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Inspection of Manx Family Services 18 August 2006

On Monday 31 October 2005, following concerns raised relating to Manx Family Services during the course of the Commission of Inquiry into the Care of Young People, the Department announced that it had commissioned the Bordesley Institute to undertake an Inspection of all services provided by Manx Family Services.

The Bordesley Institute have now reported to the Department and have made certain recommendations.

In line with the Minister’s previous commitment, that the result of the inspection would be made public, the recommendations in the report, together with follow up actions are set out as follows:


  • MFS does not continue to practise in its current form
  • The current Directors of MFS step back from any operational roles they might hold in relation to the care of young people
  • Social Services undertake an urgent management review of the service agreements held with MFS.
  • If the Directors of MFS are willing to co-operate with Social Services, an Action Plan could be drawn up which can identify immediate short and long-term changes in the structure and management of the organisation. This report details aspects of professional practice that needs addressing; any Action Plan should use this information to guide the planning process
  • If the Directors of MFS are not willing to be co-operative, a management team is brought in to assume responsibility for the day-to-day running of the organisation
  • In order to safeguard the wellbeing of young people and staff (which should be seen as the paramount principle in responding to this report), there is an immediate and comprehensive assessment made of each residential unit; identifying good and productive relationships between young people and staff; and agreeing what needs to happen to enable the stability and well-being of the young person to be prioritised. This may require the use of other providers on the island.

At a meeting yesterday held with MFS to discuss the findings of the report it has been agreed that in the interests of children and young people concerned the contractual arrangements between the DHSS and MFS will come to an end.

The newly appointed Interim Director of Social Services, Peter Smallridge CBE will now negotiate the transfer of responsibilities to another service provider who will work alongside the Chief Executive of MFS to effect the necessary transition.

To this end arrangements have been made for St Christopher’s Fellowship to take immediate responsibility for the management of these services whilst the Department and MFS make arrangements for the conclusion of the existing contracts.

The Department is pleased that MFS have agreed to co-operate with them to accomplish these changes in a way that will minimise the disruption to families, children and young people and the staff currently employed by them. So far as it is possible we will seek to ensure the continued employment for the staff by a new service provider and that TUPE principles should apply to any transfer of employment.

Steve Rodan, Minister of Health and Social Security said,

“In view of our duty to provide the best possible standards of care we have had to conclude that there is a need to make changes in order to safeguard the well-being of the young people and staff.”

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