Praise for changes to children's services in Doncaster

oday (Thursday 6 July) the Department for Education (DfE) have published the independent evaluation of the implementation of the Trust and the effects on children’s social care in Doncaster.

In response to today’s publication the DfE, Trust and thecouncil have issued the following statements:

Robert Goodwill, Minister for Children and Families, said:

“This government is determined to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families, and will always intervene in cases where children are put at risk by inadequate services.

“We look at a range of options to support rapid improvement in children’s services, and it’s heartening to see the evidence that great progress is being made in Doncaster.

“I’d like to congratulate Paul and his team at Doncaster Children’s Service Trust for their hard work and dedication.”

Doncaster Children’s Services Trust Chief Executive, Paul Moffat said:

“This report is the culmination of over two years of intense work by the authors and all of those local colleagues, especially our staff and partners who have contributed to it.  We are grateful to the authors and the DfE – led group of colleagues with sector expertise who have engaged in this evaluation for their support and stamina in working on this for such an extended period of time.

“This has allowed the authors to set out such a clear picture of the challenges faced by ourselves and our partners as the Trust came into being and the intense work which has continued throughout that time to raise the quality and effectiveness of children’s social care provision in Doncaster.  Whilst these significant improvements have been recognised formally through successive external reviews and inspections, this evaluation confirms that progress and impact through this different lens.

“Our staff and partners have participated fully in the evaluation and the report gives a real flavour of their experience of these changes during the life of the Trust. We are delighted that the work of our staff to bring about such change and impact has been recognised and that there is a strong sense of their voice and experience in the report. Most importantly, the report confirms that the work of the Trust is delivering real improvements to the lives of children and young people and that they, and that they and our staff confirm that Doncaster is now a safer place for them.

“But we are not complacent. Children’s social care is a challenging environment and this is especially so where significant improvements are required. We are very proud of what has been achieved by our staff, and we are greatly appreciative of the support given to us by our partners in delivering those achievements. 

“As the improvements have progressed, we have consistently described ourselves as ‘pleased but not yet satisfied’; we know that there is more to be done to achieve the consistent standards of excellence and great outcomes for Doncaster that we all want to deliver.

“The observations of this report confirm our view that we, the council and our partners now have the very firm platform for further improvement together, and we look forward to continued joint work and determination in achieving this for the citizens of Doncaster.”

Director of People (DCS/DASS) at Doncaster Council, Damian Allen said:

"The creation of the Doncaster Children's Services Trust was a most complex process in which the Council and the Trust worked together as one.

"At the time the Trust was established Doncaster Council was on its own, well documented, improvement journey and it is the strong leadership of both the Council and the Trust which has ultimately improved social care for our children and young people.

“To enable this to happen it required considerable start-up investment from both the DfE and the Council. This additional support has continued over the past three years, to meet increased demand and invest in the growth and development of the Trust, so ultimately it can be sustainable.”

You can read the full report here.

“Thank you so much for working with us and helping us as a family. You are a top social worker.”

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