Probe launched as confidential child papers left in pub

Chris Pratt, the director of DMBC's Children and Young Person's Service. Picture: Liz Mockler D8087LM
Chris Pratt, the director of DMBC's Children and Young Person's Service. Picture: Liz Mockler D8087LM

AN investigation is being launched to find out how confidential documents on some of Doncaster’s most vulnerable children were left in a town centre pub.

The error was revealed to the Free Press after a member of the public, who asked not to be named, handed the Doncaster Council headed papers into our offices saying their son had discovered them as they laid unattended in the Vintage Rockbar in St George Gate.

The private papers covered meetings held by the Doncaster Runaway/Missing Children Action Group and another restricted document from a meeting of the Doncaster Sexual Exploitation Forum.

Both go into detail about how agencies were working to help vulnerable children, some of whom are named, and raised concerns about child trafficking and exploitation in the borough.

The authority’s chief of children’s services told the Free Press that a probe will now be launched into how the documents, dated Tuesday, February 14, were discarded.

It is not the first time that sensitive information about children known to social services has been misplaced.

The Free Press exclusively revealed how social workers handed out a vulnerable mum’s address and phone number twice to her alleged paedophile former husband back in September 2010.

And the latest incidentcomes in a week where the Doncaster children’s services was the subject of scrutiny following a report by the children’s board chairman Peter Kemp who warned that child abuse was on the increase in the borough.

The department was also found to be making “good progress” following a snap inspection and promising reports by Government watchdog Ofsted.

However, following the on-the-spot inspection, it was found that the department was guilty of mistakenly mixing up vulnerable children’s confidential documents with others.

The Free Press asked the council if it was aware the February 14 documents were missing and what action it would be taking.

Chris Pratt, Doncaster Council’s director of the children and young people’s service, said in a statement: “We are inquiring into how this happened and reiterating to staff the importance of not taking confidential documents into public places.”