09 March 2018
Children, families and the community are being invited to contribute to developing a fundamental new Children’s Plan for Jersey and have their say at an ‘Engagement Day’ next week.
It is a chance for everyone, of all ages, in the community to share their views on how the States of Jersey can improve children’s opportunities and experiences to make Jersey ‘the best place for a child to grow up in’.
Details of the work involved in developing a Children’s Plan for Jersey will be made public for the first time at the ‘Engagement Day’ on 14 March, at Hotel de France, an event which is open to everyone from politicians, parents and the public to charities, children and families.
The aim of the day is to give key groups of adults and children the opportunity for an early look at the proposed priorities within the development of a new Children’s Plan for Jersey, which is expected to be published this summer.
Responding to the Jersey Care Inquiry
One of the recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry was to develop a new Children’s Plan to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families in Jersey. Work has been ongoing for months to draft new ideas.
And during the inquiry it was also recommended that children should be part of developing that plan.
Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst, who will host that day’s Council of Ministers meeting at the hotel to enable ministers to attend events throughout the day, said: “The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry identified the importance of a Children’s Plan as a key document that should enable a single vision and alignment of effort behind quantifiable outcomes.
“The Children’s Plan for Jersey will be a shared vision for everyone working with children and young people in Jersey in an effort to place the child and family at the centre of everything we do.”
The new Children’s Commissioner for Jersey Deborah McMillan is also participating in events during the day.
Discuss the plan at Hotel de France
Andrew Heaven, Director of Children’s Policy who is leading the work on the Children’s Plan and organising the Engagement Day, said: “I would like to invite children and their families to this special event. We have created a child and family friendly afternoon which we hope will help families to come along and give their own view on how we improve children’s opportunities and experiences.”
Mr Heaven added: “It’s really important that we get a wide variety of people to comment on what has been developed so far. This will ensure that everyone’s views have been heard and will help us to check that nothing is missing from the final plan.”
During the morning sessions professionals, front line workers and politicians will hear from the key speakers at the event and the afternoon sessions of the Children’s Plan Engagement Day will be a family-friendly event and open to the public from 2pm – 6pm.
Nigel Richardson is one of the key speakers at the Engagement Day. His most recent position was the Director of Children’s Services at Leeds City Council where he helped develop the idea of Leeds as a Child Friendly City– Child Friendly Leeds
Mr Richardson said: “I am delighted to have been invited to speak at this important event in Jersey. A simple clear and collectively owned Plan to make Leeds a Child Friendly City was central to an improvement journey that saw Leeds move from being labelled as one of the worst children’s services in the UK to being formally recognised as one of the best. I hope that sharing the Leeds story at this event will help the States of Jersey along a similar path resulting in improved outcomes for children young people and their families.”
Celine McStravick, Director of National Children's Bureau, who led a similar piece of work in Northern Ireland, is also a key speaker at the event.
Celine said: “National Children’s Bureau have been working with and for policy makers and practitioners in Jersey for the past two years and we are always impressed by the commitment shown to make change happen. Today is about building on that commitment, making sure we invest in strong collaborations across the public, private and voluntary sector and listen to children, families and communities. We need to understand the difference we can make together, then Jersey can be the best place for a child to grow up.”
#cplanjsy will be used throughout the day to share tweets and updates