12 October 2012
The Council of Ministers has agreed additional measures aimed at helping to protect vulnerable people living in our community, by establishing a Vulnerable Adults Protection Committee and a Vulnerable Adults Policy Group.
The Vulnerable Adults Protection Committee will put in place multi-agency arrangements to help safeguard vulnerable adults, and have the power to commission serious case reviews to investigate apparent failures in service. It will make recommendations to the Vulnerable Adults Policy Group which will provide robust political leadership across all services that impact on, benefit or protect vulnerable adults in Jersey.
These arrangements will mirror the existing Jersey Child Protection Committee (JCPC) and existing Children’s Policy Group (CPG) which was established in 2010 and has delivered clear successes such as developing the Island’s first ever Strategic Framework for Children and Young People and driving forward rules that protect school children from harm by limiting the hours they can work.
The Assistant Chief Minister with special responsibility for Social Policy, Senator Paul Routier, will chair the Vulnerable Adults Policy Group. He said “Jersey has an obligation to protect all vulnerable people from crime and abuse and to make cohesive policy decisions to support their wellbeing. This will become even more important as our population ages and the number of people who are potentially vulnerable and have special needs grows.”
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Anne Pryke, is the current Chair of the Children’s Policy Group. She said “In 2007 our Island was confronted with the realisation that previous systems had not been robust enough to protect children from harm or to ensure their wellbeing. The decision taken by the Council of Ministers will help ensure that is not the case for vulnerable adults."
The new Vulnerable Adults Protection Committee will share a joint independent Chair with the JCPC, creating one identifiable safeguarding champion. The establishment of a Vulnerable Adults Policy Group will help drive forward cross-departmental policy which benefits the wellbeing of vulnerable adults.
Over a period of time, responsibility for the existing CPG will transfer from the Health and Social Services Department to the Chief Minister’s Department, creating a focal point for social policy development which meets objectives in the States’ strategic plan (in particular, the priority to promote family and community values) and reflects the importance that the Council of Minister’s places on social policy.