The Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) inspection report for the Isle of Man Children’s and Families services has now been published.
Ofsted were invited, as an external regulator, to carry out inspections of the Children’s and Families services delivered or commissioned by Manx Care.
This included Children’s residential care and accommodation sites and the Children’s Secure Unit, the inspectors also spent time with Children’s Social Care and Social Work Services.
The report identifies a number of concerns and areas for improvement, reporting that substance misuse is a significant concern and that there is a lack of support for care leavers.
Ofsted also noted that some practices and processes create an ‘institutional feel to the environment’, and that there needs to be improvements in access to education for children in care or secure accommodation.
The Children’s and Families services were praised for the nurturing and attentive environment created in homes for younger children. They reported that within the staff there is a sound understanding of children’s well-being, that all children consistently have access to therapeutic services to help promote their emotional well-being and the wraparound service in supporting vulnerable children and families is providing a strong and much-valued service to children and their families.
Manx Care has created an action plan to address the concerns highlighted in the report, and work has already begun on implementing improvements, with a number already completed.
It is evident in the report that Manx Care shows a commitment to the improvement journey. It is also noted, however, that the pace of improvement needs to increase.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Manx Care is using the report to better understand what needs to improve and why, and make recommendations to support a long term strategy for children in care across the Isle of Man Government.
As part of the overarching improvements, a Children’s Services Improvement Board has been created which will be overseen by an Independent Chair. This group will report into the Health Learning and Social Policy Board and have strategic oversight across the multi-agencies that reach into Children’s services, to provide direction, due diligence and monitor the outcomes.
Minister for Health and Social Care, Lawrie Hooper MHK, said:
‘I am grateful to Ofsted for providing us with this thorough report. We know that the services need to improve and develop in order to properly support the young people that we become responsible for, to ensure that we are giving them the best possible opportunities and improving outcomes.'
‘Each of the recommendations highlighted within the reports will be addressed by the DHSC and Manx Care, working in conjunction with the key stakeholders, and raising awareness among professionals to improve the practice of these services to ensure a highstandard of care and protection.’
For more information relating to the assessments and to see the full report and related summary of headlines please visit the Ofsted dropdown on the External Quality Regulation page.