Decision Maker: Director of Adults, Health and Well-Being
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Since 2017 a successful county wide
perpetrator programme has operated throughout South Yorkshire,
delivered by the South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company
Recently the Government announced that they were ending the contract arrangements with CRC, which means that from June 2021 they will no longer be able to provide the perpetrator programme in South Yorkshire.
We have been anticipating the outcome of Government plans
for some time and therefore all four local authorities and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have met and held discussions over the last few months and agreed to recommission our contract with an alternative provider.
The South Yorkshire Partnership seeks to procure a perpetrator programme which achieves evidence based outcomes for individuals seeking to change their behaviour, which supports a multi-agency approach for an integrated response to the whole family affected by domestic abuse and where all services work together to the same agreed objectives. A key aim of the newly commissioned programme will be to challenge abusive behaviour at all risk levels. Also key will be to offer a flexible programme of individual and group interventions in order to support perpetrators to change their behaviour.
During the past two years of the Inspire to Change voluntary perpetrator contract, 1106 referrals have been made with 190 people successfully completing the programme. These completion figures are in line with similar programmes across the country and recognise the difficulties in engaging with perpetrators on a voluntary basis and working with them to complete the programme.
Interestingly, during the COVID emergency, referrals and engagements have significantly increased by around 60%, with sessions taking place using electronic media as CRC adapted their business processes to continue working with clients. The success of this approach has been incorporated into our new specification, where we are asking providers to consider this as part of service delivery for clients, unable to attend group sessions and a recognised barrier to successful completion.
It is recognised that many victims of domestic abuse do not report to the police and the true incidence of domestic abuse is estimated to be far higher than the reported figure.
Whilst in most domestic abuse reports, the perpetrators are male; we recognise that women may also be abusive. This programme will be accessible to abusers of both genders and people in same sex relationships and other under-represented groups. This recognises that interventions need to be tailored to specific needs and again our specification for the new contract takes account of this.
It was agreed that Doncaster would continue to take the lead on the development, as we hold the expertise in procurement, commissioning, professional knowledge and operational management of the existing programme.
A joint development group has been established consisting of a representative from Legal, Procurement, Commissioners, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and specialist Domestic Abuse Managers from collaborating authorities.
Subject to approval, below is an outline of the timescales we are working towards:
• Anticipated that the contract will commence at the end of February 2021 following an open tender process, at which time the full service must be ready to commence delivery.
• The contract will be for 2 years initially (Feb 2021 – Feb 2023) with the option to extend for a further 2x 12 month periods, subject to continued funding and performance.
Over the last three years we have learnt a great deal from operating a service across South Yorkshire and the collaboration between all partners has been an excellent example of how all local authorities and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have jointly commissioned a successful programme. Whilst it is unfortunate that national changes to the Probation Service have resulted in us going down the route of re-commissioning, everyone is agreed that this has given us an opportunity to strengthen our requirements and include the most up to date learning from other programmes throughout the UK. This means that the new
programme will be innovative and ‘cutting edge’ to maintain our profile as a successful provider with a key outcome of breaking the cycle of abuse that unfortunately exists in so many households across South Yorkshire.
To approve Doncaster Council to undertake the
1. Act as Lead Authority in the procurement of a new contract for a county wide voluntary domestic abuse perpetrator programme.
2. Act as the sole Authority entering into the contract with the selected provider for the benefit of itself and the other authorities and organisations (namely Sheffield City Council, Barnsley Council, Rotherham Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner).
3. Continue an inter-authority agreement with the other 3x named authorities and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
4. Utilise funding on the following basis:
(a) Doncaster contributing Public Health funding of £52k per annum for a period of two years.
(b) Receiving on an annual basis £60k from Sheffield Council, £50k from Barnsley Council, £50k from Rotherham Council and £50k from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner as a contribution towards the programme for a period of two years, plus the possibility of 2x 12 month extension periods.
Present a business case to the Senior
Management Team seeking approval to use the funding from Sheffield,
Rotherham and Barnsley Council’s, the Office of the Police
and Crime Commissioner and Doncaster Council Public Health funding
for the specific purpose of delivering a sub-regional perpetrator
Option 1: Do Nothing
Allow the current Countywide Perpetrator Programme to come to an end at the end of February 2021 and not re-commission the service.
As outlined above, domestic abuse is a key issue for Team Doncaster and the Safer Stronger Doncaster Partnership. A programme of early intervention working with perpetrators and providing them with the opportunity to change their behaviour is a key factor in reducing the impact of abuse and reducing risk.
To do nothing would significantly put vulnerable families at further risk and potentially could lead to further pressures (and cost) to public agencies.
Option 2: Commission a programme just in Doncaster
This option is not viewed as a viable option as the limited funding available in Doncaster (approx. £50k per annum) would not be sufficient to fund a programme and make it an attractive proposition to potential providers. The budget available would limit the amount of resources able to be committed to the programme and the number of places would be significantly reduced, compared to a countywide programme.
Option 3: Re-commission a Countywide Perpetrator Programme
Recommended option; this would create an adequately resourced programme able to operate across the whole of South Yorkshire with one provider and a pooled budget of £262k. This option has the full support of all four local authorities and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and has been proven to work over the last 3 years. As we emerge from the current COVID crisis, we are already seeing increases in referrals, which a new programme will be able to absorb.
Publication date: 16/11/2020
Date of decision: 14/08/2020