24 July 2017
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, has requested that the Jersey Care Commission make arrangements for the independent inspection of children’s services. He has done so in response to recommendation three of the Jersey Care Inquiry.
The Chief Minister has used powers provided under Article 28 of the Regulation of Care (Jersey) Law 2014 to make this request. The independent inspection of children’s services will be in addition to the inspection of children’s care homes, which are already allowed for in draft Regulations that are due to come into force at the end of 2017.
Senator Ian Gorst said “The Care Inquiry called for truly independent inspection arrangements which will have the confidence of children, staff and the wider public. In order to provide that independence I have asked the Jersey Care Commission, which is itself an independent entity, to lead on commissioning independent inspectors to undertake the necessary work. This will include the Care Commission determining matters such as the scope, timeframe and schedule for inspections, plus the inspection agency to be used. No Minister or government department will play a role in the commissioning process.”
Glenn Houston, Chair of the Jersey Care Commission said “The Commission welcomes the decision taken by the Chief Minister to request truly independent inspection of children’s services. The Commission is already committed to ensuring that, during its first full year of operation, there will be independent arms-length inspection of children's care homes. It will now also ensure that arrangements are put in place for the inspection of wider children’s services.”
“The children’s care home inspections will be carried out by skilled independent inspectors supported by young people who have experienced care. The inspection will provide opportunities for children and young people to speak privately about their experiences of living in a care home, and will ensure that each care home operates a complaints system that ensures all complaints are properly investigated, outcomes reported and that children and young people are encouraged to speak out. The Commission will apply the same principles to the inspections of wider children’s services”.