PUBLIC bodies’ lack of self examination of their child protection work has been described as 'deeply worrying’ by the outgoing chairman of the Island’s Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
Speaking at a meeting of the Children and Young Person’s scrutiny panel, Pam Robinson criticised public bodies, such as the police and health visitors: "The only way you are going to know whether the quality of work is good is by a regular audit programme.
"What is needed is a multi-agency partnership. For whatever reason, that has not been possible to progress on the Isle of Wight. That has been deeply worrying."
She also said some public groups on the Isle of Wight had not been attending board meetings regularly.
She told members: "It has been frustrating. We have not had regular attendance from probation, the voluntary sector or education representatives."
Speaking after the meeting, the chief executive of the Hampshire Probation Trust, Barrie Crook, said the trust took its role as a member of the board very seriously but the nature of its work meant that, on occasions, staff were required for other operational matters.
Figures from the Isle of Wight Local Safeguarding Children Board’s annual report revealed representatives from the Island voluntary sector had only attended one out of a possible six board meetings during 2011/12 — an attendance rate of 16.67 per cent.
Ms Robinson highlighted how the past year had been 'exceptional’ with public bodies experiencing phenomenal change.
She said: "I think the Isle of Wight has done well in spite of the changes."
The Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Dawn Cousins, said letters would be sent to agencies reminding them to attend board meetings.