In light of the recent publications of the self-neglect and homicide reports, the Manx Independent has taken a look at the Safeguarding Board, what can come out of these reviews, and where to go if you have any safeguarding concerns.
The Safeguarding Board was established under the 2018 Safeguarding Act, and it covers the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
The board is a partnership of the agencies that have safeguarding responsibilities on the island, and comprises an independent chair; the chief officers of health and social care; education sports and culture; home affairs; the chief constable; director of public health and three independent members.
A spokesperson for the Safeguarding Board said: ‘The board’s role is to ensure that the agencies are working effectively to identify safeguarding risks, appropriately assess those risks and put in place plans to reduce risks and improve outcomes for those citizens.’
They added: ‘The greatest challenges are ensuring effective consistent safeguarding practice across all agencies and sectors, and being reassured that information is being appropriately shared to safeguard the most vulnerable citizens.
‘The board has recognised that a lack of information sharing can be a huge barrier to effective safeguarding practice and has developed a new information sharing protocol, practice guidance and myth busting leaflet to support improved practice.’
The Safeguarding Board is given powers within the 2018 Safeguarding Act to hold agencies to account.
The spokesperson said: ‘The chief executive officers and leaders of the key organisations are members of the Board specifically to enable them to hold their staff accountable to deliver the required improvements.
‘It is the independent chair’s role to hold board members to account for delivery.’
Following the recent report regarding the homicide of a mother by her son, and attempted murder of the father, the Safeguarding Board made various recommendations in relation to domestic abuse, young carers, the role of GPs, and information sharing.
The Safeguarding Board spokesperson said: ‘Effective safeguarding practice can only be achieved when agencies work closely together, share information, identify risk and put joint plans in place to reduce those risks.’
They added: ‘There is also a real concern that safeguarding is not seen as everyone’s responsibility on the Island and that there is a reticence to report or escalate concerns. The Board is keen to engage communities and all sectors in reporting and sharing concerns.’
If you have safeguarding concerns, the Safeguarding Board’s website details who to contact, and provides information and advice for individuals concerned of safeguarding.