Major inspection rates Doncaster Children’s Services Trust as Good
Ofsted has rated services delivered by the country’s first independent Trust as ‘good’ across the board following a full inspection at the end of last year.
In their report, published today (Friday 19 January), the inspectors have praised the work being delivered by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and the council; all services are now rated as ‘good’ as a result of a robust, determined and clear leadership and the Trust being ‘highly effective in developing a culture for good social work to flourish’.
During the visit, inspectors looked at all frontline services which deal directly with children and families including early help, child protection, children in care, adoption serviced and support to care leavers. In 2014, when the Trust was established, these services were rated as ‘inadequate’ after Doncaster’s well-publicised challenges with children’s services over many years. In stark contrast, and in a manner which has not been seen elsewhere in the country, services have improved dramatically, with all now being rated as ‘good’.
Most importantly, this inspection and the four monitoring visits which took place in 2017 found that children were safe in Doncaster, with no child being found to be left at risk of significant harm. Inspectors found that children who needed help and protection received good quality support in a timely and responsive way to keep them safe. Inspectors praised direct work carried out with children saying it was a ‘strength and well embedded in practice’.
The report recognises that ‘the Trust and the council work well together and know their strengths and areas needing further development’. It closes by saying that ‘Doncaster Children’s Services Trust has been highly effective in developing a culture for good social work to flourish’ and recognising that there was a commitment to delivering high quality services from everyone they met, in the Trust, the council and in partner agencies.
Commenting on the report, Chief Executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, Paul Moffat, said:
“We are really delighted that inspectors have confirmed that we and our partners are now delivering the high quality services that Doncaster’s children, families and communities deserve. We are tremendously proud of each and every one of our staff who have worked so tirelessly to achieve these improvements for Doncaster’s children. Our philosophy is that everyone here is a leader and I am so impressed by how our teams have stepped up to that role, achieving practice standards and making a difference to children’s lives in a way that we could only have dreamed of three years ago.
“At the centre of everything we do, from our direct work with children, to developing our services, are the voices of our children and young people. We are therefore delighted that inspectors have recognised just what an integral part the voice of the child is in our work at the Trust. We could not have made these improvements without the expertise, support and challenge of these exceptional young people. We are inspired by their contribution and we are determined to go from strength to strength, making a real difference to children’s lives in Doncaster.”
Damian Allen, Director of People (DCS/DASS) at Doncaster Council, said: “This is an extremely positive report which recognises the robust and determined leadership of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, the Council and our partners. Our strong working relationship and the committed political leadership is benefiting our children and young people as evidenced in the strengthened corporate parenting board which provides effective challenge to further improve services. This joint ownership has clearly been crucial in delivering the sustained progress highlighted by Ofsted. They have found services continue to improve and it is pleasing to see that all areas have received a ‘good’ rating.
“We remain totally committed to supporting and looking after our vulnerable young people and together with the Trust and our partners we will ensure our rapid improvement journey is maintained.”
A full copy of the Ofsted report can be found here.