The Department of Health and Social Care has today confirmed the award of contracts following a tender process for the provision of services for children and families.
From February 2015 St Christopher’s Isle of Man will be delivering residential care, aftercare services and a new emotional wellbeing service for looked after children.
Previous reviews and inquiries have identified an over-reliance on residential care and the Department has been working hard on this for a number of years. As a result the Department is reshaping services, reducing investment in residential care and increasing services for care leavers in line with the comments of the Scottish Inspectorate who reported in January 2014.
Additionally the new emotional wellbeing service has been developed to provide enhanced levels of therapeutic support to looked after children and young people.
The Department also intends to work with partner agencies to address the gap in provision for early intervention, also commented on by the Scottish Inspectorate. The Department is reviewing the need in this area, together with the most appropriate service response.
In May this year the Department published its Commissioning Intentions with regards to services for children and families, which stated:
'This Commissioning Intentions document is ambitious for children, young people and their families living on the Isle of Man. Through the commissioning of high quality, evidence-based responsive services, we wish to raise the aspirations of the most vulnerable children in the Island and improve their future life chances and outcomes.'
This is in line with Government’s Policy for Children and the Strategy for Children and Young People 2014 – 2019 which have as their core vision: 'Every child will have the best opportunities in life.'