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Social Services improvements approved

Nine recommendations voted on by Tynwald members

Plans to improve Children and Families Social Services have been unanimously approved by Tynwald.

Members voted on a total of nine recommendations, with one of them being amended.

That was brought forward by Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft.


It changed the recommendation OFSTED should be brought in as an inspector, as she said OFSTED was not recognised in the Isle of Man.

Instead, it will be done by an 'independent mechanism or a statutory body'.

The recommendations have been brought forward to reinstate the public's faith in Children and Families Social Services, according to the chairman of the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee which produced the report, David Cretney MLC.

More training, ensuring social workers are 'competent and are seen as competent', dealing with families' complaints positively, and the introduction of a statutory annual Children In Need census are some of the ideas which Tynwald has approved from the report.

Speaking during the debate, Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft said her department accepted the recommendations, barring her amendment to the one mentioning OFSTED.

She said work had already begun on some of them.

The Island's children's champion, Garff MHK Daphne Caine, said some of the recommendations didn't go far enough.

She also, along with Bill Henderson MLC, criticised the fact the Safeguarding Children Board had still not been made statutory, which was first called for in a major report on social services from 2004.

That was commissioned following the murders of two teenagers in February 2002 while they were in the care system.

A number of members said making Safeguarding Children a statutory board should be an urgent priority.



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