Doncaster admits dead baby was known to social care

Doncaster Council has confirmed that a 10-week-old baby boy who died this week was known to children’s social care.

Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board is likely to carry out a serious case review into the death of Ashley James Shaw, from Highfields, Doncaster, who died on Monday evening at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Following his death, South Yorkshire Police arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of harming a baby, and then released him on bail.

Ashley known to council

The council’s interim director of children’s services, Gareth Williams, said: “Doncaster Social Care Services did know the family but the Council is unable to comment further as this is a police matter.

Ashley was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary last Saturday evening after he stopped breathing, before being moved to Sheffield Children’s Hospital. A post mortem took place on Tuesday but a cause of death was not established; the police are awaiting the results of further tests.

Eighth SCR in five years

It would be the eighth SCR launched into a child death in Doncaster in the past five years. The council’s children’s services are operating under the scrutiny of an improvement board, sent in by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, after it was rated as inadequate overall and for safeguarding last year.

The news came after the council published a draft improvement plan designed to transform its children’s services from being ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’ over the next three years, and the election of a new mayor to lead the authority.

Peter Davies, who represents the minority English Democrats Party, has vowed to review child protection in Doncaster as one of his top priorities.

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