Child Protection in Jersey

8.30.65.L2 Updated on:20 December 2021

The protection of children from abuse is a serious issue and three organisations in Jersey have particular responsibilities for this:

  • The Children’s Service
  • The Safeguarding Partnership Board (SPB)
  • Independent and Safeguarding Standards (‘ISS’)

The Children’s Service has a 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.

There is a lot of information available on their website and helpful links are provided below

The Children’s Service

This is a government department that aims to provide services that promote, safeguard and improve the well-being of all children and their families in Jersey.

Children and Family Hub
Liberte House
19-23 La Motte Street
St Helier
Jersey
JE2 4SY

Tel: + 44 1534 519000

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 Tel: + 44 1534 519000. 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

  • 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 believes 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) has responsibility for:

  • promoting understanding of Safeguarding
  • helping agencies to work together to safeguard
  • monitoring how effectively agencies are working together to keep adults and children
    safe in Jersey

The SPB is made up of an Independent Chair and 29 members representing key agencies that 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 

www.jerseyscb.proceduresonline.com/

Child Protection Enquiries www.safeguarding.je/child-protection-enquiries/

Child Protection Conference and Child Protection Register:
www.safeguarding.je/child-protection-conference/
www.gov.je/Caring/IndependentMonitoring/IndependentSafeguardingStandards/Pages/ProtectingAt-RiskChildren.aspx

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 Government of Jersey in some other way.

The register is never made public and can only be seen by authorised professionals.

Sexual abuse

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 are 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.

Therapeutic intervention

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 their ability to form successful relationships in adulthood. Therapeutic intervention to help the child recover from these experiences and support for families is an essential part of child protection and represents an investment in the health and welfare of the young adults of the future.

Community awareness

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 from happening. Each agency has its own Safeguarding lead who coordinates this work.