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New watchdog suggested for Children's Services

New watchdog suggested for Children's Services

Friday 23 July 2021

New watchdog suggested for Children's Services

Friday 23 July 2021

Children's Services, CAMHS, and fostering and adoption, could be subject to annual inspections by a new watchdog as part of plans currently under consideration.

The Government has launched a public consultation to hear views on the idea of extending the Care Commission's remit so that it would regulate a wider range of services.

These services would include:  

  • Adoption services
  • Children’s home services
  • Fostering services
  • Social work services for children and young people
  • Independent monitoring and review of children’s safeguarding arrangements
  • Child contact centres
  • Residential family centres
  • Children and young peoples’ mental health services
  • Care services in special schools, and
  • Children and family community nursing services

Pictured: CAMHS would come under the regulation of the Jersey Care Commission if the proposed ideas went through.

Under the proposed new regulatory framework, any provider of these services who failed to register with the Commission would be committing an offence.

Any breach of standards could result in fines of up to £50,000.

Once the consultation and feedback has been considered, draft legislation will be taken for debate before the States Assembly.

It follows the Care Commission’s own 2020 report, where they noted that they would need to expand their team should an expansion come to pass.

The report stated: “The Commission has been advised of the Government’s intention to extend regulation to include additional aspects of children’s services, for example social work, child protection, adoption, fostering and CAMHS, which will require team expansion over the course of the coming years.”

It added that “the new legislation is expected to come into force in 2021.”

Environment Minister Deputy John Young, who holds Ministerial responsibility for health and social care regulatory policy, said: “The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry recommended that Jersey should introduce statutory inspection of Children’s Services.

“I am proposing to go further and place all social work and outpatient mental health services provided to Jersey’s children under the regulatory oversight of the Care Commission.

“It is important that we get this legislation right to ensure that children receive high quality care both now and in the future.

“That is why I would encourage Islanders to provide feedback on these proposals.” 

CLICK HERE to read and share your thoughts on the proposals.

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