27 July 2017
Recruitment for a Children’s Commissioner for Jersey has begun. When the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry published its findings earlier this month, the establishment of a Children’s Commissioner was its first recommendation.
The Chief Minister, when responding to the Inquiry’s recommendations, said the government would appoint a new independent Children’s Commissioner to champion the rights of all children and young people.
Senator Ian Gorst said “The Care Inquiry called for independent oversight arrangements which would generate confidence among children, staff and the wider public. We need to continue to put new resources into protecting the most vulnerable in our society, and this position is central to that task.
“The role of Children’s Commissioner is critically important in achieving this. It will drive radical change in how we care for children and young people in Jersey, and ensure that our government and organisations seek to continually improve services for children and young people. Where challenges are identified, the Commissioner will work with those organisations to find solutions.”
Contingency funding of £1.8 million has been allocated to establish and support this new post for the next three years. Four temporary positions will be created to allow the role to start in shadow form by the end of the year.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Andrew Green, said “The Children’s Commissioner will have a key role in holding government to account on its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was agreed in June 2014. The post holder will speak up for children and young people so that policymakers and other people who have an impact on their lives take the views and interests of young people into account when making decisions that affect them.”
The Commissioner and staff will achieve this by gathering evidence: talking to children and young people, requesting information from public institutions and then carrying out research and compiling information on the wide range of issues that affect children’s lives.
The Commissioner will report directly to the Chief Minister and is expected to act ‘without fear or favour’ of Government, children’s agencies, and the voluntary and private sectors.
The increase in funding and staffing levels will be the subject of a growth bid for 2020 onwards in the next Medium Term Financial Plan.