24 September 2019
The Government of Jersey has today announced the permanent appointment of a new Director of Children’s Safeguarding and Care.
Mark Owers, a social worker who grew up in the Island and started his career in Jersey’s Children’s Services, is returning “back home to Jersey” having been appointed as the new Director of Children’s Safeguarding and Care.
Mark joined Jersey’s Children’s Services in 1991 and spent two years as a family support worker. The experience inspired him to become a children and families social worker and he qualified six years later.
He spent the next 22 years working in children’s social care, passionately seeking to protect and improve the lives of vulnerable children.
Director General of Children, Young People, Education and Skills, Mark Rogers congratulated Mark Owers on his appointment. Mr Rogers said: “Mark has worked at all levels of the system; as a practitioner, manager, practice educator, lecturer, regional director and government adviser.
“Mark is passionate about improving outcomes for children, young people and families. He brings a wealth of relevant experience from his roles in local authorities and is currently an adviser to the UK’s Department for Education on looked after children, stability and permanence.
“I am delighted to welcome Mark to the Department, with his family, and to where he grew up and started his working life in Children’s Services in the Island.”
Mark Owers said: "I am delighted to be coming home to the Island as the Director of Children’s Safeguarding and Care. I was incredibly lucky to grow-up in Jersey and I enjoyed a wonderful childhood and adolescence. My aim in my new role is to ensure all children benefit from a safe and happy childhood in Jersey.
“I have long wanted to return home to the Island armed with extensive knowledge, skills and experience to help lead and develop the Children’s Service, together with partners, and to help improve the safeguarding of vulnerable children and the outcomes of all children in Jersey.
“Jersey has enabled me to achieve great things in my career and it will be a privilege to give back to the Island, while also role modelling the benefits of time away. My wife and our five young children – adopted siblings aged 12 and 9, and birth triplets aged 6 – love the Island as much as I do.”
Apr 2015 – Present - Director Owers Advisory Ltd
Mark is a UK Government adviser on the regionalising adoption programme. He was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education to review foster care in England together with Sir Martin Narey. Their report was published in February 2018 and the UK Government published its response in July 2018. He is member of the UK’s National Stability Forum and the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board.
Mar 2014 – Apr 2015 - Chief Executive: Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (UK)
Mark was the Chief Executive of the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies where he led the voluntary adoption sector with a collective net worth of £50 million.
Nov 2012 – Feb 2014 - Director: Core Assets Children’s Services
Mark was a Director of Core Assets Children’s Services and responsible for all services delivered to 72 local authorities in London, the South East and South West.
Feb 2009 – Dec 2011 - Delivery Adviser/Team Manager: UK Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit
Mark led on child safety and child health for the UK Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and he was a member of the National Safeguarding Board.
Dec 2011 – Nov 2012 - Associate Head, Strategy Unit: NSPCC
At the NSPCC, Mark led on child protection in the digital age. His doctoral research was on the impact of fatal child abuse on local authorities.
Mark has published research on serious case reviews (See Owers, M., Brandon, M. and Black, J. (1999), "Learning how to make children safer: an analysis for the Welsh Office of serious child abuse cases in Wales", UEA/Welsh Office.)
Aug 2008 – Feb 2009 - Head of Performance: Youth Justice Board
Feb 2006 – Aug 2008 - Head of Performance Improvement: Youth Justice Board
Mark was Head of Performance at the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales and strategic lead for system performance in England and Wales.