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Important news about our services

We are re-focussing our services

The Children's Centre has announced the withdrawal of some of its existing services in response to an in-depth review and research, which will see the charity refocus its activities back to its core services.

The services being withdrawn cover the commercial aspects of the charity. The first of these is The Children's Centre's early years services. The second is the Family Placement Service (FPS) which it is contracted to deliver for the Isle of Man Government's Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The early years facilities will close on 23 March 2018, and the FPS contract will transfer by October 2018.

The withdrawal of the early years services, along with the overall refocus of the charity, will result in redundancies in early years staff and also some central and charitable services.

However, the DHSC has confirmed that the current FPS team will be transferred to the new arrangements made by the Department for that service.

Fiona Dawson, CEO, explained: 'In our 150th year, The Children's Centre is taking active steps to refocus its activities back to its core services to ensure it remains relevant and able to operate sustainably in a challenging environment – fulfilling as much as possible of what the Island needs us to be and do.

'Following an in-depth review of services provided, along with broader analysis of the operating environment, The Children's Centre will continue to focus on adding value to the Isle of Man community to meet the needs of children, young people and families.'

The Children's Centre will now focus on early help and support ('Tier 2') needs only – defined within the Isle of Man Integrated Continuum of Need as: 'Some children and young people are identified with additional needs that requires some targeted support and intervention to prevent any deficit in their health, education and wellbeing.'

There are four tiers of need:

Tier: 1 – Universal NeedsTier; 2 – Additional NeedsTier;  3 – Complex Needs (provided by Isle of Man Government) Tier: 4 – Safety/Protection Needs (provided by Isle of Man Government)

Fiona said: 'Universal Needs can be and are being met by other existing providers in a competitive environment, and the aim is that by focusing on early help and support where there is an increasing demand, we will focus resources on reducing the need for higher level intervention services.

'Our focus remains on community solutions and support via outdoor and other activities, including the Community Farm and MOBEX outdoor adventure. We will also develop our outreach, advice and support services for children, young people and their families. Where we no longer provide services, we will signpost to appropriate service providers.

'As a result of this refocus, The Children's Centre is withdrawing some existing services, including our early years facilities, which include the nursery, breakfast, after school and holiday clubs at Woodbourne Road in Douglas and the nursery at Laxey. We have also given formal notice on our intention to withdraw from the FPS contract we deliver for the Department of Health and Social Care.

'The reason for this announcement is to give current service users as much time as possible to source alternatives. We have contacted all the service users affected and are giving them as much help as we can to find alternative providers. The Children's Centre will work with relevant government departments to achieve smooth handovers where appropriate to minimise disruption for service users.

'This transition will have an impact on around 20 service delivery and back office roles and we are supporting employees through the process and, where required, in seeking alternative employment.'

Fiona added: 'The research we have undertaken has shown a need for The Children's Centre to return its focus to its charitable services, moving away from any involvement in commercial activities. We have perhaps blurred the line in recent years, about where the Children's Centre should be operating. These developments are about streamlining our services and the size of our team, reducing back office staff to an absolute minimum and focusing on the charitable services we will develop and continue to provide in response to the changing needs of the Island.

'Our vision and focus remain constant: putting children, young people and families first, and by doing so make the Isle of Man a safe and progressive community – one of the best environments in the world to be born, raised and live – and we believe we can continue to develop and deliver first class services. By refocusing on our charitable services, we will move forward in a clear direction.'

How can you help?

There are many ways you can support our work.

  • £3,000 per day to run our charitable programmes
  • £7 benefit for every £1 spent on Thriving families programme
  • 40% of local children and young people engaged in our services
  • 16 groups of all ages hosted at the Farm each week