Review Panel publishes report on the progress made responding to the Care Inquiry
14th December 2018
The Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel has completed a review of the progress that has been made in relation to implementing some of the recommendations put forward by the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI), and today published its report.
So far, all 41 actions that have been identified as part of the response to the IJCI have either been started or completed. Within the report, the Review Panel has focussed specifically on the response to the first four recommendations of the IJCI, as well as the work done to bring forward a revised children's plan and a pledge for children and young people. The Review Panel has also examined concerns around the funding available to make these changes in the last year of the current Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP).
Overall, the Review Panel has found that there has been significant progress made in the areas reviewed, and there have been numerous successes including the appointment of the Children's Commissioner, the development of a schools based participation strategy (school council network), an external inspection by Ofsted and subsequent Children's Services improvement plan and the collaborative approach to developing a revised children's plan. There is, however, evidence to suggest that the wider cultural and structural changes recommended by the IJCI are still not fully in place.
At this stage, a substantial amount of the work being done is focussed on laying the foundations on which improved services and outcomes for children and young people can be built. In order to ensure these foundations are secure, regular review of the initiatives either proposed or underway will be essential. The Review Panel has put forward seven recommendations as a result of its report:
- A mission statement should be established for the network of school councils which references how it will be truly representative of children and young people
- The role of the Children's Rights Officer should be regularly reviewed with significant input and feedback from children and young people about its effectiveness.
- Quarterly updates on the Children's Services improvement plan should be published
- Quarterly reviews on the understanding and implementation of the Jersey First Practice Model being used by the local children's workforce
- A varied and engaging programme of continued professional development should be established for front line social workers to assist with recruitment and retention
- Foster carers and foster care experienced young people should be consulted on the proposed action plan arising from the independent review of fostering services before it is implemented
- The Minister for Children and Housing should publish a central register which sets out the departmental funding allocations that will be used to implement the Children and Young People's plan.
Deputy Rob Ward commented:
''It is clear that the response to the Care Inquiry has been, and continues to be, a major priority for the States of Jersey. The Review Panel has seen that a substantial amount of work has been undertaken in order to implement the recommendations of the Care Inquiry, and so far this has been mostly positive and well received. The foundations are being laid to meet the cultural and structural challenges that Jersey faces. However, there is no time to become complacent, and a considerable amount of work is still required in order to fully implement the recommendations. Our report serves as a snapshot in time, and we will continue to review and report on the progress being made. The Review Panel has made recommendations that it hopes will assist the work being done at this time and will continue to hold Ministers to account for their delivery of this important work"
You can read the full report here.
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