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JCPC annual report

19 August 2011

Revised procedures have been introduced by the Jersey Child Protection Committee (JCPC) to better protect children in Jersey.

The JCPC ensures that statutory, independent and voluntary organisations in Jersey work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the Island. The annual report for 2010-2011 shows that the committee’s focus on inter-agency co-operation should result in improved practice and greater public awareness.

The report has been produced by the JCPC Independent Chair, Mike Taylor, who said that, despite some disruption caused by the Comprehensive Spending Review and organisational changes, it had been a good year for meeting work programme targets and for raising the profile of the JCPC.

Mr Taylor said: "We held a conference in September 2010 which demonstrated the great enthusiasm for learning and commitment to improve service quality. Revised multi-agency procedures have been published and these are now being tested for application. This is a major step forward and will form the basis of future practice. Sound procedures, easy to understand but not stifling professional judgement, are essential to the safety of children."

Referral audit

The referral audit published by the JCPC confirmed that there was a lack of multi-agency data available to inform planning, resource allocation and decision-making. This will be a major focus of work in the coming year as the means to measure and improve multi-agency performance will be developed.

Mr Taylor said: "We now understand better the volume and flow of child protection referrals into Children’s Services. The referral audit has raised questions about the content and timing of referrals and has challenged the consistency of response and communications between agencies. All of these areas are essential to ensure the proper protection of children and work will be carried out on these issues and reported to the Children’s Policy Group."

The report also raises concerns about the lack of progress with 2 of the Williamson recommendations; the development of an Independent Reviewing Service which both chairs multi-agency meetings in the looked after and child protection contexts and also has the power to challenge plans for the child or young person concerned; the establishment of an Independent Advocacy Service for Looked After Children.

Mr Taylor said: "It is essential that the true worth of defined independence in these services is realised and that all children have access to high quality support outwith the States services. Such facilities add value and bring constructive challenge to practice and procedures. They give us all greater confidence in the safety and consistency of our work with the most vulnerable children."


Mr Taylor said there were no grounds for complacency in child protection work. He welcomed the inspection into services for looked after children currently being undertaken by Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland. This will form the basis of a multi-agency action plan, the delivery of which would be led by the relevant ministers. He recognised that committing to this inspection was a positive step by children’s services and demonstrated a commitment to test policy and practice.

Work to improve the service remains ongoing and Mr Taylor said consideration was being given to amending the law so as to define the committee’s statutory basis. He said: "The JCPC together with its partner agencies need certainty about its role and position in the States of Jersey. Changes will give greater definition to our statutory role and more effective influence in our constructive challenges to policy and practice."

The report also raises concerns that financial and human resources services have been inconsistently applied resulting in difficulties for the JCPC through having to invest considerable time in corporate systems and restricting capacity to plan with confidence.

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