Agenda and draft minutes

Improving Lives Select Commission - Tuesday 30 January 2024 10.00 a.m.

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

Contact: Barbel Gale, Governance Manager Tel: 01709 807665 email:  barbel.gale@rotherham.gov.uk  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

143.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 560 KB

To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 5 December 2023, 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 5 December 2023, be approved as a correct record of proceedings.

144.

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.

145.

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 of business on the agenda that required the exclusion of the press and public from the meeting.

146.

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:

There were no questions from members of the public or press.

147.

Communications

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

Minutes:

The Chair advised that all the items regarding communication were covered on the agenda.

148.

Corporate Parenting Panel - Update

To consider any updates from the Corporate Parenting Panel.

 

Minutes:

The Chair advised that the Corporate Parenting Panel met on 23 January 2024 and consideration was given to the following items during the meeting:

 

·       An update on the Virtual School Annual Report 2021-2022.

·       An update on Quality Assurance.

·       An update from the Looked After Children’s Council, which included an overview of its activities, including the Summer Festival, an international trip to Paris and the Remembrance Sunday Service.

·       An update on the Corporate Parenting Strategy 2024-2027 and the new proposed Terms of Reference for the Corporate Parenting Panel. The proposed Terms of Reference were agreed at Cabinet on the 22 January 2024 and as a result there would be a number of changes to the Panel which included the following:

?   A change of name from the Corporate Parenting Panel to the Corporate Parenting Partnership Board, the Panel would also move from a public meeting to an internal board meeting.

?   An increase in the number of meetings and membership levels.

 

The Chair advised that the next meeting would be held on 19th March 2024 and a further update would be provided to the Commission, at the first meeting of the new municipal year.

 

149.

Child Exploitation Update pdf icon PDF 4 MB

This item agenda will provide a high-level update on Child Exploitation. The report provides a summary of key Child Exploitation activity, including performance information and trends, awareness raising and safeguarding, undertaken in the year 2023.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This agenda item provided a high-level update on Child Exploitation, which included a summary of key child exploitation activity, performance information and trends, awareness raising and safeguarding, undertaken in the year 2023.

 

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Laura Gough, Head of Service for Children’s and Young People’s Services (CYPS) and Darren Downs, Independent Scrutineer for the Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership.

 

The Chair invited Laura and Darren to introduce the report and lead on the presentation, the following was noted:

 

Introduction-

·       The report was the second Annual Report on Child Exploitation in Rotherham presented to Improving Lives Select Commission and provided information on how the service was responding to child exploitation in Rotherham.

·       The report demonstrated how the service ensured that children, both individually or in groups, who were at risk of, or experiencing child exploitation were identified, safeguarded, and supported, and that there was a partnership approach to raising awareness and preventing exploitation of children and young people in Rotherham.

 

The National Guidance-

·       The Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy 2021 was the National Strategy and provided a clear definition for Child Sexual Exploitation, which was ‘forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving violence, or whether the child is aware of what is happening’.

·       Home Office Guidance defined Child Criminal Exploitation as ‘where an individual or group coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 to take part in criminal activities, including but not exclusively County Lines. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual’.

 

The Law-

·       The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 (amendment in 2017) set out specific duties. Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 created a duty on the local authority to provide services to children in need in their area. Section 47 of the same Act required local authorities to undertake enquiries if they believed a child had suffered or was likely to suffer significant harm.

·       Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023 was a guide to multi-agency working, that provided a framework for effective partnership arrangements for keeping children safe. 

 

Rotherham’s Approach to Child Exploitation-

·       Rotherham was one of only a small number of local authorities that continued to have a dedicated service focused on child exploitation.

·       Ofsted evaluated in June 2022 that Rotherham’s Children and Young Peoples Services provided ‘Good’ services to children in need of help and protection. Ofsted stated ‘the Evolve service works proactively with children to reduce risks associated with sexual and criminal exploitation’.

 

Key Documents-

·       The Child Exploitation Strategy 2019-2022, which had now concluded.

·       In 2023, Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership published the Child Exploitation Priorities 2023-2028, this was a plan to tackle and prevent child exploitation in Rotherham. Priorities were focused on local key drivers such as, Prepare, Prevent, Protect, Pursue. These were derived from the National Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy and from research into established use.

·       The New strategy was in development and would be published in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 149.

150.

Neglect Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 750 KB

This agenda item will provide an introduction to the Neglect Strategy 2024-2026. It is a Partnership Strategy and is governed by the Rotherham Safeguarding Children Partnership (RSCP). It is owned by the Neglect Delivery Group which reports directly to the RSCP Executive Partnership Group.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This agenda item introduced the Neglect Strategy 2024-2026. The strategy was a partnership strategy and was governed by the Rotherham Safeguarding Children Partnership (RSCP). It was owned by the Neglect Delivery Group, which reported directly to the RSCP Executive Partnership Group.

 

The Chair invited Laura and Darren to introduce the report and lead on the presentation, the following was noted:

·       It was advised that the previous Neglect Strategy was successful and was developed and managed through the Rotherham Safety Partnership.

·       The new Neglect Strategy identified the key statutory responsibilities the partnership had in relation to neglect and there had been consultation work completed with all partners across the Partnership, in relation to Neglect, which had informed the new Neglect Strategy.

·       The Strategy would be reviewed at every RSCP meeting and aimed to drive down the level of neglect in the Borough. 40% of Child Protection Plans (CPP) in Rotherham were in relation to neglect, therefore the partnership was keen to focus on neglect and increase the Partnerships understanding of the causes of neglect, the challenges and awareness, to prevent and reduce neglect.

·       It was advised that Rotherham is the 52nd most deprived district in England and neglect figures were higher than national and statistical averages (2.3.3). Although the number of Children subject to a CPP in Rotherham had reduced from 398 to 309.

·       The Neglect Group was chaired by Health Partners and the group’s main priorities were to ensure early identification of neglect and multi-agency co-ordination. The group was also developing an action plan to sit alongside of the Strategy and provided regular updates to the RSCP.

 

The Chair thanked the relevant officers for the presentation and invited questions, this led to the following points being raised during discussions:

·       The Partnership were aspiring for the number of neglect cases to be in line with statistical neighbours and better than the national average (2.3.3).

·       The RSCP were assessing data in relation to the differences between the locations and types of schools reporting into the RSCP, to determine whether there were any geographical areas that required further focus.

·       In relation to the previous strategy, raising awareness of neglect as an equal partner to Child Exploitation and Domestic Abuse was positive. There was now a recognition that neglect was a significant issue for children in the Borough.

·       In relation to poverty and the cost-of-living-crisis, work was being completed by the partnership, to ensure help was provided to families, in order to prevent poverty leading to neglect. The Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) and local authority were both taking a lead on this.

 

 

 

 

Resolved:-

1)    That the Improving Lives Select Commission note the Neglect Strategy 2024- 2026.

2)    That Improving Lives Select Commission note the Local Authority involvement in the development and implementation of the Partnership Strategy Delivery Plan and the oversight of progress by; the Neglect Delivery Group, Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (RSCP) and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC).

 

 

151.

Post Child Sexual Exploitation Support Services Update pdf icon PDF 456 KB

This agenda item will provide an update on the Post Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Support Services, following the transfer of the Post CSE Support Services from Children and Young People’s Services (CYPS) to Adult Care, Housing and Public Health (ACH&PH) on the 1st December 2022.

 

 

Minutes:

This agenda item provided an update on the Post Child Sexual Exploitation          Support Services, following the transfer of the Post CSE Support Services from Children and Young People’s Services (CYPS) to Adult Care, Housing and Public Health (ACH&PH) on the 1st December 2022.

 

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Scott Matthewman, Assistant Director of Strategic Commissioning, Anne Charlesworth, Head of Public Health Commissioning, Lisa Elliott, Strategic Commissioning Manager and Dr Janine Cherry- Swaine, Consultant Psychotherapist and Service Lead from Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

 

The Chair invited Anne and Lisa to introduce the report and lead on the presentation, the following was noted:

 

The Background-

·       The Post CSE Services were transferred from CYPS to ACH&PH in December 2022, following a Cabinet Decision.

·       The Post CSE Support Services were provided by three local charities which were GROW, Rothacs and Rotherham Rise. The services were provided in collaboration with the Trauma Resilience Service (TRS). The Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) services also provided help to victims and/or survivors, to overcome the impact of the trauma. 

 

Since the Transfer-

·       Visits were completed to all providers and attending TRS Hubs.

·       To provide stability to the providers, the contracts were extended for an additional two-year period via an officer decision. As a result, the contracts would end in December 2025.

·       There had been updates to performance reporting systems and a Post CSE Project Board had been developed, to oversee a needs analysis which would inform recommissioning in the future. A Co-production Sub-Group was developed to oversee co-production, engage with key stakeholders and the provider market.

·       The services had also established links with Dr Rebecca Hamer at Sheffield Hallam University, who would be commencing a second project linked to trauma in relation to child exploitation.

 

Service Performance and activity-

·       Referrals

·       Waiting Time

·       Open Cases

·       Leavers and Length of service

·       Age and Gender

·       Outcomes for leavers

·       Service User Voice and Feedback.

 

Referrals in Service-

·       In the period of 2022 to 2023, there were a total of 317 referrals across GROW, Rothacs and Rise.

·       38% of these were self-referrals (Rothacs only accepted self-referrals, with the exception of TRS HUB cases).

·       15% of referrals were from the Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy (ISVA) Team.

·       36% of referrals were from Social Services.

·       16% of referrals were from Mental Health Services.

·       13% of referrals were from Post CSE Support Services.

 

Waiting Times (as of January 2024)-

·       Waiting times from services could fluctuate due to demand, caused by court proceedings and National Crime Agency proceedings. The waiting times provided in the report were the most recent from January 2024.

·       Rotherham Rise CSE Counselling had a waiting time of up to two months. Rotherham Rise often allocated referrals for the Trauma Stabilisation and Focussed Support at the point of the referral being received, however there could sometimes be a short waiting time.

·       Rothacs had a waiting time of nine days for CSE Counselling via the Trauma Resilience Service. The CSE general waiting time was eleven months and a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 151.

152.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To consider and approve the Commission’s Work Programme.

Minutes:

The Committee considered its Work Programme and the following was noted:

 

·       The Carers Strategy Update had been rescheduled and would be presented at the meeting on the 5 March 2024.

·       The Early Help Update would be rescheduled for the new municipal year, with the meeting date yet to be confirmed.

·       In relation to the joint work with the Health Select Commission on the Child Adolescent Mental Health Update (CAMHS), this had been circulated to members of the Commission, as an off the agenda briefing.

 

Resolved: - That the Work Programme for 2022/2023 be approved.

153.

Improving Lives Select Commission - Sub and Project Group Updates

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.

It was advised that a spotlight review on Preparation for Adulthood (PfA), for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) had been arranged for the 15th February 2024. It was noted that expressions of interest had been circulated to all members and further details would follow. Members were asked to register an interest with the Governance Advisor.

 

Resolved: - That the update be noted.

154.

Urgent Business

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

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

155.

Date and time of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on 5 March 2024, commencing at 10.00 am in Rotherham Town Hall.

Minutes:

The Chair advised that the next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission would take place on 5 March 2024 commencing at 10am in Rotherham Town Hall.

 

Resolved:- That the next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on 5 March 2024 commencing at 10am in Rotherham Town Hall.