Isle of Man SCB Logo

Top of page

Size: View this website with small text View this website with medium text View this website with large text View this website with high visibility

1.1 Preface and Introduction


This chapter was updated in August 2018.


  1. Message from the Chair of the Protecting Board
  2. Aims
  3. Compliance with these Procedures
  4. Context
  5. The Scope of these Procedures
  6. Continuum of Need Triangle
  7. Timescales

    Appendix 1: Timescales for Action

1. Message from the Chair of the Safeguarding Children Board 

I am pleased to introduce the on-line child protection procedures on behalf of the Safeguarding Children Board. The procedures cover both those instances where it is clear a child is being abused or neglected and also those situations where there are concerns a child may be at risk of Significant Harm.

These procedures are supported by the Safeguarding Children Board’s Information Sharing Guidance, see the Isle of Man SCB website.

Information Sharing Guidance, reviewed in 2017, and compatible with the Island’s data protection principles. Together these documents provide a solid basis for our work to ensure children are protected from harm and neglect.

Additionally, the Safeguarding Children Board will use them to monitor the effectiveness of our work to protect children and also to inform and develop the Board’s Training Programme, see the Isle of Man SCB website.

I hope you will find these procedures provide a useful framework for inter-agency practice to protect children. They will support sound professional judgement and will provide guidance and information on dealing with complex and demanding situations. You will be kept informed of additions or amendments through updates. Please sign up for the update through the “contact tri-x” tab on the left.

I commend these procedures to you.

Glenys Johnston OBE
Independent Chair

2. Aims


The aims of these procedures are to:

  • Assist decision making when there are concerns that a child is, or maybe, at risk of harm or neglect;
  • Set out the procedures to be followed when a child may be at risk of harm or neglect;
  • Set out the procedures to be followed when a child has been identified as at risk of harm or neglect;
  • Provide guidance to assist practice.
The procedures are designed for managers and practitioners in all agencies who work with vulnerable children and is published by the Isle of Man Safeguarding Children Board (SCB).

3. Compliance with these Procedures

3.1 It is expected that SCB member agencies will ensure that all relevant staff have access to these Inter-Agency Child Protection Procedures and comply with them.
3.2 Any decision not to follow the procedures or to act outside timescales must be made in consultation with the appropriate manager and recorded in the child’s file with the rationale for this decision. The record must be signed by the professional and the manager involved in the decision.
3.3 And decision not to comply with the procedures must be drawn to the attention of the designated safeguarding lead within the organisation.

4. Context

4.1 The contents of these procedures are consistent with the Children & Young Persons Act 2001 – see The Legal Framework for Child Protection Procedure
4.2 This document also draws on lessons from case reviews and current literature relating to safeguarding practice.
4.3 The Commission of Inquiry into the Care of Young People Report (2006) recommended the establishment of a statutory Board responsible for safeguarding children. Once the legislation is enacted the statutory Board will provide the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how agencies will co-operate to protect children and ensure that practice is effective.
4.4 A central function of the SCB is to develop procedures and guidance to support staff in protecting and safeguarding children on the Isle of Man.  

5. The Scope of these Procedures


The ‘Hierarchy of Need’ triangle below shows the different category of need a child might experience at different times in his or her life. The categories relate to:

  • Children who are clearly in need of protection from harm or neglect;
  • Children who may be at risk of Significant Harm and who need to be assessed in order to clarify if they need protection or additional services;
  • Children who are in need of additional services;
  • Children whose needs are met within their family, community and universal services.

6. Continuum of Need Triangle

Click here to view diagram showing the area of need covered by these Procedures.

6.1 These Child Protection Procedures provide guidance in dealing with the top two categories.
6.2 A child’s level of need will vary depending on factors such as changes in circumstances, individual resilience, support and successful interventions. Practitioners should always aim to return a child to the lowest level of need where they will be safe and able to flourish.
6.3 If any practitioner is in doubt about whether or not their concerns about a child fall into the top two categories they should discuss them with their manager or designated person. The rule must always be ‘If in doubt – refer’ to Social Services.

7. Timescales

7.1 The arrangements for protecting children require practitioners to act within specific timescales. These are set to ensure that referrals, assessments and the Child Protection Conference process are dealt with in a speedy, focussed manner.  Where there are decisions to act outside of these timescales these must be discussed and agreed with senior or designated staff in the agencies involved and the rationale for delay must be recorded.
7.2 Any delays must be in the interests of the child. If delays are related to organisational resource issues, these must be reported to the SCB.
7.3 Appendix 1: Timescales for Action summarises the timescales contained within these procedures.

Appendix 1: Timescales for Action

Click here to view 'Timescales for Action'.