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1.1 Values and Principles


  1. Introduction
  2. Isle of Man Safeguarding Children Board
  3. Department of Health and Social Care Intervention
  4. Principles

1. Introduction

1.1 The Isle of Man Children and Young Persons Act 2001 sets the scene for good child care. The majority of this manual concentrates on the policies and procedures that the Department of Health and Social Care (Children and Families Division) must adopt in its dealings with children and their families. The basic assumption of the Act is the belief that children are generally best looked after within their families, with both parents playing a full part and without resorting to legal proceedings. Fundamental to this belief is the concept of Parental Responsibility. Parents are expected to exercise Parental Responsibility throughout the child’s upbringing, even when they, the parents, are separated or the child is away from home.

2. Isle of Man Safeguarding Children Board

2.1 The Isle of Man Safeguarding Children Board is made up of representatives from a range of public agencies with a common interest and with duties and responsibilities to children in their area. It has responsibility for ensuring effective inter-agency working together to safeguard and protect children on the Isle of Man. The Board has to ensure that clear local procedures are in place to inform and assist anyone interested or as part of their professional role where they have concerns about a child.
2.2 These procedures must be read in conjunction with Isle of Man Safeguarding Children Board (SCB) Inter Agency Child Protection Procedures.

3. Department of Health and Social Care Intervention


The Department must not intervene in the lives of children and their families unless:

  • It is necessary to support children with complex needs and families (In Need); or
  • It is necessary to protect children who are suffering, or who are likely to suffer Significant Harm

4. Principles


In all its dealings with children and their families, no matter what the situation or the specific reason for intervention, the Department must adhere to the following principles:

  • The Welfare of the Child must always be the Primary Consideration

    This is the foremost principle and must supersede all others. It is referred to in all court matters. It must equally prevail in all matters relating to children in need and to all issues of child protection.
  • The Individuality Principle

    All children must be treated as individuals. Each child’s opinion must be listened to and all decisions must take account of the wishes and feelings of the child him/ herself. Though attempts to reconcile the wishes of parents and children must always be made, it must be recognised that children and young people have rights themselves as individuals, which in accordance with the welfare principle described above, might take precedence.

    At all times an individual child’s religion, racial origin, culture and language must be at the forefront of all planning for that child. More generally it must be the right of every child to be afforded the opportunity to experience security, stability, a sense of permanence and a sense of their own identity and positive self-worth. Their needs must most usually and appropriately be met by a child living with his/her own family and community; within his/her own culture, race and religion; and experiencing continuity of social networks.
  • The Partnership Principle

    In all circumstances, no matter how difficult, the Department must strive to work in partnership with the child, his/her parent(s) and/or those caring for him/her.
  • The Consultation Principle

    Before any decision is made consultation with the child, (subject to the child being of sufficient understanding); with his/her parent(s); carer(s); and other relevant interested parties must take place to inform such a decision.
  • The Participation Principle

    It must be the accepted norm that children (subject to their child being of sufficient understanding) with his/her parent(s), carer(s), and other relevant interested parties must be given the opportunity to actively participate in the decision making process. Any deviations from the principle must be recorded and open to challenge.
  • The Accountability Principle

    Accountability is closely linked to partnership, consultation and participation. Clearly a successful partnership must only be achieved if parents and children are advised about, and given explanations of, the Department’s powers and duties and any action the Department may need to take. Decisions of the Department must be clear, minuted and recorded with dissenting views similarly treated. If challenged the Department must be able to explain the logic of its decision making process and must ensure that formal procedures are in place to allow complaints to be fully investigated.
  • The Co-operation/Consultation Principle

    Although not a legal duty, it is expected that all Departments, together with all other relevant authorities (Health, Police, Education, Voluntary Organisations etc.) should consult, co-operate and co-ordinate their activities in order to achieve the best results for the child and his/her family.

See also The Isle of Man Safeguarding Children Board (SCB) Inter Agency Child Protection Procedures, Underlying Principles and Values.