- Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services to report.
Councillor Beaumont, Cabinet Member for Children and Education Services, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services, which highlighted the progress made in the delivery of the Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy and Action plan in the first quarter of 2014/15 and the next steps across the three key priorities of Prevent, Protect and Pursue.
Significant progress was made during 2013/14, outlined in the recent Annual Report. Following this the action plan and its strategic objectives were further reviewed and refined to remove completed actions and ensure it focused on remaining areas of multi-agency improvement.
The Cabinet considered the Jay Report on 3rd September, 2014. Fifteen recommendations were identified by Professor Jay and Cabinet requested a further four. All of these have been incorporated into the CSE Action Plan and would be reported on in future progress reports to the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and Cabinet.
Each of the priorities were considered in turn and information provided. A range of questions were raised by Cabinet Members which received a response. These included:-
· Data analysis and use of “Big Data” to map potential areas of exploitation.
· Areas of development for the MASH and the timescales for this to be addressed.
· Governance arrangements of the MASH and lines of accountability with integration of all services.
· Additional layers for the escalation of issues and roles for challenging decisions and recommendations made.
· Line management arrangements with clear lines of accountability as referred to the Jay Report.
· Review process for the overall management of the MASH
· Allocation of duties for staff off sick or on leave.
· Staffing structures and resources to meet demand.
· Operation of the MASH as the preferred model recommended by Ofsted.
· Role and membership of the CSE Sub-Group and its Gold and Silver operational arms.
· Reconfiguration of the risk assessments with the opportunity for professional manual judgements based on individual young people.
· Range of the safeguarding training and development framework.
· Commissioning to the voluntary sector to build awareness in the community including hard-to-reach groups and parents and the activities taking place.
· Identification of technical issues which caused a delay, which have now been addressed.
· Referral process and awareness raising amongst larger organisations.
· Training programmes in all secondary schools to assist with educating young people about the risks around child sexual exploitation and early detection of the warning signs.
· Being outcome focused to ensure effective analysis of intervention.
· Areas of the community who were difficult to engage in awareness raising.
· How Rotherham was performing against other Local Authorities in tackling child sexual exploitation.
· Performance comparisons, benchmarking and identification of positive outcomes for young people from agencies.
· External validations and the options available.
· Options for complaints if a child or a family’s needs or expectations were being met.
· Sign off process for those children the subjects of social care intervention.
· Definition of referrals and contacts.
· Referral activity directly or indirectly to other agencies such as Barnados and Safe at Last and how these collated in the figures presented.
· Changes to the reporting structures and the classification of young people being at high, medium or low risk.
· Risks to young females regardless of their ethnicity.
· Reporting lines from health professionals
· Crown Prosecution Service involvement with the MASH.
· Crown Prosecution Service engagement in the CSE Sub-Group.
· Low number of prosecutions and engagement with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure the process for justice with clear collation of evidence was seen through from the beginning to the end resulting in a conviction.
· Any barriers to securing a conviction.
· Assurances that the concerns raised in the Jay Report around arrests and prosecutions.
· Improved lines of communication with the Police to move matters of concern forward.
· Restoring public confidence and the justice for victims of abuse through the securing of prosecutions and convictions.
· Key lines of enquiry and identification of perpetrators by victims, which should be followed up for historic cases.
· Routes for reporting children missing from children’s homes.
· Access to health services for victims and survivors and engagement of professionals with the CSE Sub-Group.
· Identification of provision and various agency levels.
· Ensuring the victims have a voice.
Resolved:- (1) That the report be received and the progress noted.
(2) That the identified areas for further development be approved.
(3) That representatives from South Yorkshire Police and the Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board be present when the quarterly reports of the Child Sexual Exploitation Action Plan are submitted to the Cabinet.