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Referrals to social services to be examined by Committee

Senior figures in the Manx government will be quizzed on the referrals of children and families to social services this afternoon (Wed).

The Social Affairs Policy Review Committee – set up by Tynwald with a wide scrutiny remit – is sitting at three o’clock in the Legislative Council chamber in Douglas.

Those giving evidence will be the chief executive of the Department of Social Care, Yvette Mellor; head of safeguarding Deborah Brayshaw and the Island’s data protection supervisor, Iain McDonald.

Last week, Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw said there had been a three and a half per cent reduction in the number of children referred to social services in the 12 months up to October.

Mr McDonald will give evidence about the data protection implications of initial assessments on children by social services.

In an email to Speaker of the House of Keys Steve Rodan, he says most of the assessments are carried out voluntarily instead of the Department of Social Care needing a court order.

But he says he’s worried that parents aren’t told they could refuse the assessment, and recommends an advice note is produced informing them of their rights.

The department carried out more than 700 initial assessments last year.


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