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Are Jersey’s children safer now than two years ago?

Are Jersey’s children safer now than two years ago?

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Are Jersey’s children safer now than two years ago?


A panel, whose groundbreaking report identified severe and longstanding failings in the island’s care system, is investigating whether Jersey's children are safer now than two years ago.

It’s been almost two years since the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI) compiled its report into the island’s care system since 1945, but now the panel are coming back to check on whether their eight key recommendations have been properly implemented.

The IJCI Review will be carried out during the spring, with a fresh report due this summer about whether the island's young people are now safer in care than they were when the Inquiry’s initial investigation took place.

A new website created for the review states: “The Panel identified 10 failings underlying the findings that it made. These failings allowed abusive regimes and practices to persist and flourish in the care system in Jersey for many decades causing severe and enduring harm to many hundreds of children. The Panel made eight areas of recommendation which the States of Jersey accepted to improve the safety, quality and effectiveness of its care of children on the island.”

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Pictured: It's been almost two years since the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry presented their report to the States.

The site acknowledges that, since the original report, “Jersey has embarked on a major programme of change in its public sector structures, processes and practice and has made significant investment in services for children and young people.” 

However, the panel have now been invited to make their own mind up about whether its recommendations have been fully implemented.

These eight recommendations, informed by 10 key failings which persisted in the island’s care system over 70 years and eight “lessons” which can be learned from these shortcomings, are as follows:

  • appoint a Children’s Commissioner;
  • give children a voice;
  • instate a requirement for services to be inspected;
  • build a sustainable workforce;
  • update legislation for children;
  • require elected politicians to be trained in the ‘corporate parent role’;
  • tackle ‘the Jersey Way’;
  • deal with legacy issues.

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Pictured: Jersey Children's Commissioner Deborah McMillan and Minister for Children Senator Sam Mézec - roles that were both created after the IJCI report.

The review will involve various methods of investigation to establish this, including: 

  • meetings with key stakeholders in the care sector including politicians, professionals and those who have been through the care system in Jersey;
  • visits to “establishments, organisations and projects” to do with care in the island;
  • public discussions between 20-24 May at St. Paul’s Centre;
  • reviewing over 200 documents and data sources;
  • public consultation via an online survey;
  • examining the level of independent scrutiny in the island which holds the government to account.

The website has more information as to how islanders can help the review gather the information it needs.

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