Draft Children and Young People (Jersey) Law 202-
Launch date: 04/01/2022
Review status: Comments published
What is the review about?
Background and Context
The Draft Children and Young People (Jersey) Law 202- (hereafter 'the draft Law') has been brought forward in order to address one of the key recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI), namely, to address the finding that legislation relating to children and young people has fallen significantly behind other jurisdictions.
The draft Law is intended to provide a framework to better support children and families as the current legislation is deemed weak, operates as a deficit model and provides inconsistent joined-up working which, as a result, is not enabling children's needs and wellbeing to be appropriately met. It is intended that the new legislative framework would be robust and would provide the right and timely help to children and young people. Moreover, it would establish a common model of wellbeing and a duty to cooperate amongst the entire children's workforces. Ultimately, the new legislative framework is intended to result in the promotion and improvement of children's outcomes and wellbeing. This would be achieved by placing these pillars of the draft Law on a statutory basis, to be supported through statutory guidance issued by the Minister for Children and Education. It is noted that the draft Law is the first step in relation to 'rolling out' the new way of working, and further work streams will need to be brought forward should the draft Law be adopted. These will, however, not fall within the lifetime of the current States Assembly.
The Panel received a briefing on the draft Law on 8th November 2021 and raised a number of key points to be addressed in respect of the draft Law as follows:
- What consideration has been given by Government in relation to training to support the new law amongst the children's workforces and updated guidance. This also extends to the implementation programme for the draft Law (noting that it falls across multiple stages and will fall into the next Assembly)
- Clarity over the application of the draft Law across government rather than specific to the Minister for Children and Education (Corporate Parenting), especially how the draft Law would promote this approach. It is noted that not all Ministers are identified in the draft Law as having responsibility in this regard.
- How the proposed draft Law will operate alongside existing legislation (e.g. the Education (Jersey) Law 1999).
- What consideration has been given to the resource and funding implications of the draft Law should it be adopted.
The Panel has presented comments in respect of the draft Law on 3rd February 2022 ahead of the debate on 8th February 2022.
The draft Law can be accessed here. A summary version of the draft Law and it's key points can be read here.
Terms of reference
- To conduct detailed legislative scrutiny of the Children and Young People (Jersey) Law 202- to ensure the accuracy and adequacy of the draft Law.
- To assess the consultation process undertaken to inform the draft Law by gathering the views of key stakeholders.
- To gather and report views from children and young people in relation to the draft Law
- To examine any consequential impacts arising from the adoption of the draft Law.