Integrated Services for Children
Integrating Services for Children
Foreword – By the Hon Anne Craine MHK, Minister for Education
The Isle of Man Government is committed to improving the lives of all children and young
people on the Island. This booklet tells you about what we have been doing and what we
plan to do. We want to involve you in helping us to make sure that the planned changes
meet the needs of the Island’s children.
The Government has thoroughly investigated the recommendations of the Commission of
Inquiry into the Care of Young People (May 2006) and has used these to take forward the
improvement of support for children by introducing a number of practice developments
that will support the integration of services.
The Inquiry’s recommendations complement the work of the Government’s Children and
Young People’s Strategy 2005-2010, which sets out five positive outcomes for children;
• Being healthy
• Staying safe
• Enjoying life and achieving
• Making a positive contribution
In order to achieve these outcomes five key steps need to be taken:
1. Jointly delivered, child-centred services with more local delivery
2. Increased early prevention and effective protection services
3. Increased accountability
4. Involving and supporting children, young people, their families and carers
5. Workforce change
In tackling these areas, we are entering a new phase in the way in which children’s
services will be delivered and who will be accountable. My job will change as I move
towards a new role of Minister for Education and Children. I am looking forward to the
challenging work of ensuring that children’s services are working together to improve the
outcomes for children. I know that there is a great deal of commitment and skill in the
children’s workforce and I want to work with you to build on these strengths and embrace
the challenges ahead.
What follows is an introduction to some of the planned changes involved with integrated
working. None of the planned changes has taken place and we are still at a very early
stage. We are taking this opportunity to consult you and gain your views so that you can
help shape the way in which our children’s services develop.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Hon Anne Craine MHK
Minister for Education
The Government is planning a change of approach to children’s services focusing on
integrated working. We want to make it easy for everyone employed in children’s services
to work together and to adopt common processes to deliver front-line services that are coordinated
and built around the needs of children and young people. This will mean that
there will be stronger lines of leadership and accountability created so that everyone will
know what they and others are expected to do.
This new way of working will shift the focus from dealing with the consequences of
difficulties in children’s lives to a proactive, early intervention. It is a change of approach
to working together at all levels and putting the child or young person at the centre. The
planned improvements will mean changes to everyone’s way of working.
This Booklet is for everyone working with children and young people in the Island. Inside
you will find out more about the developments that are planned for the future well being
of children, young people and their families. The main planned changes and what they
may mean for you are in this booklet. If you want to know more about any of these,
please come to one of the Children’s Services Seminars in June and July (dates and
venues on the back of this booklet).
The Government has carefully considered the collective evidence from the Inquiries,
Commissions and Reviews which concerned children and young people which have taken
place over the last ten years these include:
• In 1997, the Leslie Inquiry into the arrangements for the community care and support
of Susan Joughin summed up the lessons to be learnt as: practice, care planning, and
partnership in community care and child protection.
• The main findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Care of Young People 2006
were again about practice, skills of workforce, information, care planning and
• The Inquiry into the death of Nadine Smith 2006 found that care planning,
information sharing and partnerships were recommended for improvement.
• The Health Commission 2006 found there was a need for strong leadership, clear
communication and effective management.
• Finally, in 2007 the Review of Special Needs and Psychology Service in the
Department of Education found the need to improve on skills of workforce, care
planning and partnerships.
There are common threads to these Inquiries and Reviews such as: failure to intervene
early enough; poor co-ordination; failure to share information; the absence of
accountability; frontline workers trying to cope with poor management and a lack of
effective training. Government has responded to these findings and every Inquiry and
Review has brought forward proposals for change and improvement to the child protection
There have been reforms such as the formation of the Youth Justice Team,
neighbourhood policing, the Island Child Protection Committee, Raising primary and
secondary school standards, drug and alcohol education, the formation of community
partnerships in Jurby, Peel and Ballasalla and Tynwald’s agreement of the Children and
Young People’s Strategy but reviews continue to highlight the need that more can and
needs to be done.
Children and Young People’s Strategy
The data contained in the Children and Young People’s Strategy 2005-2010 which was
agreed in Tynwald in July 2005 evidenced the need to change children’s services. The
main focus of the Strategy was to integrate services and processes aimed at securing a
better future for children whatever their background. The Strategy set out positive
outcomes it wanted to achieve for children and young people. These have been further
developed through a task team working on the Commission of Inquiry. They are:
• Being healthy: being physically, sexually and mentally healthy and living healthy
• Staying safe: being safe, secure and cared for; free from maltreatment, accidental
injury or death, bullying, and discrimination and leading lives free from crime and anti
• Enjoying life and achieving: being ready for, attending and enjoying school,
achieving educational/vocational standards and developing social and personal skills.
• Making a positive contribution: being confident, with positive behaviour and
actively engaged in the community.
• Prospering living in decent homes, free from low income and ready at 16 for
employment, further education or training.
The Strategy clearly demonstrated that improving the outcomes for children requires
integrated working of children’s services which put people, practices and policies in place
to reduce the potential risks.
Integrating Children’s Services
In order to integrate children’s services the Government is planning new ways of working
to bring all those who work with children together to deliver improved services for
children, young people and their families. This will require a new framework to be
constructed around five areas of work. The diagram at the end of this booklet illustrates
those five areas. Information on the five areas and the main changes planned in those
Jointly delivered, integrated working with more local delivery
The Government is planning to move towards multi-agency services at the most local level
centred around children, young people and their families. These would offer needs-led
accessible provision reducing duplication and improving coordination. The services will be
at regional locations linking together family centres, schools, youth clubs, police and
health with access to Island-wide agencies such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
The regional centres will provide a full service offering accessible early support, shifting
the balance away from acute services to early intervention and prevention. An important
part of the local services will be Multi-Agency Service Teams.
Multi-Agency Service Teams (MASTs)
The Government is planning to establish regional MASTs which could include practitioners
who are seconded or recruited into a team, making it a formal arrangement. Practitioners
would share a sense of team identity and be managed by a MAST Manager. However,
they retain links with their home department through supervision and training. The MAST
Manager is responsible for bringing together these practitioners from a range of different
backgrounds to achieve results for children and young people that could not have been
achieved by any one department acting alone.
The main components of a MAST might be:
• A dedicated team leader
• A good mix of education, health, social care, youth justice, police and youth work
• People who work in the team think of themselves as team members. They are
recruited or seconded into the team, either full- or part-time
• The team engages in work together with individual children and young people and
also small groups, family or whole schools
• The team may share a base or work from existing bases
• There are regular team meetings to discuss case-working as well as administrative
Five Regional MASTs are proposed around a cluster of schools and communities. For
example a MAST could be located around QEII High School or around a Family centre
such as Bonwick House in Ramsey. A MAST could involve the co-location of staff or can be
virtual in that team members maintain their own offices/clinics/schools but work as a
This new way of working will require an understanding of roles and responsibilities within
the multi-agency team and will be supported by training and supervision.
The Lead Professional
All children and young people who require integrated support from more than one
practitioner should experience a seamless and effective service. This is delivered most
effectively when one practitioner – a lead professional – takes a lead role to ensure that
front-line services have a single point of contact, are co-ordinated, coherent and achieving
the intended outcomes. The lead professional is accountable to their Department - they
are not accountable for the actions of others.
The role can be taken on by any practitioner in the children’s workforce as the skills,
competence and knowledge required to fulfil the role are similar regardless of professional
background. Skills required are the ability to:
• develop a successful and productive relationship with the child and family
• communicate without using jargon
• organise meetings and discussions with different practitioners
• use the Common Assessment Framework and develop plans based on the five
outcomes for children
• co-ordinate delivery of effective early intervention work and ongoing support
• work in partnership with other practitioners to deliver the support plan.
Introduction of the lead professional role will be supported by guidance, training and
Children can only be safeguarded properly if the key agencies work effectively together.
The Government already has an Island Child Protection Committee but this has a narrow
remit focused around child protection and is not set up as a statutory body. The
Government is planning to establish a Safeguarding Board which will be on a statutory
footing and whose remit will be focused around the ‘staying safe’ outcome.
The role of the Safeguarding Board will include coordinating and ensuring the
effectiveness of what their member Divisions and agencies do to safeguard and promote
the welfare of vulnerable children, ensuring that children grow up in circumstances
consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
The Board’s functions may include:
• Developing policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of
• Communicating the need to safeguard children and promote their welfare
• Procedures to ensure a coordinated response to unexpected child deaths
• Collecting and analysing information about child deaths
Increased early prevention processes
The delivery of multi-agency frontline working will be supported by more integrated
processes. These processes will help to identify when children or young people are
starting to have problems and link them together such as missing education or health
problems. Early intervention can then be planned by a number of agencies. The
Government is planning to introduce three processes that will improve the sharing of
information and assist care planning.
Level 1 - the Information Sharing Index (ISI) is the universal services that all children
would be on and would provide base information on date of birth, sex, address school etc
but could be used to raise concerns.
Level 2 - the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is the process to be used by
education, police, health or the voluntary agencies when there are concerns about the
child. It would form the basis of a multi-agency prevention package so that a plan could
be put in place to support the child.
Level 3 - the Integrated Children’s System (ICS) is for children who are or have been with
Social Services. It provides a framework, a method of practice and a business process to
support practitioners and managers in undertaking the key tasks of assessment, planning,
intervention and review. The ICS is designed to be supported by an electronic case record
Information is provided below on two of these processes.
Sharing information is vital for early intervention to ensure that children and young people
with additional needs get the services they require. It is also essential to protect children
and young people from suffering harm from abuse or neglect and to prevent them
It is important practitioners understand when, why and how they should share information
so that they can do so confidently and appropriately as part of their day-to-day practice.
Protocols for sharing information are already in place but there needs to be continued
training and understanding. A simple, basic Information Sharing Index on all children will
be introduced in due course that will enable services to improve their sharing of
The Index will:
• Help early intervention and prevention
• Identify which practitioners are involved with the child so that support can be offered
in a consistent way, minimising the overlapping of services
• Enable `flags` to be placed in the child’s details to raise awareness of other agency
involvement to encourage dialogue between practitioners.
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
A national, common process of assessment is planned to identify more accurately and
efficiently the additional needs of those children at risk and for whom adequate
intervention is not already in place. The assessment reduces duplication of contact and
assessment from practitioners, encourages communication between agencies and
facilitates a co-ordinated approach to meeting the holistic needs of children, young people
and families. The CAF will be for completion by front-line services such as teachers, school
nurses, health visitors and youth workers.
What is the CAF?
• It is in two parts, a simple checklist and the full common assessment
• A gathering of information about the needs and strengths of a child in conjunction
with the family and where appropriate with the child
• A standard format using assessment tools already in place so the terminology used is
familiar to focus on the holistic needs of the child and help identify who and how
other services/practitioners involved with the child can support their needs
The audit and evaluation of the CAF will help identify areas of service requiring
development based on a community’s needs. The CAF does not replace child protection
procedures or statutory assessment.
Joint Commissioning Unit
In addition to the new processes, the Government is planning to improve multi-agency
working across services at the centre of Government. It understands that no single
service can deliver any one of the five outcomes for children by working in isolation. The
Departments of Government who deliver children’s services will work more closely
together to plan and commission work sometimes sharing budgets. Departments will
decide together how best to purchase or provide (commission) some services for children
including drawing in alternative providers such as voluntary agencies to widen options and
increase efficiency. The work of a Joint Commissioning Unit of Senior Officers might
• Looking at the current pattern of outcomes for children and young people, and recent
trends, against other jurisdictions
• Looking within the overall picture at outcomes for particular groups of young people.
• Using all this data and drawing on the views of children, young people and their
families, local communities and frontline staff, to develop an overall, integrated needs
• Agreeing on the nature and scale of the challenges, identifying the resources
available and setting priorities for action.
• Planning the pattern of service most likely to secure priority outcomes and carefully
considering the ways in which resources can be increasingly focused on prevention
and early intervention.
• Deciding together how best to provide those services, including drawing in alternative
providers to widen options and increase efficiency.
• Developing and extend joint commissioning from pooled budgets and pooled
• Planning for the workforce development and other changes and ways of working
necessary to support delivery.
• Monitor and review to ensure services are working to deliver the ambitions set out for
The Government considers that it is very important that there is accountability for
children’s services. There are already Ministers for Education, Health and Social Security
and Home Affairs but there is no political lead for making sure that services are working
together. In addition there is no external person or body regularly looking at how
Government is doing. The Government is planning to improve its accountability by creating
a Minister for Education and Children and a Commissioner for Children and by having
regular external inspections of children’s services.
Minister for Education and Children
The creation of a Minister for Education and Children will help to bring political
accountability for joining up Government services. The Minister will be responsible for
ensuring that Government Services are working together and contributing towards
improving the five outcomes for children. The actions of these Departments in delivering
services will be examined to ensure that they are making a positive difference to children’s
lives such as making them healthier or supporting their training so that they can flourish.
The Government will be making legislation so that a Minister for Education and Children
can be created.
Commissioner for Children
The Island is signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This
is a set of promises to make life better for children and young people. The appointment of
an Isle of Man Commissioner for Children will make sure that those promises are kept.
The Commissioner will work on behalf of children to promote and protect their rights. It
will be part-time post as it is anticipated that there will not be a huge volume of cases on
which to act. The Commissioner will be able to give children and young people a voice in
Government and in public life. The Commissioner will pay particular attention to gathering
and putting forward the views of the most vulnerable children and young people in
society, and will promote their involvement in the work of organisations whose decisions
and actions affect them. The Government will be making legislation so that a
Commissioner for Children can be appointed and their role clearly defined.
The external inspection of services will be a very important part of ensuring that services
are integrating. It will have a key part to play in monitoring planning, accountability and
performance management. Children’s services will be inspected in the short term by an
External Expert looking at the Government’s responses and actions to the
recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry. The external expert will report to the
Council of Ministers. In the long term there will be a programme of external inspections
through Joint Area Reviews (JARs) which will involve greater depth and range across all
children’s services. Both the External Expert and the JARs will look at how services are
Involving and supporting children young people,
their families and carers
The Government is planning to increase the opportunity for children to become involved in
shaping services and for support to parents and carers. This would include:
• Access to a helpline offering advice and help and signposting parents towards local
help and advice.
• The development of an online service directory to enable practitioners to access upto-date
details of the services available to meet the needs of children and young
people. The basic content will include:
Contact details of agencies
• Building on family support programmes, and working with the voluntary agencies to
extend their programme of support to parents. Parents, carers and families are the
most important influence on outcomes for children and young people. The integration
of children’s services aims to ensure that support for parents becomes routine,
particularly at key points in a child or young person's life. The Government, in
partnership with service providers and the voluntary sector will be working to make
sure parents and families have access to the support that they need, when they need
it, so that all children can benefit from confident, positive and resilient parenting,
from birth right through to the teenage years. The steps being taken will support the
An Early Years Strategy
More targeted support being available to meet the needs of families and
communities facing additional difficulties. Types of support offered could include
structured parenting education groups, couple support, home visiting and
employment or training advice.
Family centres and schools offering a coherent set of services both to support
parents and to involve them properly at all stages of a child's learning and
• A Residential and Accommodation strategy detailing support for foster parents, carers
and agencies working with young people and a transitional and aftercare Strategy to
help looked after children as they leave care.
• Further development of Youth Forums to increase the opportunity for children, young
people and their families to become more involved in shaping their services.
The children’s workforce has a wealth and diversity of skills and expertise. The new
structures planned will help integrated working to be effective and to join up across
professional boundaries. However, these will not be enough in themselves to tackle some
issues. Reforming the children's workforce so that it supports the five outcomes more
effectively, with a stronger focus on early identification and prevention, requires action at
all levels from senior officers and middle managers to front-line staff. A clear, supportive
national framework needs to be put in place to underpin this vision. To this end,
Government will be developing training to support a common core of team-working skills
providing a consistent approach to the delivery of care.
Workforce changes may include:
• Develop and train more people within the children’s workforce
• Strengthen inter-agency and multi-disciplinary working and workforce re-modelling
• Promote stronger leadership, management and supervision
• Ensure the children’s workforce is equipped with the skills required to adequately
provide services for the children and young people it cares for
• Ensure a suitable framework is in place to enable professional development of skills
that enable transition across services
The diagram below shows how the planned integrated services would work together to
meet the needs of the child, young person or their family.
Thank you for taking the time to read this booklet. We hope it has been informative and
would now ask you to take the time to respond to the following questions to help us shape
the next phase, implementation of an integrated service for children.
The booklet and questions are also at www.childrensservices.gov.im, you can save the
booklet to your PC, complete the questionnaire and email to email@example.com or
post to: Integrating Children’s Services, Chief Secretary’s Office, Bucks Road, Douglas, Isle
of Man IM1 3PN
Which organisation do you work for?............................................................................
Are you based in the: North South West East
(please circle appropriate answer)
Other, please specify ..................................
1. Do you feel that what is proposed will be of benefit to children and young people?
(please circle your response)
2. Do you feel the integration of children’s services will support the work you do?
(please circle your response)
3. Of the following what order do you consider to be most important?
(please number from 1-4, with 1 – important, 4 – less important)
c) Support from line managers
d) Policies and procedures
4. Would you prefer training to be multi-agency? (please circle your response)
5. Of the following barriers, what do you consider to be the most significant in moving
this phase forward? (please number 1-4, 1 – most significant, 4 – less significant)
a. Lack of professional understanding of one another’s role
b. Poor communication
c. Uncertainty of when to share information
d. Lack of understanding around vulnerability and safeguarding
Thank you for your time.
Integrating Children’s Services - Seminars
We are entering a new phase in the way in which our children’s services will be delivered.
A number of seminars are planned for all those who work with children to hear the plans
for the way forward and contribute to the implementation plan for the introduction of
integrating children’s service on the island. As such Minister Craine, John Cain, Will
Greenhow and David Killip would like to invite you to attend on one of the following dates:
27 th June
Ballakermeen High School, Douglas
17:00 - 20:00 hours
13 th July
Keyll Daree, Douglas
09:30 - 12:30 hours
17 th July
Sulby Primary School, Sulby
17:00 - 20:00 hours
20 th July
Baptist Church, Port St Mary
13:00 - 16:30 hours
25 th July
Phillip Christian Centre, Peel
18:00 - 21:00 hours
This is your opportunity to contribute to the way in which services for children on the
Island will be shaped.
If you would like further information or to book a place, please contact:
This document can be provided in large print or audio tape on request
Integrated Children’s Services
Chief Secretary’s Office
Government Office, Bucks Road, Douglas
Isle of Man IM1 3PN