Children's Commissioner's office
Children's Commissioner's officeProduced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 25 August 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
I note the recent resignation of the Children's Commissioner in Jersey. I have accessed the office of the children's commissioner and found them unhelpful; they simply criticised [personal information redacted] teaching staff who were trying their best. There may now be an opportunity to review the role of the office, from simply an expensive local critic, and I ask the following questions with this in mind:
What is the total amount of money the office of the children's commissioner has cost the Jersey Taxpayer since it was created to date?
What is the total budget for the office of the children's commissioner in 2022?
How many staff does the office of the children's commissioner currently employ? How many are registered social workers? How many are qualified teachers? How many are qualified child nurses? How many current staff were employed from vital front line local Jersey services like social work, childcare, nursing, etc?
Who in Government monitors the work of the office of the children's commissioner?
What feedback is gathered from members of the public, children, young people, families, and professionals who use the office of the children's commissioner? Where is this reported?
What key performance indicators are used to measure the impact of the office of the children's commissioner in Jersey? Where is performance reported?
In a number of recent reports, the children's commissioner has criticised local services. Given local data also indicates growing numbers of young people being arrested, increased exclusions from schools, growing mental health problems, increased detentions of children at Greenfields, what consideration has been given to the fact money spent on the office of children's commissioner (question 1) has not had any impact on local children's quality of life; in fact, as the commissioner has stated, things have got worse under her watch?
Given the reports of local social work vacancies and problems recruiting, has there been consideration to reposition qualified staff (question 3) from the office of the children's commissioner into front line services where they may be able to have an impact?
In the last 12 months, between July 2021 and July 2022, how many times, and on what dates, did the children's commissioner visit key government departments and meet local social care staff in Liberte House; youth service staff in La Motte Street; education staff at Highlands, or nurses on Robin Ward?
What dates did the Children's Commissioner receive supervision and appraisal, and by whom, in 2021 and 2022?
What is the annual salary of the Children's Commissioner? Does she receive any subsidy for housing or travel?
What cost has been spent on off island travel, accommodation, and conferences since the office of the children's commissioner was created?
Can the accountable officer (question 4) provide evidence of the value for money and impact on children's' lives the office of children's commissioner has had? - made between 2007 and 2018.
Eight Full Time Equivalent staff (FTEs), of whom one is a registered social worker, two are qualified teachers and one is a qualified UK solicitor. None were employed from existing frontline services.
The office is an arm’s length organisation hosted by the Government of Jersey’s Strategic Policy, Planning and Performance (SPPP) Department, and as such the accountable officer for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner is the Director General of SPPP. Every year, an Operational and Financial Capability Assessment of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner is carried out and signed off by the Director General.
There is a statutory requirement for the Commissioner to consult with children on matters relating to her ongoing work programme, as well as her performance. She does this in a minimum of four scheduled meetings with her Youth Advisory Panel each year.
There is also a child-friendly feedback/complaints form on the website, which we actively encourage children and young people to make use of, should they need to.
Non-confidential feedback from young people, the public and professionals in the Island is published in a variety of forms, notably in our annual reports and performance reports, which are available for anyone to read on our website.
Children’s Commissioner for Jersey
This information is all available in the performance reports which are published on our website under the ‘Performance and Governance’ section of ‘Publications’. Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
Performance and Governance
Improving the quality, human rights compatibility and effective delivery of Government services is the responsibility of the Government. Our measures of the office’s impact on local children’s lives are evidenced in every aspect of our work, from the Rights Respecting Schools Programme through to the Participation team’s work with local children on a wide range of projects, as well as casework delivered under the Human Rights Information and Advice function.
It would be a decision for the Government to make a secondment request of that kind, and no such request has ever been made.
Please see attached spreadsheet showing dates and visits.
Children's Commissioner's engagements list
|Adult Advisory Panel
|Audit and Risk Panel
|Youth Advisory Panel
|21 January 2021
|21 January 2021
|25 August 2021
|11 February 2021
|10 February 2021
|15 September 2021
|22 April 2021
|19 May 2021
|19 October 2021
|15 July 2021
|19 August 2021
|24 February 2022
|24 March 2022
|24 March 2022
|5 May 2022
|7 July 2022
|23 June 2022
Please see response to question D. Also, the Audit and Risk Advisory Panel and the Adult Advisory Panel (both of whose remits and memberships are detailed on our website) appraise and supervise the work of the Commissioner on an ongoing basis, and at the statutory quarterly meetings. The Youth Advisory Panel has a similar function, as referenced in the answer to question E.
The details of the annual earnings of the Children’s Commissioner are exempt under Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. However, the previous Children’s Commissioner was paid in a salary range of between £100,000 and £149,000.
Please see responses to questions D and G.
Article 23 - Information accessible to applicant by other means
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.