Short had also contributed to the planning meeting which had determined the key lines of enquiry for the review.


Ofsted had raised areas of concern arising from the previous inspection in 2014 which had not been addressed in a timely manner.  It had further identified that quality improvement plans had not been enacted sufficiently quickly and that Elected Members had not received clear information with regard to performance.


A very clear picture had been provided by the Deputy Leader and officers as to the events leading to the inadequate judgement in June 2017.  Following management intervention significant improvements had been made which had become evident later in the year post-inspection. 


Resolved:-  (1)  That areas of concern raised in external inspections or reviews be referred to the relevant Select Commission on a timely basis alongside a plan detailing what action was proposed to address identified areas of improvement.


(2)  That the Corporate Performance, Intelligence and Improvement Team ensure that learning from the reporting of areas of concern and, in particular the issues arising from the spotlight review, be applied to inform how performance management information was shared and acted upon.


(3)  That future performance reports and scorecards should signpost Members clearly to areas of declining performance and actions taken to address these.


(4)  That further details be provided to the Improving Places Select Commission to clarify how Council priorities linked to the skills agenda and community engagement would be delivered by Rotherham and North Notts College and how outcomes would be reported to Members.


(5)  That the Council’s representatives on the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Scrutiny Panel be asked to keep oversight of the devolution of adult education provision to ensure good outcomes for Rotherham learners.


Date and time of the next meeting

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018, commencing at 5.30 p.m.


Resolved:-  That a further meeting be held on 18th September, 2018,. Commencing at 5.30 p.m.