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Protecting vulnerable children

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Protecting vulnerable children in Rotherham is one of our key priorities. This page explains why this is an important area of work for us and describes what we will do to make sure that vulnerable children in Rotherham are protected.

Why protecting vulnerable children in Rotherham is a priority

Child abuse is physical, emotional, sexual or online sexual abuse, harm or neglect of a child, and it’s something that we’re taking very seriously in Rotherham.

Abuse could take place in the family home or in an institutional or community environment. It could be happening in a place where a child should feel safe and may be instigated by people the child trusts.

The harm may be being caused by an adult or by another child. Abuse could be coming from people they know, or strangers using the internet and social media.

The number of Child Sexual Exploitation offences has increased substantially in recent years. In 2017 there were 271 recorded crimes, which is an 18% increase on the 2016 figures.

The number of child abuse offences recorded in 2017 was 2,074. This is an increase of 30% from 2016.

South Yorkshire Police estimate that 40% of their time is spent dealing with victims of abuse with issues relating to mental health.

In 2016 there were 607 missing person reports for children last year. 42% of these missing people were aged 11 to 17.

What have we done already to protect vulnerable children in Rotherham?

We’ve continued to support victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation and child abuse, as well as working hard to make the partnership response even stronger. This has resulted in:

  • An 11% reduction in current offences
  • 100% of taxi drivers completing our safeguarding requirements
  • An 8% increase in abduction notices, warning offending adults that they have no permission to associate, contact or communicate with a child
  • More than 200 young people engaged through recent events

In 2018 Rotherham Council was inspected by OFSTED and received a rating of Good, which is a significant improvement and a reflection on the hard work across the council and its partners.

We’ve co-located community safety services, which will help us to improve how we collect information and intelligence. This means we can be better at preventing, disrupting and enforcing crimes including child sexual exploitation.

What else will we do to protect vulnerable children in Rotherham?

The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) is the leading body in Rotherham. They drive the work we do to investigate perpetrators and provide support for victims and survivors.

The Safer Rotherham Partnership will make sure that all agencies support the work of the LSCB and deliver the actions they recommend.

We will achieve our shared goals by increasing staff awareness, effective information sharing, targeted preventative measures and disrupting criminal activity in known hot spot locations.

How will we know if we’re getting it right?

Here’s how we will measure the effectiveness of the work we’re doing:

Our aim

Our measurement

Preventing vulnerable children from becoming victims of crime

Number of positive exits from Early Help

Prevent child sexual exploitation (CSE)

Number of CSE linked investigations and/or referrals

Ensure accessible and consistent mental health support to vulnerable young people

Number of referrals of young people to mental health services

Reduce the number of repeat missing children

Number of children with three or more episodes

Preventing offending

Rate of first time entrants into the youth justice system