Isle of Man abuse risk children 'needs not met'

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Children at risk of abuse and neglect in the Isle of Man are not being given enough protection, according to a Scottish social care watchdog.

The Care Inspectorate said some of the island's most vulnerable children were not having their needs met.

The inspection also found that social workers were often too late to intervene in abusive households.

Inspector Joan Lafferty said "urgent action was needed" to protect and safeguard children and young people.

She added: "The risks to children living with domestic abuse, parental mental ill-health or parental substance misuse were not fully understood - staff did not intervene early enough in these circumstances."

The Manx social care children's service failed to score "excellent", "very good" or "good" in any area- but managed to avoid the lowest category of "unsatisfactory".

'Pattern of inaction'

It was assessed to be "adequate" in four areas and "weak" in five others.

The evaluation, completed in September and October last year, involved a team of seven inspectors - some of whom spoke directly to youngsters and their families.

It commended staff for having good listening skills and for effective use of the legal system to protect "very young babies at risk."

"Leaders at both a political and chief executive level are now committed to reverse the pattern of inaction which has been a characteristic across services for children and young people," concluded inspectors.

The Manx government said steps are being taken to improve the system.

In a statement it said: "The inspection has found that staff in children's services are committed to ensuring all children on the Isle of Man get, if needed, the support and services they require to be safe and achieve their potential, however this could be improved further by services being truly integrated and problems being identified at an early stage."

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