23 September 2019
The Chief Minister and Children’s Minister have welcomed the Care Inquiry Panel’s review of the changes made to services for children and young people, since the publication of their report two years ago.
The 2017 report from the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry identified individual and systemic failings and gave a voice to those who suffered abuse. In accepting all the report’s findings, the Government agreed that the Panel should assess progress after two years.
The Panel members have now commended the progress made on implementing their recommendations, and they have recognised that a huge amount of effort has been put into starting that change. They describe the appointment of Jersey’s first Children’s Commissioner as a robust demonstration of the Island’s commitment to ensuring that the failures of the past are never replicated and describe the transformation of children’s homes as spectacular.
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “This is a welcome assessment of our investment in giving all children in Jersey an equal opportunity to flourish and fulfil their potential in safety. I am pleased that the Panel has congratulated us on the enormous amount of progress that has been made in the last two years.
“We now have a Children’s Commissioner, a Children’s Minister, a Children’s Rights Officer and we have established a Care Commission which will regulate and inspect services for children. We have recently appointed 17 permanent staff in Children’s Services and are aiming to recruit permanent staff to other positions currently filled by interims.
“We know there is more to do, and the Government Plan will spend more than £20 million per year to make the required changes and provide the right conditions to help all our children to thrive. We are determined to ensure continued progress and I welcome the Panel’s findings, insight and guidance, which I will reflect on in the coming weeks.”
The Minister for Children, Senator Sam Mézec, said: “The top priority in our Government Plan is to put children first and I will be proposing new laws that transform the way this Government helps vulnerable children.
“I have listened to young people with care experience describe their childhoods and explain how services could be better. The planned launch of an independent participation and advocacy service will enshrine these young people’s experience into continued improvements.
“The Government Plan, and accompanying investment, demonstrate our commitment to learning lessons from the past and to improving outcomes for our children and young people, both now and in the future.
“Caring for children is a whole-government responsibility and, as Children’s Minister, I will be working with my colleagues to demonstrate our care for all children and to uphold the rights of every child in the Island.”
IJCI Review 2019