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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer  The webcast can be viewed at

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


Councillor Jarvis made the following Personal Declaration of Interest:-

Minute No. 49 – Domestic Abuse Update – a member of the Board of Trustees of Rotherham Rise.


Councillor Senior made the following Personal Declaration of Interest:-

Minute No. 50 – Rotherham Voice of the Child Lifestyle Survey 2018 – manager of a charity that participated in the survey although not personally involved.


Questions from members of the public and the press


A member of the public raised issues regarding safeguarding and the involvement of Police, Social Services and Mental Health colleagues.


As it did not directly relate to any of the items on the agenda for discussion, it was agreed that an officer would contact the member of the public directly and discuss his issues of concern.




It was noted that the Corporate Parenting Panel Sub-Group convened to look at the LADO process and the impact thereof on foster carers had been cancelled due to illness.  It was now to meet on 5th February.


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 4th December 2018 pdf icon PDF 131 KB


Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 4th December, 2018, and matters arising from those minutes.


Resolved:-That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 4th December, 2018, be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chair.


Further to Minute No. 43(2) (inclusion of Children Missing from Education to the weekly tracker), a meeting would be arranged to discuss its feasibility.


Domestic Abuse Update pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Additional documents:


Sam Barstow, Head of Community Safety, Resilience and Emergency Planning, presented an update in relation to audit work conducted in support of the Council’s work to tackle Domestic Abuse.  The report also provided an overview of Service user engaged, the current Domestic Abuse review, a general update in relation to progress against the Domestic Abuse Strategy as well as an update in relation to Stalking and Harassment.


Attention was drawn to:-


-          Partnership Audits – Housing

Officers had engaged in a supportive review of Housing Domestic Abuse practice with a specific focus on tenancy issues linked to Domestic Abuse.  Increasingly there was a desire to support victims/survivors of Domestic Abuse and their families to stay in their own home, properly protected and supported, particularly where there were mothers and children.  There would always remain a place and need for supporting victims/survivors to flee and the Council and its partners would continue to support this where necessary.


-          Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs)

Work was undertaken during July and August to review previous and current DHRs with a particular focus on any identified consistencies.  5 DHRs had been conducted since the legislation was introduced in 2004.  A review had also been undertaken of the completion of actions across all previous DHRs and would seek to ensure lessons were embedded within Service delivery.  Across all 5 DHRs there were 26 recommendations including those arising from the current active review.  Of the 26, 20 were complete, one remained ongoing and a further 5 required validation but were expected to be completed.


-          Domestic Abuse Service Review

The first phase of the whole system review was nearing completion.  The process had involved significant efforts to engage Service users through focus groups and online surveys.  Full analysis of the survey would be available shortly and used to further inform the final report which would be considered by the Safer Rotherham Partnership Board at its meeting in February.  The Council would seek to form proposals in relation to how the Service could be adapted.


-          Strategy Update

The Strategy was attached at Appendix B of the report submitted.  The Council and its partners had been the subject of an indepth peer review by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and its partners between January and March, 2018.  The review had examined Domestic Abuse Services within Rotherham against 53 assessment areas with the final date of inspection taking place on 25th January 2018.  14 interviews and focus groups had taken place involving approximately 60 multi-agency staff and Service users as part of the challenge day.


A Perpetrator Programme had been launched in March 2018, a consistent training offer developed and remained on offer and accessible to all agencies free of charge, audit/review work on cases and processes within Housing, a programme of work led by the South Yorkshire Police District Commander to increase arrest rates and review of the Domestic Abuse Review.


-          Stalking and Harassment

Initial governance had been established and performance on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


Rotherham Voice of the Child Lifestyle Survey 2018 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:


Sue Wilson, Head of Service, Performance and Planning, gave the following powerpoint presentation on the Rotherham Lifestyle Survey:-


What is Lifestyle Survey

-          An annual survey which captured the voice of children and young people on subjects important to them

-          The questions in the survey had been shaped by our young people

-          A unique opportunity for a large group of young people in Rotherham to share their views on matters that impacted on their lives


Why do we do it

-          To provide young people with the opportunity to voice their opinion which was used by partners, schools and services to help shape future services

-          Provided a rich source of data which provided the ability to compare with neighbouring local authorities and national surveys to identify trends and key areas for development

What do we aim to achieve

-          Services shaped and improvements made which took into account or were a direct result of the views expressed by the young people

-          Results that evidenced a positive impact on the lives of children and young people living and educated in Rotherham


Participation 2018

-          16 mainstream schools offered the opportunity to participate in the survey.  12 participated (4 schools choosing not to participate provided an explanation)

-          3 special schools chose to participate

-          3 Pupil Referral Units participated

-          3,499 pupils participated (52% of relevant population)

What is Working Well

Young people’s voices are being listened to and the information collected is being used effectively

-          Feedback from the Lifestyle Survey was utilised to support the commissioning of a new support service for drug and alcohol services for young people

-          Schools utilised the feedback provided in respect of high sugar energy drinks to improve the displays/information available to children on the effects of the drinks and in some schools ban the sale of the drinks entirely.  Leading to a reduction their consumption in school and an increase in the number of young people drinking the recommended amount of water per day

-          One school was using its results to shape their PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculum; working with Y8 pupils to co-produce the curriculum

-          Safer Rotherham Partnership had used their results to help shape their priorities

-          Young Carers Service identified from the results the need to raise awareness of the services they offered within schools.  As a result, 10% more young people now say they have heard of the support available


What Areas are We Worried About

Results would be highlighted to schools and partners

-          Regular feedback required from partners on the actions they were taking to address the findings and improve change services

-          Increase promotion of the benefits of health eating – in 2018 less pupils said they were eating the recommended 5 per day and more pupils said they were worried about their weight

-          Promote the activities available for young people in libraries and youth centres – in 2018 less pupils said they use these

-  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


South Yorkshire Regional Adoption Agency pdf icon PDF 77 KB


Councillor Watson, Deputy Leader, and Jon Stonehouse, Strategic Director, Children and Young People’s Service, presented an update on the development of the South Yorkshire Regional Adoption Agency.


Following a further meeting between the respective Directors of Children’s Services and the Department for Education (DfE), an additional sum of money had been allocated to Doncaster Children’s Services Trust (DCST) to underwrite the further project development costs.  This would enable the employment of a project manager lead to re-write the Business Case.


If there was no functioning Regional Adoption Agency within South Yorkshire by 2020, the Government had retained the right, within the Legislation, to impose a model on the region.  As a result, there was a risk that the model imposed would not best meet the needs of the Council, its children and families or its employees.


The Council would remain fully engaged in the process and development of the model in order to ensure it was best placed to shape and influence so that it would best meet the essential criteria.  It was anticipated that the revised business case would be completed by April 2019 and then would be submitted accordingly for ratification.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


-          As host authority, both the funding and the post would sit with Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, but would not incur any additional cost to the four local authorities.  The reworked business case was due at the end of the month


-          Barnsley, Sheffield and Rotherham had made it very clear they would not be contributing any funding into the RAA over and above what they currently spent.  Performance of the 4 local authorities was strong in terms of adoption which was a big factor in reassuring that the new RAA would have the level of expertise and experience in adoption that would allow performance to be maintained


-          Rotherham would still be accountable for adoption in Rotherham so the need to ensure the business case gave strong reassurance that rigorous democratic oversight would be provided by Lead Member, Scrutiny and Cabinet.  Once the refreshed business case was received it would be an area to work through with the other three local authorities


-          A clearer timeline would be known after the meeting on 1st February.  It was included within the Forward Plan for February Cabinet or later dependent upon the business case


-          Previous experience had been that an annual report was submitted to each of the local authorities on the work of the RAA


Resolved:-  That the report be noted.


Ofsted Recommendations - Update pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Additional documents:


Sue Wilson, Head of Service Performance and Planning, presented the following powerpoint presentation on the status of the 34 actions identified for completed against each of the 8 Ofsted recommendations for improvement identified during the November 2017 re-inspection:-


Current Position

-          8 recommendations made up of 34 actions (11 actions complete)

-          2 recommendations fully complete (subject to approval at the evidence panel) made up of 6 actions

-          6 other recommendations were partially complete (18 actions outstanding) and work on these continued


Recommendation 1

Ensure that managers provide challenging, reflective and directive supervision and, with support from Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) and Conference Chairs, address the quality of practice and planning for all children effectively

-          A revised supervision template was now live in Liquid Logic

-          The IRO Service had been developed and were providing a ‘high support, high challenge’ approach around planning for children

-          The Rotherham Family Approach (Signs of Safety, Restorative Practice and Social Pedagogy) continued to be rolled out as part of mandatory training for workers across the whole of the Children’s workforce

-          Work was continuing to:-

Implement phase 2 of the Right Child Right Care programme of work (March 2020)

Further implement and embed the Rotherham Family Approach including across the broader partnership (April 2020)


Recommendation 2

Ensure that all assessments are: meaningful to children and their families; reflect the changing needs of children and effectively evaluate cumulative risks and their impact

-          Case mapping exercises take place with staff to improving the quality of assessments

-          The Social Care and Early Help Quality Assurance Framework looks at practice through a thematic lens to better recognise the understanding of cumulative risk of harm and to test out the quality of Assessments and Plans (particularly in relation to looked after children)

-          Work is continuing to:-

Fully implement Liquid Logic to enable case recording to reflect the Rotherham Family Approach particularly in relation to the format of the recording of assessments


Recommendation 3

Ensure that all plans: are clear about how children’s and young people’s holistic needs are to be met; have clear timescales; can be understood by families and are always well informed by risk assessment

-          Case mapping exercises take place with staff in relation to improving the quality safety plans

-          The Social Care and Early Help Quality Assurance Framework looks at practice through a thematic lens to better recognise the understanding of cumulative risk of harm and to test out the quality of Assessments and Plans (particularly in relation to looked after children)

-          Work is continuing to:-

Fully implement Liquid Logic to enable case recording to reflect the Rotherham Family Approach particularly in relation to the format of the recording of plans and risk


Recommendation 4

Ensure that early permanence planning is timely and considers the full range of placement options for all children when they are unable to return to their birth families

-          The increased focus of the IROs is making a difference in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.


Date and time of the next meeting

Tuesday, 5th March, 2019, commencing at 5.30 p.m.


Resolved:-  That a further meeting be held on Tuesday, 5th March, 2019 commencing at 5.30 p.m.