Jersey's first Children's Commissioner has been appointed to represent and promote the rights of children, following recommendations made by the Jersey Child Care Inquiry.
Deborah McMillan, who has been described as "an inspirational leader with considerable experience leading change and transformation in children’s services in the UK," will take on her new role from January 2018.
She will lead the new office of the Children’s Commissioner in Jersey, from January 2018, with three new members of staff. The States announced earlier this year that £1.4 million had been aside specifically to create those roles, bringing the total of spending in the care of children, post Care inquiry to £3.2 million.
A former director of children’s services in the UK, police officer and teacher, Mrs McMillan has a 30-year career "...championing the rights and future of all children." She was appointed following a recruitment process which involved being interviewed by a panel of young people.
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, announced Mrs McMillan's appointment to the Young People’s Panel, who were involved in the interview process, on Friday. Senator Gorst congratulated and thanked the Panel "...for their mature opinions and professional approach in helping to make such an important decision for the future of all children in Jersey."
He added: “I am delighted to announce that Deborah McMillan has been appointed as the first Children’s Commissioner for Jersey. This is a unique post that is intended to influence widespread positive change for children and young people in Jersey, transforming understanding and acceptance throughout the community of the importance of children’s rights.
“Throughout her career she transformed services for children, making difficult decisions and making sure services are effective, children's voices are heard and children are safe. I congratulate the new, and first, Children’s Commissioner for Jersey on this significant appointment and wish her every success in her term of office."
Chief Minister Ian Gorst has announced the news of Jersey's First Children's Commissioner Deborah McMillan to the Young People's Panel who were involved in the interview process. pic.twitter.com/NXloY1pq0b— States of Jersey (@StatesofJersey) December 15, 2017
The new Children’s Commissioner, Mrs McMillan, added: “I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as the first Children’s Commissioner for Jersey. This is a vitally important role and I look forward to working on behalf of all children and young people in Jersey to promote and protect their rights and best interests.
“I do not underestimate the challenges that the Office of the Children’s Commissioner will face, but I am determined to use my term of office wisely to drive real improvements in children’s lives and in particular those most vulnerable who are in need of care, protection and support. My work will be guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and I will strive to ensure that it is fully implemented in Jersey, not just by Government but by all those whose decisions have an impact in children’s lives.”
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