Council moves to transfer disability services to Doncaster Children's Services Trust

Doncaster Council has agreed to transfer the delivery of its children's disability services to the Doncaster Children's Services Trust.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 23rd January 2016, 8:00 am
DCST chief executive Paul Moffat says the transfer will be smooth
DCST chief executive Paul Moffat says the transfer will be smooth

When the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust was set up in 2014 to deliver the borough’s children services, it was agreed the local authority would retain control of areas such as supporting children with a disability and the Early Help service for families.

Following recommendations that services for children with disabilities should be transferred over to DCST, the council’s cabinet has now approved plans for the transfer.

The transfer is subject to approval from the Secretary of State and is expected to be completed by June this year.

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Paul Moffat, Chief Executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, told The Star: “Ofsted has recognised that the best way to provide social care and other support services for Doncaster’s children with disabilities is through the Trust as a single provider.

“While we await the final approval of the Secretary of State we are working closely with our colleagues at the Council to put plans in place for a smooth transfer.

“We will keep the families and staff fully informed throughout the process.”

The transfer comes after DCST received an ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted in an inspection published in November.

Inspectors gave the Trust the worrying rating 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.

Coun Nuala Fennelly, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “The transfer of children with disabilities services to the Trust will address Ofsted’s recommendation that the team should be able to work more closely with social workers in order to identify risks and needs early on.”

Doncaster Council was stripped of its right to run its own children’s services in 2013 following an independent review in which the Government deemed them to have a ‘legacy of failure’.

The Government began supervising children’s services through the Trust in 2009 following the deaths of seven children in the borough through abuse or neglect over five years.