Child protection in Jersey
Updated 15 January 2020
Words you may need to know
Abuse - bad treatment
Harm – hurt or damage
Safe-guarding - prevention of harm
Referral – when somebody is sent by someone eg a doctor or teacher to see someone else about a problem or for advice
Agency – an organisation that provides a service for someone else
Assessment – to work out how good or bad or accurate something is
Monitor – when something is regularly checked
Chair – the name sometimes given to the leader of a group a people
Conference – a meeting
Convening – calling together; arranging
Semi-formal – when the atmosphere is quite relaxed but still professional
Disclosure – giving information, talking about what happened
Sensitivity – done with great care
Foster care – providing a child or young person with a stable home life when they cannot live with their parents. This can be for a short or long amount of time.
Therapeutic intervention - help offered to try and cure a problem
Devastating – very shocking or traumatic
Inter-agency – when an agency works closely with one or more other agencies
Review – to check, to look at something to see if it needs changing
Primary focus – the thing that is most important
The protection of children from abuse is a serious issue and three organisations in Jersey have particular responsibilities in trying to protect children from harm:
- The Children’s Service.
- The Safeguarding Partnership Board (SPB).
- Independent and Safeguarding Standards (‘ISS’).
The Children’s Service have responsibility to investigate all referrals relating to the possible abuse of children.
The Safeguarding Partnership Board has responsibility for:
- promoting understanding of Safeguarding
- helping agencies to work together to safeguard and
- monitoring how effectively agencies are working together to keep adults and children safe in Jersey
Independent and Safeguarding Standards (‘ISS’) manage the Child Protection Register and review all Looked After Children’s Care Plans. (see below)
There is a lot of information available on the website and helpful links are provided below
The Children's Service
This is a government department which aims to provide services that promote, safeguard and improve the well-being of all children and their families in Jersey.
Address: Children's Service, Liberte House, 19-23 La Motte Street, St Helier, Jersey, JE2 4SY
Tel: 01534 443500
Open: 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday – Thursday 8.30am – 4.30pm Friday
The service takes referrals from the MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) where concerns are reported with regards to children from other agencies and from members of the public who have concerns about the physical, emotional and developmental needs of a child or children.
A referral can only be made by contacting the MASH on 01534 51900. Outside of opening hours a referral can be made by calling the police if the matter is an emergency.
The Children’s Service has specialist teams and services: (for details see the website)
- Social Work assessment teams
- Home finding teams
- Residential services
- Family Support services
Taking children into care
The Duty Social Work Team try to meet the child's need for protection through a number of ways which only very rarely involves the need to take a child into care. In only very specific circumstances, where the Team believe a child to be at immediate risk, are they obliged to take action to protect the child whether the child thinks they want help or not.
The Safeguarding Partnership Board (SPB) was formed in January 2013 and has responsibility for:
· promoting understanding of Safeguarding
· helping agencies to work together to safeguard and
· monitoring how effectively agencies are working together to keep adults and children
safe in Jersey
The SPB is made up of an Independent (off-island) Chair, and 29 members representing key agencies which have responsibility for safeguarding children and adults in Jersey.
The Independent Chair, Glenys Johnston, OBE oversees both Boards. She is supported by a staff team of:
· Board Manager
· Business Manager
· Policy Officer
· Training Officers
· Training Administrator
For more information see: http://jerseyscb.proceduresonline.com/
There are several useful information pages on the website including:
Child Protection Enquiries: https://safeguarding.je/child-protection-enquiries/
Child Protection Conference and Child Protection Register: (see below)
The websites above are easy to read and have a lot of information about what happens
What is a Child Protection Case Conference?
Sometimes a Child Protection Case Conference is held to decide whether a child has suffered or is at risk of harm and what plans can be made about the child’s future, safety and development. The harm can be physical, emotional, sexual harm or neglect.
People who attend can include family members, sometimes the child, supporters and professionals involved with the child and family. The meeting is held in a semi-formal manner so that no-one who goes to it needs to feel uneasy or worried.
Child Protection Register
The Child Protection Register is a list of children in Jersey who are considered to be suffering from, or likely to suffer, significant harm, and for whom an inter- agency protection plan will be or has been made.
The register is managed by Independent and Safeguarding Standards (ISS). This is a separate organisation responsible for convening and reviewing Child Protection Conferences and reviewing the arrangements made for all children who are in foster care, children's homes, or who are looked after by the States of Jersey in some other way.
The register is never made public and can only be seen by authorised professionals.
Particularly in the case of sexual abuse, the gathering of information, including possible disclosure, requires skill, sensitivity and very careful planning. Effective communication with younger children through play and other media is essential to the task of investigation.
A thorough understanding of the effects of sexual abuse is also necessary to aid and re-assure an older child sufficiently to bring about disclosure. It is upon effective investigation that the assessment of risk, and the protection of the child is based. The primary focus throughout any investigation and any subsequent court proceedings is the best interest of the child and family.
The long term effects of the experience of abuse can, if unrecognised and untreated, have a devastating effect upon a child's life and severely damage her or his ability to form successful relationships in adulthood. Therapeutic intervention to help the child recover from these damaging experiences, and support for families in their care of the child victim, are an essential part of child protection and represents an investment in the health and welfare of the young adults of the future.
It is very important to promote child protection awareness in other agencies and in the community so that people affected can be encouraged to make a referral or refer themselves and disclose information so as to prevent abuse happening. Each agency has their own Safeguarding lead who co-ordinates this work.