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Child protection policy 'swamped' department with referrals

 

The Island's social care department was swamped with referrals about potential abuse cases under the now abandoned Every Child Matters agenda. 

Tynwald's Social Policy Review Committee yesterday quizzed minister Chris Robertshaw over serious issues in the department's Children and Family Services division.

Mr Robertshaw said confidence in the team has been slowly restored over the past two years and efforts continue to address an acute shortage of child social workers.

The minister told the committee the definition used to assess potential abuse has been narrowed, meaning fewer referals are now triggered by agencies working in the community.

However he and DSC Chief Executive Yvette Mellor admitted some Island families have been subjected to uneccessary investigations.

Ms Mellor told the committee there is still no legal framework for the Protecting Children Board or data protection regulations in force governing it.

Ms Mellor, who sits on the cross-departmental body, conceded no progress had been made on either issue seven months after the committee last raised concerns.  

Mr Robertshaw says the Every Child Matters agenda had not served vulnerable groups in society as it should have done:

 

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