Have you been in care, provided that care yourself or worked with the Island’s care and fostering services? If so, you could help a major new inquiry to shed light on what really went on.
A £6 million investigation is underway to find out the truth about historic abuse on the Island and to work out what lessons need to be learned for the future.
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry wants to hear from anyone with information, even if they’ve given it to others in the past.
A police investigation was launched into historic abuse in February 2008 after they announced the discovery of what they thought were the remains of a child buried at the former children’s home at Haut de la Garenne
The discovery caused a media frenzy around the world and although the remains turned out to be nothing more than a piece of coconut shell, the investigation led to many people coming forward claiming to have suffered abuse as children whilst in full-time States care. The police took 1,776 statements. They heard of 533 alleged offences, 315 were alleged to have been committed at Haut de la Garenne, 66 at other homes or institutions and 152 at places where children were fostered or in private addresses.
The States went on to issue an apology and set up a financial compensation scheme for all former residents of children’s homes who were victims of abuse.
There have since been 133 claims for compensation for historic sexual or unlawful physical abuse from people who were children in full-time care at places like Haut de la Garenne between 9 May 1945 and 31 December 1994. Of those claims, 70 have now been settled.
Last year the States agreed to the Committee of Inquiry into historic abuse, a transparent investigation, chaired by a lawyer from outside the Island. It could take two years to get to the bottom of what went on.
A freephone number has been set up so that people can get in touch with a special support team and any potential witnesses will later be contacted by Legal Advisors who will talk them through the process of giving evidence at a hearing.
The team and legal advisors are all independent of Jersey and all information will be treated in confidence.
The freephone number from Jersey and the UK is 0800 735 0100.
International callers can ring +44 (0)1534 828798
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