Wednesday, June 11, 2014







There still seems to be serious concerns with the protection of vulnerable children in Jersey. The  issue was raised by Deputy Hilton in the States of Jersey on the 3/6/2014. The answers left me horrified and I reproduce it below. Have we, as an Island, not learnt a single thing regarding the protection of  vulnerable children since 2008 and Haut De La Garenne going global?  Im sick of tired of hearing the immortal  quote of "Lessons have been learnt". 

"Lessons being learnt" is a  get out clause for the Minister answering the questions.  This is simply not good enough. Where were the concerns from the other members? We have 51 states members and only 2 other deputies had something to say. The children need a champion and I hope that Deputy Hilton keeps getting the questions in. Lessons don't get learnt in Jersey. Remember the secrecy around the sex grooming case? I hope the Jersey Media pick this up and also demand answers as it can't be left to the bloggers to carry this fight alone. 

Who will have oversight of any reports and recommendations that come from these horror stories? 

Lets be honest here. You can have the greatest policies in place but unless you smash the culture that still persists to this day then nothing will ever change. 

I really hope that the Committee of Enquiry brings a sledge hammer to bear on the Jersey Way of dealing with  abuse. If they ever mention the immortal words of "Lessons have been Learnt"  I will simply cry. 

This should be headline news as what is more important than the plight of venerable children.

Rico Sorda 

Part time Investigative Journalist

3.8.1 Deputy J.A. Hilton:
Is the Assistant Minister aware there are a number of serious child sexual abuse cases to be reviewed by the Safeguarding Board and does this fact cause him alarm, as it would appear the protection of Island children is failing yet again?
Senator P.F. Routier:  
I am aware that there are some more cases to be reviewed and, as we have not been used to having as many cases as are currently coming forward, it is of concern.  What is, I think, positive about these reviews taking place is that it is being looked at very seriously that we need to ensure that, when a case is being reviewed, some learning is made across all the services and that it is identified, if there had been some failings, that best practice is brought forward in the future.
Deputy M.R. Higgins:
As the question is about when reports are going to be published, I would like to ask when the report on the woman known as H.G. is going to be reported by this panel?  Because there seems to be cases being reviewed but no reports coming out and made public.  Can the Assistant Minister tell us when it will be ...
The Bailiff:
Sorry, Deputy, that is not related to this question.  It is not the same body at all.  Very well, Deputy Le Hérissier?
3.8.2 Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:
The rapporteur referred to learnings.  If several cases are alive at the moment, could the rapporteur tell us what lessons have been learned?  Because surely it could be construed as a failure that cases have reached this level.  Given all the money that has been ploughed into these issues over the last few years, why were the warning signs not picked up at the appropriate management and organisational levels?
Senator P.F. Routier:
The establishment of the Safeguarding Boards for Children and Adults, which have only been established in recent times, is, I think, a real positive step forward for the States generally.  The Deputy is quite right: there has been extra investment put in after the Williamson Report to ensure that services are the best we can possibly have them.  There is, obviously with these cases coming forward, a recognition that there needs to be some improvements to services, and that will be highlighted when the reports are finalised. 
But I need to remind Members about this particular case that, until the family and the people who are involved are spoken to, it is very difficult; we cannot talk about it until that happens.
3.8.3 Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:
Can I get clarification: could the rapporteur tell us - and I appreciate in a way it should be the Minister - has he been able to draw any conclusions where the failings are as opposed to just focusing on this case?
Senator P.F. Routier:
Not as yet, no. 
3.8.4 Deputy J.A. Hilton:
It would seem to me that with the X Family, the G Family and numerous other families, the States of Jersey are still failing our children badly [Approbation] and we need to address this as soon as possible.  I am very concerned that the Assistant Minister has agreed with me that there are a number of serious child sexual abuse cases coming forward; we need to establish as soon as possible exactly what is going wrong.  Is the Assistant Minister satisfied that we have the expertise available in the Island to establish when sexual abuse is occurring within families?
Senator P.F. Routier:
I can only agree with the questioner with regard to the concerns that she has.  I, too, share those concerns and want to ensure that everything is looked at in an appropriate manner.  The question with regards whether we have the correct facilities and expertise in the Island to look at these cases is something we need to look at very closely.  I think we need to ensure that with the help of the safeguarding chairperson who is doing these reviews, she is going to come forward with recommendations which we will have to act on.  I would not be able to stand here and defend a service which was not performing correctly and I would hope that if it does require extra resources they would be coming forward.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


The success (or otherwise) of the Inquiry will depend on what evidence it receives and if anybody needs any help/support submitting their evidence or any Abuse Victim/Survivor, or family member/friend of, need any kind of support, whether submitting evidence, or not, the Jersey Care Leavers Association (JCLA) are more than happy to help and can be contacted by e-mail  or telephoned on 01534-738351.

4 June 2014

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry to hold Public Preview Afternoon

Members of the public will have a chance to look around the offices where the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry will begin hearings this Summer.
The public areas of the Seaton Place offices in St Helier, including the hearing room, will be open for anyone who would like to visit on Monday 9 June, between 13.30 and 15.30.
Members of the Legal Team will be on hand to answer any questions and to explain exactly how the proceedings will run. A member of the Inquiry’s witness support group will also be available to outline what services will be on offer.
Anyone wishing to take photographs on the Preview Day may do so only during the final 15 minutes of the session.
Building work at 11 – 15 Seaton Place is now complete and the facilities are designed to ensure the comfort of witnesses who will be giving evidence. Particular care has been taken to allow those who wish to give evidence anonymously to do so without risk of being identified.
When the hearings get underway, the first expert witness will be Professor Roger Bullock of Bristol University who will provide evidence about Jersey’s care system. The Legal Team are still gathering witness statements and documents and it’s not too late for anyone who wants to give evidence to get in touch.
The latest technology is being used to handle the tens of thousands of documents used during the Inquiry. These will be shown on large screens throughout the hearing centre and then uploaded onto the website.
The Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham QC, says: "The Panel are looking forward to beginning the public part of the Inquiry and would like to assure everyone that we will work as openly and transparently as possible. We urge anyone who thinks they can contribute to our work to contact us in what is a very safe environment. We will be robust and independent in our approach to uncover the truth about what went wrong in Jersey's child care system over many years." End