Agenda and minutes

Improving Lives Select Commission - Tuesday 28 July 2020 5.30 p.m.

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Martin Elliott, Governance Adviser  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

78.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 16 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

 

To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 16 June 2020 as a true and correct record of the proceedings.

Minutes:

Resolved: -

 

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 16 June 2020, be approved as a correct record of proceedings.

79.

Declarations of Interest

 

To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

80.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

 

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any part of the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no items requiring the exclusion of the public or press.

81.

Questions from Members of the Public and the Press

 

To receive questions relating to items of business on the agenda from members of the public or press who are present at the meeting.

Minutes:

Mr Liam Harron asked:

 

Please can we have an explanation about the item on page 45 of the agenda papers relating to CSE Post Abuse Support Services.

 

What exactly is the role of this Commission with respect to Post Abuse Support services?”

 

In response the Chair advised that as a scrutiny committee the role of the Improving Lives Select Commission was to monitor the provision of the Post Abuse Support for survivors of CSE commissioned by the Council in order to ensure that the services provided were both of high quality and value for money. The Chair noted that a current needs analysis had been approved by Cabinet in June 2020 and that this needs was being used to inform the procurement and provision of CSE Post abuse support services in Rotherham.

 

The Chair advised that as part of its role, a sub-group of the committee had been established in 2019 in order to benchmark the provision of CSE Post abuse support in Rotherham against services provided in other areas, and that it was this work that was referred to in the Sub and Project Group report in the agenda pack. The Chair advised that the sub-group would be continuing its benchmarking work against both the current provision in Rotherham as well as against the new services that would be implemented as a result of the current commissioning process that had been informed by the needs analysis.

 

As a supplementary question Mr Harron noted that when the Improving Lives Select Commission considered the draft needs analysis at its meeting on 2 March  2020 that the submitted papers contained errors and asked how could it be ensured that the right services that were fit for purpose were commissioned to support survivors of CSE.

 

In response the Chair advised that the only error she was aware of in the papers submitted on 2 March were with regards to the names on the other local authorities that the sub-group had benchmarked Rotherham against and advised that this error had been corrected before the needs analysis had been considered by Cabinet in June. The Chair reemphasised that the role of the Improving Lives Select Commission was to monitor performance and that the committee had no role in the commissioning of services or in the delays that there had been in the commissioning of new services. The Chair reaffirmed that the sub-group would be carrying its benchmarking work of both the current and recommissioned support services for CSE survivors in Rotherham against services provided elsewhere and noted that the results of this work would be shared and discussed in the public domain.

82.

Communications

 

To receive communications from the Chair in respect of matters within the Commission’s remit and work programme.

Minutes:

The Chair advised that she had attended the meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel on 30 June where a report had been presented that had detailed the findings of a review of the LADO Process and its impact on foster carer retention in the Borough. The Chair advised that she would arrange for details of this review to be circulated to members of the commission.

83.

Looked after Children Sufficiency Strategy - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Neighbourhood Working, the Assistant Director - Children’s Social Care, the Service Manager - Commissioning Performance and Quality and the Head of Development Programmes – Children’s Services attended the meeting to present a report that provided a progress report on the delivery of the Looked After Children (LAC) Sufficiency Strategy 2019-2022 and also on impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its delivery.

 

The report provided information on the delivery of key elements of the strategy, as well as detailing any current, or predicted future impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on its delivery including:

 

In-House Foster Carers

 

The report noted that Rotherham’s new fostering recruitment website and customer relationship management system had been launched at the end of September 2019 and stated that it continued to generate interest in the Rotherham fostering offer. It was noted that since the recruitment website had been launched, 314 people had booked an initial information visit, and that while there had been some early fluctuations in interest it was noted that interest had remained steady during the pandemic.

 

It was noted that the pandemic had created some delay in the progression of assessments through March, April and May due to potential foster carers wanting to avoid physical meetings. The Service Manager - Commissioning Performance and Quality advised that this had been addressed by facilitating an offer of blended assessments that combined virtual and minimal direct physical contact sessions to ensure that assessments were able to progress. It was also noted that a virtual Skills to Foster training programme had commenced via Microsoft Teams for four prospective fostering households and that the Fostering Panel had continued to meet virtually. It was noted that it was predicted that performance on increasing the number of in-house foster carers was positive and that the numbers of new foster carers approved in 2020/21 would exceed performance for 2019/20 with a cohort of foster carers continuing to grow in terms of quality and availability.

 

IFA placements

 

It was noted that the White Rose Framework has provided positive support whilst managing Covid-19 by challenging providers who had approached individual local authorities to request an increase in fees.  The Service Manager advised that whilst there had been very little impact on the fostering sector at the beginning of the pandemic, an increase in disruptions in foster placements for young people with challenging behaviours was now being reported. The Service Manager advised that there was concern that some foster carers were just holding onto until restrictions eased and that in the future a number of placements could break down which could lead to an increase in demand for looked after placements in the coming months.

 

In-borough Residential Provision

 

The report stated the strategy had led to an increase in local capacity of 16 places in the previous 18 months for placements that allowed children to retain local links and that were also less expensive than out of area private provision. The Service Manager advised that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

Youth Offending Team - Progress report pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Neighbourhood Working and the Service Manager - Youth Offending Team and Evidence Based Hub attended the meeting to provide a progress report on the recommendations that the Improving Lives Select Commission had made at its meeting on 29 October 2019 (Minute No.40 2019/20) that:

 

1)    That the Deputy Leader explores if further measures can be taken to identify Council apprenticeship opportunities for young people involved in the youth justice system and engage the wider business community in similar initiatives such as job fairs.

 

2)    That the involvement of service users in offering awareness raising in schools and/or peer support to other young offenders or those at risk of offending, be explored.

 

The Chair noted that the committee had been expecting the report to also provide assurances around a changing demand due to the apparent decrease in numbers of first time young offenders and the increase in the complex nature of some cases, as noted in the committee’s work programme. It was agreed that a further report providing this information would be submitted to the September meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission.

 

The Service Manager provided an overview of the activity that had taken place in response to the recommendations made by the committee in October 2019. The Service Manager advised that she had worked with the Early Help Voice and Influence Officer to create an apprentice Youth Support Worker post that had provided an opportunity within the Evidence Based Hub to support the delivery of interventions and increase youth participation. The Service Manager also noted that in order to provide opportunities for young people in Rotherham the service had offered a guaranteed interview scheme for the post to the authority’s Looked after Children and Young People who had had previous involvement in the Youth Justice System. It was noted that interviews had taken place for the Apprentice Youth Support and that a conditional offer of employment had been made to a Young person who had first-hand experience of the Youth Justice System and being a Looked after Child in Rotherham.

 

The Service Manager advised that the Rotherham Youth Offending Team continued to work with Employers such as Timpson’s who actively supported the rehabilitation of offenders by offering training and employment opportunities, but noted that the development of further partnerships with local businesses had been disrupted due to the pandemic. Members were however assured that activities to identify opportunities for post-16 learners and Education, Training and Employment remained a priority.

 

The Service Manager noted that between September 2019 and March 2020 the tri-borough Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) project (EPIC) delivered CCE awareness sessions to 11,801 young people across Rotherham Secondary schools.

 

It was also noted that the EPIC team had developed a crime and consequence programme (Think Forward) to be shared and utilised across the three boroughs and ‘train the trainer’ training was completed in February 2020. The Service Manager advised that the delivery of the programme had been suspended  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

 

To consider and approve the Commission’s Work Programme.

Minutes:

The Committee considered its Work Programme for 2020/21.

 

Resolved: -

 

1)    That the Work Programme be updated as discussed.

 

2)    That the Work Programme for 2020/21 be approved.

86.

Improving Lives Select Commission - Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 39 KB

 

To monitor the progress of recommendations made by the Improving Lives Select Commission.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the outstanding actions on the Monitoring Report.

 

Resolved: -

 

That the Governance Advisor makes the required follow up activity as required for the outstanding actions.

87.

Improving Lives Select Commission - Sub and Project Group Updates pdf icon PDF 61 KB

 

For the Chair/project group leads to provide an update on the activity regarding sub and project groups of the he Improving Lives Select Commission.

Minutes:

The Chair provided a progress report on sub and project group activity.

 

Resolved: -

 

1)    That the update be noted.

 

2)    That the scope for the review of Early Help be circulated to members of the Improving Lives Select Commission and that members of the commission contact the Governance Advisor with expressions of interest for taking part in the review.

 

88.

Urgent Business

 

To consider any item(s) the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

89.

Date and time of the next meeting

 

The next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on Tuesday 22 September commencing at 5:30pm as a Microsoft Teams Virtual Meeting.  

Minutes:

Resolved: -

 

That the next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on Tuesday 22 September 2020 at 5:30pm as a Microsoft Teams meeting.