The safeguarding of children and adults in the Isle of Man is good, with evidence of improvement.
The finding comes from the annual report of the independent chair of the Island’s Safeguarding Board, Glenys Johnston OBE.
The report for 2018-19, which was tabled at this month’s sitting of Tynwald, is the first to be published since the Safeguarding Board became a legal entity in its own right on 1 March 2019.
Placing the Safeguarding Board on a statutory footing was one of a number of measures under the Safeguarding Act 2018, which strengthens arrangements for the safeguarding of vulnerable children and adults in the Isle of Man.
Mrs Johnston said:
'Most children and adults who live in the Isle of Man do so safely. This annual report highlights good performance and improvement across all the areas of the public service which are responsible for the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children.
'The focus of the Board in the year ahead is to make sure we deliver our plans to continue to strengthen and improve safeguarding arrangements in the Isle of Man. This includes ensuring policies, protocols and practices are in place, up to date, effective, and understood. We also want to ensure that the voices of service users, professionals, and service providers are heard and influence the planning, delivery and evaluation of how safeguarding is carried out on the Island.'
From 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 there were 251 reported adult safeguarding concerns and 124 children on child protection plans.
Mrs Johnston continued:
'Of course, successful safeguarding is very much about preventing harm occurring in the first place wherever possible – whether through better systems, processes, procedures or culture.
'However, there will always be people who mistreat vulnerable members of the community. The Island must not shy away from this fact. Rather than being seen as a negative or something to be alarmed about, the reporting of safeguarding issues must be seen as a positive. It means the systems in place to identify and deal with concerns are working.
'Safeguarding is everybody’s business. Everyone in the community has a role to play. This is the culture I increasingly see in the Isle of Man, but we must not and will not rest on our laurels.'