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Separated family centre to trial reopening

Separated family centre to trial reopening

Saturday 25 March 2023

Separated family centre to trial reopening

Saturday 25 March 2023

A centre for bringing together separated parents and their children, which announced its closure earlier this year after a spat with the regulator, has agreed to trial working under new standards.

Milli’s Separated Family Centre had said regulation introduced within the past two years had made it "untenable" to continue offering its child contact centre provision, which provides a safe environment for children of separated families to maintain a relationship with both parents.

The closure of the service became the subject of discussions between Children’s and Education Minister Inna Gardiner and acting Children’s Commissioner Andrea Le Saint.

The centre argued that the regulations had changed the definitions of contact in a way that made it "impossible for us to do any work", and that the change disrupted the ‘necessary’ separation and independence that enabled it to operate.

However, the Jersey Care Commission maintained that the new standards were "achievable and appropriate" and that it was committed to working with the centre to support them "in ensuring that they meet the requirements of registration" and continue to function.

Inna Gardiner.jpg

Pictured: Children and Education Minister, Deputy Inna Gardiner.

Milli’s Separated Family Centre founder Denise Carroll has since announced that, following talks with the JCC, the family centre would be registering and trialling the standards.

"The volume of supportive messages we have received over the recent weeks proves that there is a great need for a child contact centre. It is an unfortunate fact that the standards will negatively affect our work but for the sake of the children and those who need the service the volunteers will, as they always have, go above and beyond while we attempt to continue our work to these standards," she said.

"We would love to expand our volunteer team and if anyone is able to offer their time on a Sunday morning roughly every three weeks please contact us," she added.

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