The 'Jersey Way' remains a huge problem according to the politicians responsible for monitoring the progress of the Jersey Care Inquiry recommendations.
The Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel says Jersey's failure to scrap the role of the Bailiff, which heads up both the makers and enforcers of the law, further strengthens the perception of 'The Jersey Way', which the inquiry defined as ‘a failure to establish a culture of openness and transparency, leading to a perception at least, of collusion and cover up.’
The main issue arising from the Review Panel's work has been the continued concern about the perceived 'Jersey Way', presented to it through private submissions and in meetings with various groups. The Review Panel has found that the negative connotations as set out by the IJCI Panel are still apparent to many. Whilst there has been progress in some areas and not every aspect is within the Government's gift to address, there is concern that there is little tangible progress to show at this stage. The Review Panel has therefore agreed that it intends to scope a review into this matter over the coming months.
The Panel's review focuses on the final four recommendations from the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry: legislation for children and young people, the role of the States Assembly as Corporate Parent and the actions that have been undertaken so far to address the 'Jersey Way' and legacy issues.
The panel also says plans for a must be fast tracked. They recommend that money for the project be given to the Children's Minister, Senator Sam Mézec rather than the Treasury, in order for it to be completed by the first ever Children's Day on 20 November 2020.
While the report praises the progress being made in overhauling Children's laws and reforming the Youth Justice System, it says there are many other areas which need attention.
There is still no law to define the government's role and responsibilities as a corporate parent to children in care, and the report recommends the Children's Minister introduce legislation by the end of next year.
It also states money needs to be set aside in the 2021 government plan to bring the former care home, Haut de Garenne, up to modern standards.
The report points out abuse survivors should be given more support in terms of psychological therapy and advocacy services for dealing with government departments.