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Jersey’s First Permanent Principal Social Worker Appointed

04 November 2021

The Island's first permanent Principal Social Worker for Children and Families has been appointed. 

Joanne Dempster has taken on the permanent position in Jersey Children's Social Care Service, having spent 18 years working in front-line child protection and children in care services in four local authorities in Central London.

Twenty years ago, Joanne began working with children in care as a residential worker and as a youth worker before qualifying as a social worker to help safeguard and change children and young people's lives for the better.

Having started her career as a newly qualified social worker in Camden Children's Services, Joanne worked in Islington Children's Services and management roles in the Children in Care Service, before moving into senior management roles in Westminster Children's Services Assessment Service and Merton Children's Services Safeguarding and Care Planning Service.

Joanne said: 'It is a privilege to take up the role of permanent Head of Quality and Standards and Principal Social Worker for the Government of Jersey Children's Social Care Service.

"The Senior Leadership Team's commitment and readiness to take forward the improvement of services to children and families is ambitious, clear and transparent for all to see.

"The development of an impressive strong foundation of rights-based values and aspiring practice standards makes clear how the people working in Jersey children's services want to deliver services for families. To be a part of the journey and part of the team driving change is such an important responsibility and I look forward to making my contribution at this exciting time of improvement."

Children and Education Minister, Deputy Scott Wickenden, added: "I would like to congratulate and warmly welcome Joanne to Jersey as our first permanent Principal Social Worker. This appointment is hugely important as we have launched a major recruitment campaign for more permanent social workers to join our passionate and committed staff."

Mark Owers, Director of Safeguarding and Care added: "I am delighted that we have finally filled this crucial position permanently for the first time. The experience that Joanne will bring in practice leadership, amplifying the voice for children, young people, parents and carers and embedding quality assurance is a significant step in our journey to improve Children's Social Care Services.  All members of the Senior Leadership Team are now permanent staff, resident full-time in the Island."

This week the Government of Jersey launched a new national recruitment campaign to build a more permanent and highly-skilled workforce of social workers.

The new recruitment campaign Let's Be Ambitious has been launched today, across the UK, to encourage social workers to consider what a move to Jersey would mean for them and their families, both in terms of working in a small Island community and the cost of living, while featuring stories from those currently working in Children's Social Care Services.

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