More work to be done, says report

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Despite confirming safeguarding of children in Doncaster is now adequate, a string of ongoing concerns is raised in the Ofsted report.

The report says steady improvements have been made in recognising and managing child protection concerns.

It also draws attention to work done to increase the number of permanent, full time staff to replace agency staff that had previously been working at the department.

It says no services are deteriorating, but some are at an early stage of improvement, and some are underdeveloped.

It highlights deficiencies in the record system as hampering efforts to get co-operation between the council and other organisations such as the NHS.

In a list of areas for improvement, inspectors said the council should immediately improve the attendance of police and health professionals at child protection conferences.

It has been told to provide sensitive clinical services and good follow-up care for children alleged to have been victims of child sex abuse within three months.

Within the next six months, the council has been told to ensure complaints about its own services are reported to the Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board on an annual basis.

In terms of how safe children feel in the borough, the report drew attention to the failure of the council at present to keep a central record of bullying incidents.

It stated: “The Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board has recognised the need for these data and a more coherent approach to addressing bullying in schools and settings, and is drafting a new anti-bullying policy to replace previous guidance and ensure appropriate records are maintained.”

It also raised concerns about arrangements to safeguard children attending A&E at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, saying child protections concerns were not well documented. But it added suitable action was planned by the NHS trust running the hospital.