21 March 2018
Jersey’s Chief Minister is leading a delegation of children’s practitioners and young people, with experience in the Island’s care system, on a visit to Edinburgh to meet representatives of the Scottish Government this week.
The visit has been organised as part of a Learning and Exchange project in response to the recommendations made by the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.
Deputy Sam Mézec, the chairman of the Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel, the Children’s Commissioner, Managing Director of Children’s Services, charity and pastoral leader’s and three young people, with care experience in Jersey, are among the visiting delegation from Jersey.
On Friday (23 March) they will meet members of the Scottish Government including Maree Todd the Minister for Childcare and Early Years. Seminars have been organised throughout the day to exchange ideas and learning on different aspects of children’s services.
A key focus of the visit is to understand how young people with care experience are empowered to influence the way that policy is progressed and services are improved. The aim is that learning and understanding can be brought back to the Island to further improve the experience for young people in care.
Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst said: “The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry encouraged us to stay connected to other jurisdictions and actively participate in learning from how others have developed effective responses to the needs of children and young people in care. The purpose of this visit is to share our experiences with representatives from the Scottish Government and voluntary services, identify best practice, and discuss approaches to improvement in our services for children.”
A member of the Jersey delegation said: “We have been inspired to see how challenging stigma, ensuring the care-experienced voice is heard and that children in care are loved is at the heart of reforms to care in Scotland. We are pleased to have the opportunity to learn from our Scottish friends and bring this learning into practice in Jersey.
“The focus of our Jersey-based Learning Exchange group is to enable care-experienced people to have meaningful voice and influence in all aspects of their lives. We are delighted that the Chief Minister is leading us on this visit.”