The Chief Minister has confirmed the appointment of Rob Callister MHK as the Island’s new Children’s Champion – a figurehead position designed to give vulnerable children a voice.
The role is focused on representing the interests of children in care, young carers and children with complex needs, when decisions that will affect them are made.
As Children’s Champion Mr Callister will liaise closely with elected members and senior government officers, keeping them informed about the rights and needs of vulnerable children.
He takes over from Tim Baker MHK, who was appointed Infrastructure Minister earlier this month, following the departure of Chris Thomas from the Council of Ministers.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle said: ’I’m delighted that Mr Callister has accepted the role and I know he will be an energetic and enthusiastic Children’s Champion, keen to support vulnerable youngsters and help ensure their views are heard. I thank Mr Baker for his commitment and efforts in the role, which will continue to develop in new hands.’
Mr Callister said: ‘I am honoured to accept this important role and look forward to hearing about the diverse concerns, needs and aspirations of looked-after children, young carers and children with complex needs. I will reflect carefully on what they say and take opportunities to promote their views to wider government. This is an area close to my heart and I am grateful for the opportunity to help provide a voice for vulnerable children.’
Mr Callister has also been invited to take on responsibility in a second government role, as a member of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture. He joins the DEFA political team alongside Martyn Perkins MHK, with the third slot still to be filled. The shake-up follows the departure of Mr Baker to DOI and the retirement from Tynwald of long-serving member David Cretney.