Doncaster Council get 'verbal assurance' from government over £3m investigation into children's homes abuse probe

Doncaster Council has been told by central government they will ‘seek to help’ in their multi-million pound wide-spread investigation into allegations of abuse into two private children’s homes, Mayor Ros Jones has said.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 9:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 9:39 am
Wilsic Hall children's home has been closed in the wake of abuse allegations
Wilsic Hall children's home has been closed in the wake of abuse allegations

The council, along with health partners and the police, signed off on an investigation following reports of abuse at Fullerton House School Children’s Home in Denaby and Wilsic Hall School Children’s Home near Wadworth.

In a leaked letter to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, staff were informed by letter that both homes would formally shut down following talks with Ofsted.

A source connected to the home stated that ‘investors had pulled funding’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Speaking this week, Mayor Jones said there was ‘no time limit’ on the investigation which would ensure that young people are ‘properly heard’ but it is likely to conclude sometime in 2023.

The council has committed £3 million towards the probe from reserve funding and Mayor Jones said Whitehall officials had verbally agreed to help but DMBC as of yet have had no written confirmation.

“It was important to act very quickly, very decisively – as soon as we were made aware of this, we initiated the investigation, it was vital we did so,” Mayor Jones said.

“These are now national investigations along with care partners, the CCG, the police and ourselves and many other local authorities. That’s as much as I can really say.

“I always ensure that we look after our children and other children. So whenever we hear anything, we trigger investigations immediately.

“The government said they will seek to help. Now, they’ve said that verbally, we’ve got nothing in writing as of yet.

“But we will continue to press government of course, but the immediate thing is to ensure that we safeguard all children and young people.”

The £3 million estimate is based on the current monthly cost of £110,000, which funds a ‘specialist experienced dedicated team’ including eight social workers, team manager, lead senior manager, head of service and administrative/business support, with an allocation for contingency to retain flexibility in carrying out the in-depth investigation.