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Children's Centre future under threat

The future of a long established Manx charity is under threat after much of its work was awarded to an off-Island provider.

The Children's Centre has run since 1868, supporting and encouraging children and vulnerable young people in a wide range of areas.

However, it’s been unsuccessful in its bid to have a number of contracts renewed after the Department of Health and Social Care awarded all of them to St Christopher’s Fellowship.

That care organisation already has an Isle of Man charity which operates care homes in the Island.

It’s a decision which will shock many - a well respected Island body being overlooked and now under threat with the potential loss of 61 jobs.

It would also mean the end of an era as it would be the first time in years that a wholly Manx charity is not caring for Island children.

The Children’s Centre has been doing that for 146 years.

The running of residential children’s homes and outreach care services are among those which it would stop operating.

The future of family services remains up in the air but The Children’s Centre argues the entire procurement process has been tarnished after it emerged a senior civil servant and a member of the procurement interview panel was a registered director of one of the charities shortlisted and interviewed.

The Children’s Centre argues that’s not only a conflict of interest but meant the individual had full knowledge of its staffing levels and budgets well in advance of the procurement process.

Treasury says claims of lack of fairness and equity in the tender process were unfounded but have yet to answer questions raised in the appeal submitted by the charity.

 

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