The Isle of Man Safeguarding Board is making “good progress” according to its independent chair Glenys Johnston OBE.
Mrs Johnston was commenting on the Board’s performance between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 as set out in its annual report, which will be tabled at this month’s sitting of Tynwald.
The annual report covers the first twelve months following the Safeguarding Board becoming a legal entity in its own right in March 2019.
Placing the Safeguarding Board on a statutory footing was one of a number of measures put in place by the Government to strengthen safeguarding arrangements for children and vulnerable adults in the Isle of Man.
Mrs Johnston said: ‘I believe that, thanks to the invaluable contribution of partner agencies, the Board is making good progress in improving safeguarding arrangements in the Isle of Man. Safeguarding, by its very nature, is a complex and demanding area of work and a process of continuous improvement. There is no finish line. Like safeguarding boards across the British Isles, there of course remains work to be done here in the Isle of Man and I am confident that the commitment of everyone involved will ensure that progress will continue to be made.’
The annual report sets out a number of key achievements of the Board in 2019 – 2020 which includes:
- The design of a new training programme
- The delivery of safeguarding children training sessions to over 790 people across the public, private and third sectors
- The delivery of the 2019 Safeguarding Forum attended by over 100 delegates on the theme “Working Together” which was highly valued by participants
- An audit of the safeguarding effectiveness of GPs
- The commissioning of an independently led review of multi-agency arrangements for safeguarding adults.
During the year the Board has undertaken one serious case management review, the learning from which was published.
The number of adult safeguarding referrals increased during 2019-20, totalling 378, up from 277 in the previous year.
Mrs Johnston commented: ‘Our message is clear: ‘Safeguarding is Everybody’s Business’. Our work is to ensure that the most vulnerable people in the Isle of Man – whether they are children or adults – are safeguarded and protected. Part of this work is about raising awareness across the Island. For this reason, I see an increase in safeguarding referrals as a positive development. We want a culture where people speak up and report issues of concern. Authorities can only take action when they know that action is needed.
‘I believe the Board and the agencies we work with are succeeding in making sure safeguarding is at the forefront of people’s minds. Everyone in the community has a role to play and I see that message getting through.’