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"Impossible" regulation forces closure of separated family centre after 23 years

Friday 13 January 2023

"Impossible" regulation forces closure of separated family centre after 23 years

Friday 13 January 2023

A war of words has broken out between the care regulator and a centre for bringing together separated parents and children, which this morning said it had been forced to close due to “impossible” regulation.

Milli's Separated Family Centre to provide a safe environment for children of separated families to maintain a relationship with both parents.

However, the independently-funded organisation has said regulation introduced over the last two years had redefined the definitions of contact in a way that made it "impossible for us to do any work".

In a statement, a spokesperson for the family centre said: "It should be noted that at no point during this consultation process, or the drafting of the regulations, did anyone from the Care Commission approach Milli’s to visit us to see the contact centre. Many people have an idea that child contact centres operate like playgroups or nurseries but that is not the case, child contact centres are unique in their operation.

"It can be hard to understand without seeing it in person and we would have been delighted to welcome the Care Commission to observe the running of a contact centre with 23 years of experience."

They added that they understood "another organisation" was planning to open a child contact centre.

"We wish them the best of luck with this endeavour.

"This is not the end for Milli’s Separated Family Centre. As Jersey has one of the highest levels of family separation in Europe we will continue, as we have for some 25 years, to be there for anybody requiring support, information, and advice about family separation."

Responding this morning, the Jersey Care Commission strongly refuted the claims.

A spokesperson said: "On Tuesday we launched our new standards for Children's Social Care. The Jersey Care Commission standards are statements which set clear expectations about how different children's social care services should be provided and: show what people should expect from the care they receive; set out what the people who provide care must do to meet; the expectations of people who use care services; and provide a structure that can be used for inspection."

They continued: "Prior to developing these new standards, we hosted a consultation in September 2022, enabling islanders to share their insights and feedback regarding the proposed standards.

"As an independent regulator, the Jersey Care Commission regulates and inspects services for both adults and children, provided by the Government of Jersey private providers and the voluntary sector to ensure that people receive high quality and safe care.

"We refute the allegations made in the statement made by Milli's Separated Family Centre today. All of the providers of care were consulted prior to the implementation of the new standards and we have met with Milli's to develop with them the standards they are required to meet, which we believe are achievable and appropriate. The new standards are required in supervised and supported centres. Our priority in implementing standards for children's social care services is the safety and wellbeing of the children involved.

"We will continue to work with Milli's Separated Family Centre to support them in their understanding of the requirements and to ensure that they can continue to function."


Lack of supervised contact centre 'detrimental to local children'

“Separated parents, you are not alone”

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Posted by Keith Marsh on
This is the problem when regulation does more harm than good.
Such a shame to loose this valuable resource
Perhaps the Jersey Care Commission would have been better IF instead of issuing a denial worked with the Centre to ensure they could keep working.
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