An independent children’s services trust set up after ‘historic failures’ led to Doncaster council being stripped of the role has today been rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted.
In the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust’s first inspection since its formation last year, Ofsted branded the trust inadequate for the services it provides to children who need ‘help and protection’.
The trust was also rated as requiring improvement in three out of five inspected areas – children being looked after and achieving permanence, the experiences of care leavers and the trust’s leadership management and governance.
It received a ‘good’ rating for its adoption services – but because of the rating awarded for child protection the trust has been given an overall rating of ‘inadequate’ by inspectors.
The report has been published today (Friday, November 27).
Doncaster Children’s Services Trust chief executive Paul Moffat said today he knows there ‘is still a lot to do’.
He said: “The inspectors confirmed the challenges we had already identified.
“We are making strong progress against our improvement plan and we are on track to reach the targets which were set for us by the Council and the Government.
“Today’s Ofsted report shows we are heading in the right direction on our rigorous improvement journey to transform services for children, young people and families.”
The trust runs services including fostering, adoption, children’s homes and child protection on behalf of Doncaster council.
It was set up last year after the local authority was stripped of its children’s services in 2013 after the Government deemed them to have a ‘legacy of failure’.
The Government began supervising children’s services in 2009 following the deaths of seven children in the borough through abuse or neglect over five years.
Less than a year later a serious case review found the attacks in Edlington in which two young boys were tortured by two brothers, aged 11 and 12, had been ‘preventable’.
Coun Nuala Fennelly, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We are under no illusions that we need to continue with our improvements and we are well aware of the success and challenges we face.”