Number of children taken in care of Doncaster Children's Services Trust hits '˜all time high'

The number of children being taken into care in Doncaster has hit an '˜all time high', bosses have said.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 2:37 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 12:36 am
Doncaster Children's Services Trust
Doncaster Children's Services Trust

Doncaster Children's Services Trust  revealed they had 593 '˜looked after children' cases on their workload in September 2018 - the biggest amount they've ever seen since formation in 2014.

The trust, already under financial strain after being bailed out by the council with a £6 million loan, has said they have seen a 53 per cent in cases being referred to them from 2014/2015 to 2017/2018.

In 2014/2015 the trust had 3,725 referrals which increased to 5,681 in 2017/2018.

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In the same time frame, figures show the number of children DCST's care went up from 480 to 569 by the end of March 2018.

A new report seen by councillors, which is due to be discussed at a public meeting on Monday 21, shows the workload pressures increased reaching the '˜all time high' in September.

The number of child protection plans being issued also increased by 24 per cent from 301 to 374.

Rob Moore, director of corporate services & company secretary at Doncaster Children's Services Trust, said: 'The number and level of complexity of looked after children cases continued to rise during 2018-19 to an all-time high for the Trust of 593 in September 2018.

'Significant measures have been taken to arrest this increase and Children in Care numbers stand at 559 at December 2018.

'The Trust is not alone in these challenges and it has been widely reported that Children's Services across the country and South Yorkshire sub-region have been experiencing similar cost pressures.

'A national survey by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy highlighted that Children's Services were now the number one concern of Directors of Finance in the Public Sector overtaking Adult Services for the first time in the survey's history.'