Doncaster children's services: Good rating for improved care

Image caption,
The trust said young people had been key to improving services in Doncaster

Children's services in a town dogged by years of child protection failures have been rated good by Ofsted.

In 2009, an inquiry was launched in the wake of the deaths of seven children in the district through abuse or neglect.

Mark Douglas, of Doncaster Children's Services Trust, said it had "worked very hard to change the culture of social work" in the town.

The chief operating officer said investing heavily in staff and setting "very high expectations" had helped to improve the service.

But the biggest change, he said, was the recruitment of "young advisors" to give feedback on what it is like to receive services from the trust.

"Our young advisors have been instrumental in helping us drive forward performance and change," he said.

The latest Ofsted report noted that "the voice of the child was powerful, and children only become looked after when it is in their best interests".

Inspectors also found "significant improvements in the quality of support," also highlighting high staff morale and robust, determined leadership.

Adoption services were rated good, as was support for young people leaving care.

The trust operates six children's homes and four were judged to be good or outstanding.

Former Education Secretary Michael Gove ordered the trust to take over, after the inquiry's findings spoke of a

High-profile cases in the town included attacks in the nearby town of Edlington in which two young boys were tortured by two brothers, aged 11 and 12.

A serious case review found the boys' ordeal had been "preventable".

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