Jersey Citizens Panel highlight lack of progress on Care Inquiry recommendations

A letter written by the Jersey Citizens Panel has raised concerns that there is a lack of support for victims and families of abuse.

The Jersey Citizens Panel is a group of islanders, some victims of abuse on the island, who formed in 2018 set up in the wake of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry. They presented four key recommendations to the Council of Minister in July 2018 which included:

  • Creation of a memorial

  • Recognising 3rd July as Jersey Children's Day

  • Help and support for victims/survivors and their families

  • An emblem linking the elements of the legacy together

These recommendations were to ensure that Jersey learns from the past and the children and young people who were failed by the care system.

Jersey Children's Day was first recognised this year but in their letter to the media, the panel say they are concerned that not enough progress has been made.

They say the third recommendation for support, including mental health and advocacy help, for survivors and families has not been acted upon.

We are hugely disappointed with a lack of progress on this third recommendation and know that many of our fellow survivors still feel inadequately supported.

Jersey Citizens Panel

In the letter, the panel also respond to anger over care memorial plans laid out earlier this month.

Three designs have been shortlisted for a permanent monument at the Weighbridge but some islanders say they don't want a constant reminder of their trauma.

The panel says although they understand "the pain of the past" some people affected feel seeing the plans, it hopes islanders will stand together to make sure the recommendations are taken account of.

We ask you to stand together with us firstly, to ensure that those in positions of power are not allowed to forget what happened in the past and secondly to push for a comprehensive support system for survivors and their families as described in our recommendations from 2018.

Jersey Citizens Panel

The decision to make a memorial was decided on "to serve to trigger action and remind us all that the mistakes of the past must never be repeated. "

Fourteen of us, most of us survivors ourselves heard from experts from around the world, challenged each other and finally reached consensus on a set of four recommendations. We agreed unanimously that in order to move forward we must look back. Our recommendation for a memorial we believe helps us to look back, whilst our other recommendations help us to move forward.

Jersey Citizens Panel

Alan Collins is a lawyer who represented care leavers at the Jersey Care Inquiry. He spoke to ITV News and explained why he is in favour of the idea.

The fourth recommendation, to create an emblem, has been unveiled today (23 October).

A thirteen-year-old student from Haute Vallée is the designer of the emblem which features a butterfly and birds.

My design represents how children should feel safe where they are, they should be able to cope with change and that they should be recognised for their full potential. The black bird represents the past and the white bird the future, showing that all children should have a good sense of freedom.

Jodie, 13
The Legacy Emblem Credit: ITV Channel TV