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Cronky

What The Heck Is A Multi Agency Team?

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Thank you! That was what I was trying to understand. Didn't know the background behind the objections. It might simply be that such things need, as you say, to be 'cut and pasted' over the Island but require alteration after learning from such mistakes.

 

From speaking very briefly to a social worker friend of mine in the UK, he has said that MAT makes complete sense and is good practice where you are having to provide support and meet the needs of vulnerable or abused children as best as possible.

 

Is it really just the misuse of the database which is the problem that people have on the Island?

 

I don't, however, find the loss of data by the government to a prime concern, or even much of one. I have more concern of misuses/use (depending on your politics) by the government.

 

However, this is government we are talking about here. The government purpose is to maintain and increase control over the populace, that's their need. It is therefore no surprise if the amount of information has become too broad or disseminated where it should not.

 

Where have you taken 'Stephen's Story' from?

 

The question is - are we right to simply copy UK legislation parrot style like this or should we be thinking for ourselves?
We? It is the government that introduces these laws and systems over the heads of the public. There is no talk of we unless you yourself are a politician.

 

I am pleased that we (this 'we' means those who have similar views to me at least on this subject)have at last put our case forward to you in such a way that makes some sense. Consider me a sad case if you like but I have been thinking about how to answer your question for a couple of days. The other 'we' you ask about (the government 'we')is intended to indicate that if Tynwald is our parliament, then the 'we' I refer to is the expressed will of the people through its parliament. Sadly our politicians hijacked the Council of Minister system in such a way that they always ensure the outcome they want by using the block vote. The way the block vote kills off debate is explained on the PAG website. Just out of interest, and if you do go to the PAG website, also click on resources then web links, then other sources and read up on the system of Swiss Democracy - it will make you think. No I am not a politician. Stephen's Story was taken from the report I mentioned above and is entitled 'The Database State'. By the way the really disappointing thing for me is that I started out believing that the correct use of data base information could only help - its been a painful journey to where I am now.

Edited by fotysdene

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Well, a little of gossip and perhaps some of the inside track does make me wonder...

 

I have absolutely no doubt of the intentions and credentials of those that have posted on here about MAT. However, there has just been a case which concluded last week and what I have heard makes very unsettling hearing on the way the matter was handled, no doubt stimulated by the best possible motives.

 

So I ask again, on what basis does the state believe it can carry out the parental care function better than the parent to such an extent that it can intervene in every aspect of every family life? If the track record of the state was compared with the average track record of your ordinary human parent, would the state be disbarred from ever having contact with a child, let alone being given the responsibility of raising one?

 

And again, there is a post about a teenager missing - no, not missing, just out of one agency's control (because their control is no more than house sitting because they are not allowed, or too frightened of the legal consequences, to actually act in loco parentis) and reluctantly into another's sphere of responsibility. Will MAT address that?

 

Dudley and Derek, I read your posts and am in no doubt about your commitment to the support and protection of children, but do you really know what you are trying to achieve and are you achieving it?

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The other 'we' you ask about (the government 'we')is intended to indicate that if Tynwald is our parliament, then the 'we' I refer to is the expressed will of the people through its parliament.
The expressed will in what form? You have many who argue that the person you voting for once in power can represent your will, even though I think this is not the case in practice. But you can't have a liberal democratic system that is anything else, no matter what idea PAG might have.

 

Gladys -

So I ask again, on what basis does the state believe it can carry out the parental care function better than the parent to such an extent that it can intervene in every aspect of every family life?
Are you referring to State interference in general or when children get removed from their parents? People have let the State operate like this for a long time and desired that it take control over many aspects of life. On the other hand you have those actually in power and with power in and outside of government who actively seek to gain more control of people. But I think this is a complicated area where you'd need to address the various aspects of interference in turn.

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I've been to busy this week to follow the thread but have just sat down and read it from the start.

 

Gladys can you explain what you meant by this comment?

 

However, there has just been a case which concluded last week and what I have heard makes very unsettling hearing on the way the matter was handled, no doubt stimulated by the best possible motives.

 

Because, it seems to me that the Common Assessment Framework is even more concerning than the MATS. There is no reference to a Common Assessment Framework on the Isle of Man Government website so presumably they are following this form from the UK which seemingly has just changed this last week:

 

Common Assessment Framework form (February 2010)

 

Have a look at just (some) of the information they write down if, as Derek Flint says, a kid 'falls through the grid':

 

Current family and home situation

(e.g. family structure including siblings, other significant adults etc; who lives with the child and who does not live with the child)

 

Speech, language and communication

Preferred communication, language, conversation, expression, questioning; games; stories and songs; listening; responding; understanding

 

Emotional and social development

Feeling special; early attachments; risking/actual self-harm; phobias; psychological difficulties; coping with stress; motivation, positive attitudes; confidence; relationships with peers; feeling isolated and solitary; fears; often unhappy

 

Behavioural development

Lifestyle, self-control, reckless or impulsive activity; behaviour with peers; substance misuse; anti-social behaviour; sexual behaviour; offending; violence and aggression; restless and over active; easily distracted, attention span/concentration

 

Identity, self-esteem, self-image and social presentation

Perceptions of self; knowledge of personal/family history; sense of belonging; experiences of discrimination due to race, religion, age, gender, sexuality and disability

 

Family and social relationships

Building stable relationships with family, peers and wider community; helping others; friendships; levels of association for negative relationships

 

Self-care skills and independence

Becoming independent; boundaries, rules, asking for help, decision-making; changes to body; washing, dressing, feeding; positive separation from family

 

Understanding, reasoning and problem solving

Organising, making connections; being creative, exploring, experimenting; imaginative play and interaction

 

Guidance, boundaries and stimulation

Encouraging self-control; modelling positive behaviour; effective and appropriate discipline; avoiding over protection; support for positive activities

 

Wider family

Formal and informal support networks from extended family and others; wider caring and employment roles and responsibilities

 

That's a hell of a lot of sensitive, subjective and psychological information for someone to write about a family. What qualifications do MAT team members have to make judgment's on all of this? It's been said that families can refuse to give this information out. But can we really trust the MAT people to just go away and leave them alone? It looks to me like quite a bit of pressure is going to have to be put on some families to fill in a form like this.

 

Supposing the MAT team go after a family and just get it all wrong and it turns out there's no problem at all? Stopping child abuse is a highly laudable aim we would all agree but what about families who get looked at when there is not actually a problem? The intrusion might just be an awful experience for them in it's own right.

Some of the thing's the MAT want to check out like 'levels of association' or 'negative relationships' or 'sense of belonging' or 'positive separation from family' are completely open to interpretation. There would be something to say about every child in the land in these respects.

 

Presumably these Common Assessment forms have some kind of legal status? This looks like an advocates gold mine. Just imagine the court work that will arise if any of these assessments go wrong.

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What often baffles me is why when a child is found to be a victim of abuse and is then allowed by social workers to go back to the home they was abused in, that when they get abused again that the social worker is not prosecuted and put on the offenders register because they are guilty of putting the child back into danger and allowing the abuse to happen, mind you with the number of past cases it seems children's homes are a bigger danger.

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.

.

.

Will our politicans just nod the Children Bill through because they fail to study the legislation fully and properly? Our Parliament used to let new legislation in the UK settle down before deciding if it suited us here. They used to look at the pitfalls carefully - now they just dont bother - they dont even have strong debates because they know the Block vote system will force it through whatever anyone says.

 

The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

 

I have sat in the House of Keys and watched while a piece of legislation has been more or less nodded through - clause - by clause - by clause. Fair enough, there were a few points raised by one or two dissenters but their voices were over ruled by the weak mittens waved in the air and the stupid smiling nodding dogs of CoMin and the more bewildered of the 'backbenchers'. Incidentally, the legislation had been placed there by lawyers, not by CoMin.

 

"It’s better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are a fool than to open it and remove any doubt" seemed to be the policy.

 

A similar Bill (in name at least) had passed through Westminster so best play it safe eh!

 

Oh, and I could have slapped the seconder of each clause who sprang to their feet after each clause introduction with "I beg to second and reserve my remarks" but of course, there were no remarks.

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What an interesting thread!

 

On MATs: I have to agree with the view that any effort by the various government agencies to better coordinate their interactions with vulnerable people is to be encouraged. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't see the sinister side to MATs that Cronky and fotysdene do

 

On negativity in MF: I think Dudley has a point regarding negativity for its own sake whenever government is concerned on the part of some participants. The IoM undoubtedly has many dedicated, hardworking public servants, both elected and unelected, who deserve recognition for the work they do on our behalf. The focus on problem issues, however, is not unique to MF and, I would argue, is one of the most important roles of many forums: real and virtual. I try to remain constructive in my criticism, but it's easy to become cynical. I think it's great to see public servants engaging with the forums - Dudley and Derek have obviously been involved for a while, but I noted Juan Watterson has started to participate this week too. It bodes well.

 

On Ctrl+C Ctrl+V of UK legislation: While I don't share fotysdene's specific objections to this particular piece of legislation, I do share a distaste for Tynwald acting as a rubber stamp for Westminster's work: in that case the IoM may as well be another county of England. Surely one of the key advantages of the Island's independent legislature and small size is that it should be able to evolve more quickly and effectively than its larger neighbour to meet the changing needs of its inhabitants and to make the best of the opportunities available to it in a changing world? Tynwald should take what's useful from the UK and other jurisdictions and adapt it to the IoM's circumstances.

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I have sat in the House of Keys and watched while a piece of legislation has been more or less nodded through

No, you haven't.

 

The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Really? And what is the road to Heaven paved with?

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The other 'we' you ask about (the government 'we')is intended to indicate that if Tynwald is our parliament, then the 'we' I refer to is the expressed will of the people through its parliament.
The expressed will in what form? You have many who argue that the person you voting for once in power can represent your will, even though I think this is not the case in practice. But you can't have a liberal democratic system that is anything else, no matter what idea PAG might have.

 

 

It is true that you cannot at the moment 'LA Dolce Vita' because you can only vote for a personality at a general election not policy. This is because your MHK has no way what so ever of implementing his/her policies in the face of the Council of Minister's Block Vote. The best way to change this would be to have a directly elected Chief Minister. The Chief Minister's extra power should then be counter balanced by reducing the number of ministers and MHK's in departments so that the Council of Ministers would find it harder to carry the parliament without listening to its (the parliament's) wishes. This would in effect create two parties - one the Chief Ministers Party (the Council of Ministers)and the other the independent non aligned back bench MHKs. Thus the Chief Minister would have a policy based mandate from the people whilst the back bench MHKs would have much more opportunity to exercise elements of their manifesto upon which they were elected by the people. There is a new piece on the positiveactiongroup.org website entitled ' A New Low For Manx Politics' - it is in this climate that the Children Bill 2010 will come to Tynwald. I am not being flippant when I say that there is a greater likelihood of meaningful debate going on in this topic on the subject than I expect to see in Tynwald when the time comes.

 

(and to answer your other question this also deals with the 'expressed will of the people' which is what the electorate have said they wish to see happen)

Edited by fotysdene

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What The Heck Is A Multi Agency Team?

A convenient way to avoid responsibility.

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CAF and MATs have been running in the UK for some time. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of how they have been put into practice?

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What The Heck Is A Multi Agency Team?

A convenient way to avoid responsibility.

 

Quite so. I wondered who the MATS are accountable to so, a week ago, I posed the following question:

 

Has Tynwald changed the law so that you can set up local partnerships and share family information with local statutory bodies?

 

and there is still no answer.

 

 

Hello again!

 

The answer is no, they haven't changed the law. They didn't have to. The Data Protection Act already provides the safeguards for the sharing of information. And fortunately, the partnerships have just happened here, rather than needing a statutory imposition as they did in the UK.

 

Derek

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What The Heck Is A Multi Agency Team?

A convenient way to avoid responsibility.

 

Quite so. I wondered who the MATS are accountable to so, a week ago, I posed the following question:

 

Has Tynwald changed the law so that you can set up local partnerships and share family information with local statutory bodies?

 

and there is still no answer.

 

 

Hello again!

 

The answer is no, they haven't changed the law. They didn't have to. The Data Protection Act already provides the safeguards for the sharing of information. And fortunately, the partnerships have just happened here, rather than needing a statutory imposition as they did in the UK.

 

Derek

 

As stated above the law has not been changed and therefore MATs appear to be operating unlawfully.

 

The proposal to create the following: co operation between Government Departments for the welfare of children (MATS), Safeguarding Children Board and an information database on every child in the Island, are contained in the Children's Bill. While the proposed Bill is out for public consutlation, MATS and SCB were established last year - I wonder what will happen if the public responses state that MATS and SCB are not wanted or are not necessary for the IOM or Tynwald decides the legisation should not be passed!

 

The Children's Bill is about the welfare of children and NOT child protection or child abuse issues. The overiding objectives are set out in the Bill and mirror the five outcomes from the highly criticised English Every Child Matters project. Every Child Matters is a political policy of the Labour party, it deos not exist in Scotland, Wales or Northern Irleand of indeed any other country. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have both stated they will scrap most if not all of it if they gain power at the next election.

 

According to the press release I mentioned above, the Northern Mats team have already decidied that watching too much TV is not sutiable for your child. In addtion to publishing an advice guide the Northen MATS arranged five different sessions in Primary Schools to educate parents as to how to play with your child. I believe the sessions were poorly attended for exapmle I am told one session consisted of three persons from MATs (at taxpayer's expense ) and one curious memeber of the public.

 

I am sure ther are one or two parents who do not understand that TV is not a substitute for parenting but the vast mahjority of parents do so what was the point of the exerciseand what happens next?

 

For example will Nothern Mats follow up this exercise and now ask children how much and what type of TV they watch and how their parents play with them. If in MATs opinion the child watches too much TV, or the wrongtype of TV or the parent does not play properly wth their child, do they believe they can now intervene in that family's private life?

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Has Tynwald changed the law so that you can set up local partnerships and share family information with local statutory bodies?

Hello again!

 

The answer is no, they haven't changed the law. They didn't have to. The Data Protection Act already provides the safeguards for the sharing of information. And fortunately, the partnerships have just happened here, rather than needing a statutory imposition as they did in the UK.

 

Derek

 

As stated above the law has not been changed and therefore MATs appear to be operating unlawfully.

 

The proposal to create the following: co operation between Government Departments for the welfare of children (MATS), Safeguarding Children Board and an information database on every child in the Island, are contained in the Children's Bill. While the proposed Bill is out for public consutlation, MATS and SCB were established last year - I wonder what will happen if the public responses state that MATS and SCB are not wanted or are not necessary for the IOM or Tynwald decides the legisation should not be passed!

 

The Children's Bill is about the welfare of children and NOT child protection or child abuse issues. The overiding objectives are set out in the Bill and mirror the five outcomes from the highly criticised English Every Child Matters project. Every Child Matters is a political policy of the Labour party, it deos not exist in Scotland, Wales or Northern Irleand of indeed any other country. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have both stated they will scrap most if not all of it if they gain power at the next election.

 

According to the press release I mentioned above, the Northern Mats team have already decidied that watching too much TV is not sutiable for your child. In addtion to publishing an advice guide the Northen MATS arranged five different sessions in Primary Schools to educate parents as to how to play with your child. I believe the sessions were poorly attended for exapmle I am told one session consisted of three persons from MATs (at taxpayer's expense ) and one curious memeber of the public.

 

I am sure ther are one or two parents who do not understand that TV is not a substitute for parenting but the vast mahjority of parents do so what was the point of the exerciseand what happens next?

 

For example will Nothern Mats follow up this exercise and now ask children how much and what type of TV they watch and how their parents play with them. If in MATs opinion the child watches too much TV, or the wrongtype of TV or the parent does not play properly wth their child, do they believe they can now intervene in that family's private life?

The last part caught my attention and a good question really, because is it right that a family's private life is to be looked at by other people, regardless of positive intentions?

My first thoughts are that MATs & whoever should only intervene if the child is being abused, not receiving attention, not receiving an education and a whole load of other areas involving not having a childhood. It is with this in mind, I therefore ask what should be a reasonable question below.

 

1) Is watching tv, playing computer games all day by children a good thing on a regular basis?

Whether your for intervention or not doesn't matter with this question, but it will lead on to other questions that sprout from it.

 

I'm quite prepared to hear out everyone's point of view and if I disagree, then it's probably due to my lack of understanding in certain areas, but I still want to hear your opinions regards the above question.

 

I'll start the ball rolling by saying that the child should not be watching TV/playing games all day although the choice of programs may partially assist their learning. I believe that children need to interact with others so that they become more adept at real life situations and gain confidence through guided intervention by parents/guardians.

 

Ok, bring on the lions........... :rolleyes:

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