Timely warning from the IoM: Child protection policy 'swamped' department with referr

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member

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.
Press coverage here:

Social Care minister quizzed over 959 child referrals in a year

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
From Sheila's link
An independent inspection of the services the island provides for children and young people will get underway in September 2013, conducted by the Scottish Government’s Care Inspectorate with Mr Robertshaw presenting the findings to Tynwald in early 2014.

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Minister unsure of child protection changes timescale

Minister unsure of child protection changes timescale

Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw says there’s no timetable for changing the way child protection works on the Isle of Man.
He’s faced calls to issue details explaining how he’ll move away from a system which faced criticism over the number of false positive cases it flagged up.
Last week, campaigner Tristram Llewelyn Jones made the call following Mr Robertshaw’s evidence to a select committee about the scheme, called Every Child Matters.
But Mr Robertshaw says publishing a schedule for its removal isn’t as easy as it might sound: Listen To Related Audio Clip

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Tynwald rejects Girfec

Tynwald Social Policy Committee Hansard
Douglas, Wednesday, 17th July, 2013

Evidence of Hon. C R Robertshaw, Minister for Social Care

Q183. The Speaker: Can you state for us then, just for the record, why it is that you are not going for an Ofsted type of inspection of the Social Services, but instead using the Scottish Government Care Inspectorate who themselves are in the process, through their Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill, of widening out the definition for state intervention from the narrow one of significant harm to the ‘Getting it right for every child’ definition, which looks awfully like the… (The Minister: Every Child Matters.) Every Child Matters policy and you are getting their inspectors to come here.

The Minister: Mr Speaker, fear not because we are determined that we will not end up in a situation where we are returning to anything that looks remotely like Every Child Matters. It was a mistake. Everybody understands and recognises it was.

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Who writes the scripts for the departments?

Excellent blog post here...

However, this costly and intrusive practise has surely raised a pressing point. If Mr Robertshaw did not introduce the measures, and it seems highly unlikely that they were the brainchild of his predecessor, then who did? Despite assurances from the government that the public’s view on Every Child Matters had been noted and that no database would be introduced, both the ECM policy and a database were introduced – without public notification. The ‘new working practices’ which prompted Martyn Quayle to request around half a million pounds a couple of years ago, were seemingly based on Every Child Matters and a database was put in place without a word to the public.

We are being told that this was all a fait accompli? Somehow, without anyone’s knowledge, the entire system was put into place. A system which has cost the taxpayer dearly, while cuts have been made in the education department. Someone, somewhere was responsible for pushing this agenda – and it is essential we discover how this system really works. Mr Robertshaw did not disclose the situation in his department, until questioned, and now continues to make lame excuses for the continuance of the costly chaos there. Who is really behind this? Where did the directive come from? If we do not succeed in uncovering how this situation arose then we leave ourselves open for further underhanded situations. And where will it end?

The procedures should be changed forthwith and those responsible held accountable – whoever they may be.
Sound familiar?


Yes, they are showing their hand now. It's not just home educating families, it's every family.

People, and the press, aren't so indifferent now, are they?

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
A further post from the same blogger...interesting questions being asked...


Why did the Department of Social Care adopt the discredited Every Child Matters system of referrals? More to the point – who was responsible for instigating it? The public rejected it. The Minister distances himself from it. Who introduced it then? And how was a non-statutory board brought into a highly sensitive situation? All this happened quite by chance? Of course not. We need names.