Sunday, 19 June 2016

Senator apologises after devastating Varley Report on Jersey Care Service failings

Devastating report criticises Jersey care services

Health Minister apologises

Story ignored by island's other online media

The BBC reported on 17th June 2016 ( that children were left in harmful situations by a range of problems with Jersey care services, according to damning and disturbing reports seen by the BBC. The documents show that half of children assessed were not taken away from harmful situations in good time, Jersey's service "failed to consider" the needs of young people, and children left in the community received care below minimum standards in some cases, as recently as last year.

The 2015 report was commissioned by the then temporary head of children's services Jo Olsson and produced by former Ofsted inspector Mary Varley. Details only came out during the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry in April 2016, and were only released to the BBC some 4 months after a Freedom of Information request.

Mrs Varley's findings:
  •     Poor practice; "basic building blocks" of management oversight were not in place
  •     Failures to respond appropriately to allegations of physical and emotional abuse by three children
  •     Half of the children sampled who were taken into care had experienced "significant" delays in being removed from situations where they were being harmed
  •     A large proportion of children being harmed in the community - perhaps by their own family members - were still being let down as recently as 2015
The Jersey Care Leavers Association said the reports highlighted lessons that should have been learnt a long time ago.

Jersey's minister for health and social services, Senator Andrew Green, was interviewed live on BBC Radio at 7:11-7:19am on the 17th June, admitted the report was devastating and apologised - "We did, as a society, let the young people down".

"I have to apologise again to those from the past, I can't undo it, I'm really sorry."

This blogger wonders why a reputable report finds such failings, the current Health Minister apologises, but the rest of the media turns a blind eye and no-one seems to be talking about it... and yet if you turn the clock back to 2007 you may recall the Health Minister of the time, poll-topping Senator Stuart Syvret, was hounded out of office for exposing exactly the same kind of findings concerning the failings of Jersey's care services! When will the island ever wake up and admit that Senator Syvret was correct? A highly intelligent, articulate and capable man, genuinely caring and not out to feather his own nest, in a position of power with an ear to the ground hearing exactly what was going on, and STILL the establishment and local trolls seek to discredit him for trying to bring serious problems to the fore and address them? Difficult not to despair, sometimes :(

In the other media, there is still nothing online from the JEP, so that, as usual, we're keeping this to ourselves and not washing our dirty linen in public (i.e. covering it up).
ITV Channel Islands mentioned the initial story the week earlier
and Channel 103 too

The JEP did cover the story in print, after the BBC's initial story the week before the minister's apology  :
.. but nothing online, and will there be any mention of the apology?


Anonymous said...

makes a change for BBC to be on the right side for once

crapaudmatic said...

I'm hoping that at least one of their reporters, having sat through the inquiry, will have had their eyes opened somewhat! Also, this is something concrete that they can report upon without taking 'sides', and still be impartial, whereas a few years ago I think they thought it was more subjective and they couldn't pick a 'side'...? Who knows? It does seem more hopeful right now.