Jersey: time to rebuild confidence in children’s services

Senior Jersey officials must rebuild the confidence of frontline practitioners after a torrid year for children’s services, the author of a key report has told Community Care.

UK social work consultant Andrew Williamson said the combination of the police inquiry into historic child abuse and allegations of poor current practice had sapped staff morale.

“People at the frontline need to be confident and supported and properly trained,” he added.

Williamson’s inquiry was commissioned after allegations that children were at risk in the care system – a charge he concluded was unfounded.

However, he did call for significant reforms including the appointment of a children’s minister and inspections every two years.

Williamson was convinced the Jersey government was “fully committed” to increasing external scrutiny of services, which he said was particularly important for small island communities.

He refused to recommend a particular inspectorate – such as Ofsted – to take on the role, saying any organisation would need to be well versed in Jersey law and regulations.

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