Service integration reaches the Isle of Man

By Tristan Donovan

| 19 December 2007

The Isle of Man is to follow England's example by integrating its services for children and young people.

The island's government will begin work implementing the changes in January and is also planning to appoint a children's commissioner for the island's 18,461 under 20s.

Simon Griffin, director of social policy in the island's Department of Home Affairs, said: "We've lifted all the principles of the Every Child Matters agenda and are now drawing up a children's plan and forming working groups to work out how best to integrate our services."

The island will, however, stop short of bringing its children and youth services under the control of a single government department.

Instead it will create a children's committee, chaired by a minister for education and children, that will oversee the various children's services controlled by the island's Education, Home Affairs and Health and Social Security departments.

Griffin said the island had not yet decided if extended schools and children's centres would be part of its reform of services. However it will replace its child protection committee with a safeguarding board similar to England's local safeguarding children boards.

Legislation to implement the changes will be put before the island's parliament - the Tynwald - later this year.

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