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£1.8 million to support vulnerable children

06 July 2017

The Chief Minister has agreed to allocate an extra £1.8 million for projects to support vulnerable children for the next three years.

Senator Ian Gorst has asked the Treasury and Resources Minister to release the funding, which comes from the £4.9 million agreed by the States Assembly in the Medium Term Financial Plan.

This latest allocation will support six initiatives from 2017-2019. They include extra staff for the Youth Enquiry Service and the Children’s Change Programme, a pilot psychotherapy service for parents and babies and a full time staff member to establish on-island social work training.

The Youth Enquiry Service will receive £281,200 over three years to employ more youth workers. They will provide a young person’s one-stop shop and advice centre with extended opening hours and will develop their existing curricular work which targets at risk young people in schools, youth projects and other locations where young people gather.

The Children’s Change Programme will receive £96,050 to ensure young people and practitioners from Jersey’s voluntary and statutory services are involved in a review of the Children and Young People Strategy so it reflects the recommendations of the Jersey Care Inquiry.

The pilot psychotherapy service for parents and babies will receive £176,000 to provide a specialised therapeutic service for high risk babies, young children and their parents or carers. The service aims to improve the parent-child relationship and ultimately reduce the number of children entering the child protection system.

These initiatives will provide valuable support for the people in our community who most need it – parents struggling to bond with their babies, families coping with a child with special needs, vulnerable teenagers who need advice and guidance. Jersey's institutions have failed young people in the past and the government's priority now is to ensure those mistakes are not repeated in the future.

  • Funding of £177,600 will also provide an outreach service to help children with special needs attend mainstream education.
  • £194,400 will allow Highlands College to develop an on-island social work degree course and to cover fees for twelve students starting in September 2018.
  • £868,000 will employ more legal advisers to deal with the increase in advice to Children’s Service and to assist in developing new legislation for children. It’s anticipated the workload will continue to rise in response to improvements in Children’s Services.

The total amount allocated from contingencies will be up to £445,750 in 2017, up to £710,000 in 2018 and up to £637,500 in 2019. The amount used each year may vary but it will remain within the total amount of £1,793,250 for the three years.

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