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Summary

  1. Report into seven decades of abuse in Jersey has been published. Key points:
  2. --- 'No doubt' of 'many instances' of abuse in Jersey's care system
  3. --- Chief minister - 'I'm sorry to all those who suffered abuse'
  4. --- More than 600 recommendations, eight key recommendation areas
  5. --- Report finds 'failures at all levels of child management' and honorary police 'hindered investigation'
  6. --- Services for children 'still not fully fit for purpose'
  7. --- Haut de la Garenne - where more than half of the alleged offences took place - 'should be demolished'
  8. --- NSPCC supports report's findings
  9. --- If you have been affected the helpline number is: 0800 735 1000
  10. Updates on Monday 3 July

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All times stated are UK

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Children's experience in care system 'little considered'

The panel found no political appetite for addressing social issues impacting on the welfare of children.

Its report says the focus was on structure and process without consideration of the quality of leadership, performance of staff or experience of the children.

We find that leadership generally has been lacking, and that the focus in Jersey has instead been on administration and hierarchy."

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Report

Inquiry documents should be 'accessible and more easily searchable'

One of the recommendations from the panel of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is the preservation of the "vast documentation" collected and summarised in the final report.

The panel said: "We have made it clear that we will not transfer material until such time as we are satisfied that the arrangements will afford it proper protection."

They added consideration should be given to making the archive "accessible and more easily searchable".

However they also recommended special provision be given to protect the privacy of those who gave evidence anonymously, or in private.

The report states the collection should be preserved "In perpetuity", with all public documents being left in the public domain.

Childcare split between States run and charity run homes

As part of the final report from the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry the panel outlined the way in which child services were run in the period under scrutiny.

Running of the homes were split between homes run by the States of Jersey and those run by the voluntary or charitable sector.

The panel said some of the homes "evolved in their nature" beginning as voluntary facilities and later coming under the control of the States.

Two of the homes evolving in this way were Brig-y-Don and La Preference.

Other homes remained under the control of the States of Jersey but changed in their size or use; for example, Jersey Home for Boys merged with the Jersey Home for Girls and in 1959 and became known as Haut de la Garenne.

Haut de la Garenne
BBC
It's been recommended that Haut de la Garenne should be demolished

'Little effort' made to check on children in homes

The final report from the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has found for many years, once a child entered a care home in Jersey, "little effort" was made to determine how they were coping, or how it was affecting them.

The report said aftercare of looked after children was "inadequate", in Jersey's child care system.

The inquiry's panel also found "little evidence" in Jersey of political initiatives to tackle the underlying causes of the social problems known to make children more likely to enter the care system, including child poverty, addiction, inadequate housing, mental health problems and social isolation.

'Harrowing reading' for Senator Gorst

Jersey's chief minister is encouraging people in Jersey to read the "harrowing" accounts in the report released by the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

Today has been a difficult day. None of us have had time to read all the stories of those who suffered over the decades. I know it will be harrowing reading, and I ask every member of our community to read this public inquiry report. Those stories that will actually galvanise people into action, to providing the money, to say 'we will recruit the people that are needed' because we have to make sure together that this does not happen in the future.

Senator Ian GorstChief Minister, States of Jersey

Care inquiry: Chief minister's message to abuse victims

We have not forgotten you. You are at the forefront of our mind. We are sorry if we have got it wrong in the past. If you have concerns today that you want to raise with me, or any minister, or with any member of the States, our parliament, do so. We stand ready to listen and support you, you are our child, we see you as part of our family.

Senator Ian GorstChief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst

The States is offering support for those affected by issues raised in inquiry.

Jersey abuse inquiry: chief minister 'shocked, saddened and sorry'
Jersey is coming to terms with "brutal truths" about abuses in childcare institutions, the chief minister says.

Former minister denies lying to States

A former home affairs minister denies lying to the States of Jersey.

We find that Andrew Lewis lied to the States Assembly about the Metropolitan Police Service report, stating that he had had sight of it when he had not. We can readily see why these acts have given rise to public suspicion that all or some of those involved were acting improperly and that they were motivated by a wish to discredit or close down investigations into child abuse."

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry report

Deputy Andrew Lewis said he welcomes the report but disagrees with the finding that he lied.

The inquiry refers to an answer that I gave to the assembly when being questioned at length, during which I unintentionally described a communication from the Deputy Police Chief as a report. This error I have endeavoured to correct on many occasions, including at the inquiry itself. I am therefore concerned that the inquiry team have failed to acknowledge this. I am disappointed that this has been characterised as a lie rather than the honest mistake that it was."

Deputy Andrew Lewis

He said he was pleased the inquiry acknowledged there was no conspiracy to derail Operation Rectangle.

Care inquiry: Facilities for young people could replace Haut de la Garenne

Jersey's Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst said he is prepared to work with care leavers on implementing recommendations made by the final report of the Jersey Independent Care Inquiry.

One of those recommendations is the demolishing of Haut de la Garenne children's home.

If the desire is to demolish that building and put in place a modern building, fit for the future, that provides facilities for young people, probably in a recreational capacity then I am committed to delivering that.

Senator Ian GorstChief Minister, States of Jersey
Haut de la Garenne
BBC

States 'has not prioritised social legislation', says chief minister

Historically I accept that other things, rather than protection of children and legislation to protect children, has been secondary compared to other legislation. Since 2011, when I was appointed as chief minister and we had a new health minister, the amount of social legislation and provision that we have delivered on I think far and away [outweighs] the legislation we have provided for financial services.

Senator Ian GorstChief Minister, States of Jersey

Staff 'meted out or tolerated harsh treatment of children'

Press Association

There was a long absence of political and professional will in Jersey to monitor care standards, a long-awaited report into historical abuse and mistreatment of youngsters in care on the island has said.

The report also detailed how until the 1990s there was no system to report abuse, secure rooms were used routinely and excessively against children and many victims felt unable to speak out through fear of not being believed.

There was a failure to value, listen to and nurture children in the care system In one residential home, La Preference, which was originally run by the Vegetarian Society from 1951 to 1984, children taken in during that period had to adopt a vegetarian diet. Only one inspection took place there, in 1981.

At Haut de la Garenne, the mix of ill-equipped staff and lack of training was compounded by a "toxic mix" of personalities who meted out or tolerated harsh treatment of children.

Paedophile Jimmy Savile was implicated in the home's past, with an allegation received by police in 2008 that an indecent assault occurred there in the 1970s. It was decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

Jimmy Savile
PA
Jimmy Savile visited Jersey in the 1970s

Senator Gorst: 'We want to build a service where children are properly looked after'

Senator Ian Gorst
BBC

The report says there may be children still at risk, even the 'may' for me is too much, and I will not rest. Whilst the report was being written we have invested millions of pounds in improving our services, we have recruited permanent heads to children's services from the United Kingdom, we undertook independent audits to help us move forward. We want to build a service where children are properly looked after, where they are properly considered and cared for, and loved as if they were our own children.

Senator Ian GorstChief Minister, States of Jersey

Jersey's children's legislation 'lags behind the developed world'

The inquiry panel said since 1945 Jersey has become disconnected from mainstream social care, which is one of the "major factors" in the failure of the child care system.

It recommends the youth justice system move to a model that always treats young offenders as children first and offenders second.

This is along with a suitable training programme to be put in place for the judiciary to ensure they are kept up to date on the latest thinking and research.

Care inquiry report: 'I accept the recommendations' says chief minister

I accept the recommendations, and I will work with fellow ministers, and the States Assembly to get them approved. We will now undertake a piece of work to look at the financial resources, the human resources that are needed to deliver those recommendations. But I am committed to delivering them.

Senator Ian GorstChief Minister, States of Jersey

'House of horrors' should be demolished

Press Association

Haut de la Garenne
Getty Images

The Haut de la Garenne children's home in Jersey should be demolished, a long-awaited report into historical abuse and mistreatment of youngsters in care on the island has recommended.

The home, dubbed "the house of horrors", was where hundreds of crimes were carried out against vulnerable children over decades before it was shut in the 1980s.

As a three-year, £23m inquiry reported its findings, its recommendations included the demolition of the buildings, which represented a "symbol of the turmoil and trauma" suffered by victims.

The inquiry, chaired by Frances Oldham QC, found failings still existed in Jersey's child care systems and "lessons of the past have not been learned".

Foster carers reported the service was failing, care orders were being used inappropriately and children in care still reported no effective system to raise concerns.

The 832-page report detailed a catalogue of abuse from the mid-1940s onwards, and that persistent failures existed at all levels in the management, operation and governance of Jersey's children's homes for decades.

The inquiry heard evidence of a "Jersey way" that involved the protection of powerful interests, and a culture of fear that deterred whistleblowers.

Haut de la Garenne
BBC

'Report rams home some cold, hard, brutal truths'

"The inquiry highlights 10 fundamental failings in Jersey’s care system, including, most importantly, the failure to listen to children," says Jersey's chief minister.

"I am shocked. I am saddened. I am sorry," said Senator Ian Gorst.

"This report rams home some cold, hard, brutal truths. Over decades, too many children failed by too many people. And it highlights the so-called 'Jersey way'."

The report warns that some children in our care... 'may still be at risk'. I will not rest until we have done all that we can do to change that."

"I accept, every recommendation and pledge to build a new culture. One which puts children first. Every time. Where one child failed, is one too many," he added.

Care inquiry: Qualified, sustainable workforce needed

The report makes a number of comments about staff in the care system lacking training, qualifications and the experience to deal with the issues some of the children in their care faced.

The panel suggests a dedicated HR resource should be made available to Children's Services and the breaking of "silo working".

It says recruiting and retaining suitably qualified staff at all levels is essential to improve services.

'States has been working while inquiry was sitting'

Jersey's chief minister said "while the inquiry has been working we have not stopped".

He said we have:

  • Made additional resources available
  • Embarked on a major programme of service improvement
  • Enhanced our ability to work together across different services

We know we still need to do much more. We need to do better - and we will. People have been let down and I am sorry for that, children should never have been abused; they should not have been failed, but they were."

Senator Ian GorstJersey's chief minister

Now our priority is to take action to help ensure that no child suffers such abuse in future."

States of Jersey
BBC
Care Inquiry: Francis Oldham QC delivers scathing report
Francis Oldham QC said the States of Jersey had been an 'ineffectual and neglectful' parent.

Community needs to acknowledge what happened - Gorst

I'd like to thank those who spoke of their own difficult childhood experiences. I know that it was very hard for them to do so. The telling of their stories will help others to understand how they suffered. It will help us to acknowledge what happened in our community."

Senator Ian GorstJersey's Chief Minister

Making his statement at Jersey Archive, which will house the inquiry records, he described it as "the repository for our Island’s collective memory".

"It tells the story of who we are, and where we have come from. Our failings, and the hurt suffered, are part of that story."

Care inquiry: Independent inspections should be introduced

The panel says an "empowered, professional and truly independent inspectorate" is key to keeping children safe.

It said between 1981 and 2001, there were no independent inspections of services for children and since 2001 there have only been occasional ad hoc inspections.

We recommend that Jersey establish a truly independent inspection arrangement for its children’s services, which will have the confidence of children, staff and the wider public."

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry report

The panel said it was "vital" that within 12 months an inspection is enshrined in law.

Care inquiry
Independent Jersey Care Inquiry

Care inquiry: Children and young people need a voice

A new complaints procedure should be put in place, the inquiry has recommended.

It has called for a system people have confidence in and the outcome of complaints should be reported regularly to the relevant minister with an annual report for the States.

A Children's Rights Officer should be appointed to ensure complaints are given "full and serious consideration".

Chief minister 'sorry to all those who suffered abuse'

I’m sorry to all those who suffered abuse in our island over the years. We are here today because children have been abused – because our island’s institutions failed children and their families. We failed children who needed our care; who needed to be protected and listened to. Too often children were not believed. Unpalatable truths were swept under the carpet because it was the easiest thing to do."

Senator Ian GorstJersey's Chief Minister
Ian Gorst
BBC

States offers support for those affected by issues raised in inquiry

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

Support for anyone who needs it is being offered by the States of Jersey following the publication of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry report.

The statement said the inquiry panel had had "a long, complex task" and recognised it was "a distressing one for those who spoke to the inquiry about the abuse they had suffered".

A special freephone service has been set up, which will connect you with the psychological therapy service, who can assess what kind of help would best suit you.

The number is staffed 24/7 and is 0800 735 1000.

You can also email: InquirySupport2@gov.je.

You could also contact Victim Support Jersey by calling 01534 440496 or emailing victimsupport@gov.je.

Care inquiry: Jersey a 'neglectful parent' to children in care

The States of Jersey was a 'neglectful parent' according to the care inquiry report

'Live electrical wires' and sticks used on children

Gifford Aubin was the first person to give evidence to the inquiry.

He lived at Haut de la Garenne in the 1950s and told the inquiry how "live electrical wires" and "a pre-war stick with a metal end" were used to abuse children.

Mr Aubin said he also suffered mental abuse and had his meals withheld.

Gifford Aubin
BBC

Jersey child abuse: 'UK should take note'

Radio 4 PM

A report into child abuse in Jersey's care system has found failings at all levels over many decades, and warns children may still be at risk.

Alan Collins, a lawyer who represented victims, told Carolyn Quinn the report was "shocking as well as humbling".

He said "systematic failings" allowed a culture to develop where "children's welfare became a secondary issue".

Mr Collins added "Jersey is not alone in this" and "the UK needs to take serious note of this report".

Care inquiry: Commissioner for children should be appointed

The inquiry has called for the appointment of a commissioner to ensure independent oversight of the interests of children and young people in Jersey.

The panel said this position should be enshrined in law and its independence was "essential if there is to be confidence in the post".

Care inquiry: Honorary police 'hindered investigation'

Francis Oldham QC

The chairwoman of the Jersey Independent Care Inquiry has said the attitude of some members of the honorary police, Jersey's elected police force made up of residents of each of the island's 12 parishes, were a "hindrance to justice".

The honorary police, led by a centenier, the elected community representative, decides at which point an offender should enter the justice system in Jersey.

Anonymous witnesses told inquiry of abuse

A witness, known as "Mrs A" said outside of school hours children were forced to work unpaid in a knitting factory run by the nuns at the orphanage.

In February 2015 one survivor known as "Witness D", now in his 40s, told the inquiry he was sexually abused by two members of staff, William Gilbert and Phil Le Bais. They were never charged and have now died.

Black and white photos
GIFFORD AUBIN

Care inquiry: 'Failures at all levels of child management'

Francis Oldham QC, chairwoman, Independent Jersey Care Inquiry

Care inquiry: 'Young people have no mechanism to raise concerns'

Francis Oldham QC, chairwoman, Independent Jersey Care Inquiry

Care inquiry: Basic lessons to be learnt

The inquiry listed "eight basic lessons to be learned from the failures of the past".

Number 8: Openness and transparency must characterise the culture of public services.

Politicians and professionals should admit problems, shortcomings and failures and promptly address them. The establishment of this inquiry and the freedom with which it has been allowed to operate has demonstrated a political will and public desire in the island to open Jersey’s institutions to thorough, independent and robust scrutiny in order to secure the best interests of children."

Jersey's government to respond in minutes

BBC Radio Jersey

Care inquiry: Basic lessons to be learnt

The inquiry listed "eight basic lessons to be learned from the failures of the past".

Number 7: Quality of leadership and professionalism are fundamental requirements.

Services for the most vulnerable children should not be delivered simply by whoever happens to be available."

Care inquiry: Basic lessons to be learnt

The inquiry listed "eight basic lessons to be learned from the failures of the past".

Number 6: Investment is essential.

Every child in Jersey is key to securing the island’s future, prosperity and international standing, but that will not be achieved without according the island’s children’s services priority comparable to its financial services."

NSPCC supports report's findings

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

I think the eight recommendations that this inquiry is making are sound. We need to make sure that children safeguarding and safety are paramount and enshrined in legislation."

Jon BrownNSPCC

He also agreed with the appointment of a children’s minister and said the most important thing was “help for victims and survivors”.

Jon Brown
BBC

Care inquiry: 'Jersey way' culture 'impacted on child abuse investigation'

Rob England

BBC News Online

The chair of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has said the "Jersey way", a term used to describe protecting "powerful interests" and "resistance to change" impacted on child abuse investigations.

We consider that an inappropriate regard for the “Jersey way” has inhibited the prompt development of policy and legislation concerning children. Treating children in the care system as low priorities fails those children and shames the society concerned. Equally, a care system in which insufficient effort is made to prevent children from being abused, whether physically, emotionally or sexually, or a justice system in which insufficient steps are taken to investigate and punish such abuse where it occurs, is indefensible.

Francis Oldham QCChairwoman, Independent Jersey Care Inquiry

Care inquiry: Basic lessons to be learnt

The inquiry listed "eight basic lessons to be learned from the failures of the past".

Number 5: Stay connected.

Jersey must ensure that child care and youth justice legislation, policy and practice are not only compliant with current standards in the developed world, and with ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) and with UNCRC (The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) principles, but also that legislation policy and practice are regularly being informed and evolving in line with research and developments."