Another pillar in Rotherham Council’s CSE partnership with Barnardo’s set to close

A SERVICE providing specialist support for children displaying “harmful and concerning sexual behaviour” in Rotherham is to close.

The Junction, run by charity Barnardo’s, has worked with hundreds of youngsters aged ten to 17 since 2017.

The nationally-recognised service was paid for by Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham councils, with contributions from the police commissioner and Barnardo’s.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It would step in with specialist practitioners where sexual behaviour among under-18s was said to be causing concern.

The Junction also provided advice and training to support carers and professionals in understanding and managing harmful sexual behaviour, and it contributed to research and practice development in the field.

Nadine Good, regional director of children’s services at the charity, said: “We have contributed significant charitable funds to The Junction, and overall, Barnardo’s has invested over £2 million in children’s services in Rotherham over the past six years.

“We have jointly agreed with councils in Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster that Barnardo’s will end their contract with The Junction service at the end of March.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are confident that each of these local authorities will ensure that children and young people displaying harmful and concerning sexual behaviour will continue to be fully supported.

“We are continuing to work closely with the council and youth justice to support children until the service closes.

“We need to ensure that nationally across the sector, the specialist support that children and young people need receives adequate and sustainable funding.”

RMBC said Barnardo’s had given notice that they could not continue to deliver the Junction contract.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nicola Curley, the council’s children’s services director, added: “The previous contract was jointly commissioned by Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham, with a contribution from the Police and Crime Commissioner and Barnardo’s.

“Other local authorities have advised they do not wish to continue this. We are working with partners including early help, Barnardo’s and youth justice to ensure Rotherham children requiring this support can continue to access it.”

News of The Junction’s closure comes soon after it was confirmed that ReachOut – the preventative arm of RMBC’s child sexual exploitation partnership with Barnardo’s – would be brought in-house by the council.

Concerns have been raised about social workers rather than youth workers meeting the need for this provision in the future.