I want to be honest with you about the historic failings of the Jersey government to protect its children. And I want your help to ensure that this never happens again.
The past abuse, neglect and suffering of hundreds of children over 75 years, which was exposed in 2017 by the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, is unforgivable.
Two years on, the systems and processes to protect children still haven’t improved enough and, as Jersey’s new Director General for Children, I’m writing to say that this has to change now.
The Government’s ambition is for Jersey to be the best place for children to grow up in. But transforming from such a low base isn’t going to be easy. So I need you to join me. Because we have passionate and committed permanent social work professionals here – but we just need more of them.
I need driven, talented people like you to move to our island and join in the great work already being done to improve the care and welfare of our children and help guide our future.
Make no mistake, this will be a challenge and one you’re unlikely to face anywhere in the UK. You’ll be working with different legislation and different challenges. We’re a small island and you’ll be part of the communities you work with. But because of the close community, you’ll sometimes have to transfer children off the island to safeguard them.
All this amounts to creative, bespoke, case-by-case social work, where the solutions will be every bit as unique as the problems. And while these cases will be just as complex as anywhere else, there’ll be far fewer of them, so you’ll have the time to give each child the love, thought and action they deserve.
What I can also promise you is a truly unique place to live. Jersey is an island of staggering beauty, where you can make the very most of the great work/life balance we offer. And if you have your own children, you’ll find Jersey schools are significantly ahead of the English average at all the key stages.
Please join us and be part of the change. You’ll help us provide the greatest level of safety and protection for our children. Together, as one determined team, we can create the brightest future out of a traumatic past.
Mark Rogers, Director General for Children, Young People, Education and Skills - Government of Jersey