A new trust tasked with turning around ‘failing’ child protection services in Doncaster officially starts work today.
Chief executive Paul Moffat and board chairman Colin Hilton of The Independent Doncaster Children’s Services Trust set out their vision for the trust – the first of its kind in the country.
Investment in staff, early intervention, listening to children and families and working together with other agencies were listed among the top priorities of the new board.
The trust was set up after Doncaster Council was told last year it was to be stripped of responsibility for children’s services due to a ‘legacy of failure’.
Paul Moffat said: “Today marks a new era for Doncaster. Doncaster Children’s Services Trust is determined to make a positive difference to the lives and futures of the borough’s younger citizens and families.
“We were created to do things differently and ultimately do things better.
“We will show we are delivering among the most innovative and vibrant children’s services in the country.
“Achieving this will be based on an approach that listens to children, young people and families, uses evidence, invests in its workforce and works in partnership with other agencies to ensure a co-ordinated team effort.”
The vast majority of the current children’s and young people’s social care services will be transferred across.
This includes safeguarding children in need, looked after children, care leavers, unaccompanied asylum seekers, youth offending and support service functions.
Services for children with disabilities will remain with the council as well as education-related services. The trust will have a 10 year term to improve services, with a review scheduled after five years.
In March 2009, the government ordered a takeover of Doncaster’s children’s services following the deaths of seven children in the district through abuse or neglect over five years.
Less than a year later a serious case review found that attacks in Edlington on two young boys had been ‘preventable’.