Children in harmful situations 'let down' by authorities

Child on the street Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Failures to respond appropriately to allegations of physical and emotional abuse by three children were highlighted in the reports

Children were left in harmful situations by Jersey care services, according to two damning reports seen by the BBC.

The documents show half of children assessed were not taken away from harmful situations in good time.

Two similar reports were released last week that found the service "failed to consider" the needs of young people.

They were written in 2015 but details only came out during the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry in April.

The reports - released after a Freedom of Information request - claim children left in the community received care below minimum standards in some cases.

They were commissioned by the then temporary head of children's services Jo Olsson and produced by former Ofsted inspector Mary Varley.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The initial inquiry focused on the former Jersey children's home, Haut de la Garenne

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

Jersey's minister for health and social services, Senator Andrew Green, said there would be an increase in funding for children's services.

"I'm investing and the Council of Ministers is investing £5.5m alone this year into children's services, but chucking money at it is just not the answer on its own.

"We must make sure that we get something different for that."

The Jersey Care Leavers Association said the reports highlighted lessons that should have been learnt a long time ago.

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