Doncaster looks for new management team to improve protection

Doncaster’s troubled children’s services department is recruiting a new management team as part of attempts to bolster child protection in the borough.

The positions advertised by the council are: a permanent director of children’s services and assistant directors for commissioning, universal services, targeted services and safeguarding and protection.

In a letter to prospective candidates, Doncaster’s mayor Peter Davies said he wants to develop an “outstanding” service for children and young people.

He said: “Over the past few months a small team of skilled, enthusiastic and experienced managers have started to transform the way we offer services to children across the borough.

“I hope you will feel inspired to join this team and help us to ensure that Doncaster’s children get nothing but the best.”

The recruitment campaign comes as the interim director of children’s services Gareth Williams announced that the department is on track to meet the government-approved targets for improving services.

According to Williams nearly all the measures set for completion in September have happened or will be completed by the deadline.

Williams said: “We are starting to recruit, retain and motivate staff of the very highest calibre. Salaries for children’s social work have been reviewed and now better those at some rival local authorities. As well as the financial incentive, I guarantee that any social workers coming to Doncaster will get the training and support they need to progress their careers.

“Partnership working is also a lot stronger, we have the full support and co-operation of other agencies such as South Yorkshire Police and NHS Doncaster.”

Doncaster’s attempts to improve children’s services come as the NSPCC announced a “significant rise” in calls to its helpline since the death of Baby P in 2007.

Trade union Unison has also announced that morale among social workers has hit “rock bottom” with workers struggling to cope with extra paperwork from an increase in court referrals following the tragedy.