The first independent children’s trust to be established due to failing children’s social care services has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, after being judged ’inadequate’ at the last inspection.
Doncaster Children’s Trust was established in 2014 under government direction after a review recommended services should be taken out of Doncaster MBC’s control.
The last Ofsted inspection in 2015 found some improvement had been made but services supporting and protecting children remained ‘inadequate’.
Following an inspection in November last year, Ofsted inspectors rated the trust ‘good’ in all categories and praised it for developing a culture in which social workers could flourish. It is rare for services rated as inadequate by Ofsted to jump to a good rating.
Ofsted said: “This is the result of the robust and determined leadership, management and governance provided by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and Doncaster council.”
The report added that the trust had highly effective performance management and “the voice of the children is powerful in Doncaster”.
The trust’s chief executive Paul Moffat and Doncaster’s director of children’s services Damian Allen were singled out for praise by inspectors.
Mr Allan said strong working relationships between the council, the trust and wider partners had been crucial to driving sustained improvement.
He added: “[This is] evidenced in the strengthened corporate parenting board which provides effective challenge to further improve services.
“Our strong working relationship and the committed political leadership is benefiting our children.”
Mr Moffat said he was “tremendously proud” of the trust’s staff.
He added: “Our philosophy is that everyone here is a leader and I am so impressed by how our teams have stepped up to that role, achieving practice standards and making a difference to children’s lives in a way that we could only have dreamed of three years ago.”