Manx social care department investigates bullying claim

The Manx Social Care Minister has vowed to investigate claims of bullying by social workers in his department.

Martyn Quayle responded to accusations from a family whose plight was highlighted in Tynwald last week.

MHK Chris Robertshaw told the court how a couple had been “bullied, mislead and confused” by social workers before their child was taken from them.

Mr Quayle said: “What was stated in Tynwald did not necessarily give a full account of the issues involved.”

He added: “However I did promise that I would fully investigate the circumstances of the case referred to in Tynwald and this is being undertaken.”

MHK Chris Robertshaw also stated that the family involved were informed by one social worker that there had been an “almighty cock-up” in their case.

He brought attention to the issue in an attempt to persuade Tynwald to force an external inspection of the Department, something which was recommended in 2006 by the Commission of Inquiry into the Care of Young People Report.

This was commissioned after two 16-year-olds in care were sexually assaulted and murdered in the Isle of Man.

The subsequent inquiry stated that Manx health services available to children needed “regular external validation” to ensure high standards.

There has been no external inspection since this report was published although two internal assessments have been undertaken.

Mr Robertshaw said: “While they are trying to get the department up to speed, and I respect that they are, they are not being careful enough with the families and children they are dealing with right now”.

Tynwald voted to uphold the original plan, giving the department more time to prepare for a full independent external inspection of children’s services in 2012.