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Independent Jersey Care Inquiry

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is investigating the abuse of children in Jersey's care system over many years.

The Panel hearing the evidence wants to build up as full a picture as possible so that it can then make recommendations, ensuring that the Island's care system is fit for its purpose of caring for vulnerable children and young people.

 

The Inquiry Chair, Frances Oldham QC, has promised a "robust and fearless" examination of what went wrong and to find answers for people who suffered abuse as children.

The hearings are being held in public at 11 -15 Seaton Place in St Helier.

Where agreed in advance, some witnesses will be giving their evidence in private. Arrangements are in place to guarantee their confidentiality.

Transcripts of the hearings will be placed on the website.

Meanwhile, anyone with information about the care system in Jersey, or direct experience of it, is invited to get in touch with the Inquiry.

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Latest Updates

  
  
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25/03/2015
​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry notes the decision by members of the States to approve further funding.

​The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry notes the decision by members of the States to approve further funding. Preparations are continuing for the next phase of hearings. These will include evidence from some of those who have worked in the island's care system.

  
06/03/2015
Panel Chair, Frances Oldham QC, says the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has heard evidence  from more than 200 witnesses about their experiences of Jersey’s care services since 1945.
 


The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has heard evidence from more than 200 witnesses about their experiences of Jersey’s care services since 1945.

Speaking on Friday (6 March) at the end of Phase 1a, IJCI Chair, Frances Oldham, thanked everyone who has come forward and contributed to the work of the Inquiry.

She said the first challenge had been to gain the confidence and trust of victims.

“Whilst there have been some positive accounts, most of what we have heard has related to painful and damaging experiences.  The first Phase of the Inquiry has been slow and painstaking, - not least because of the difficulty many of the victims have had to wrestle with emotionally in terms of firstly giving a statement - and then deciding whether to give evidence in public.”

She stated it was important to now move on to the next stage of the Inquiry, Phase 1b, when the Panel will hear evidence from those who worked in Children’s Services or were in contact with child care on Jersey, and from some of those accused of abuse.

“We must establish the truth about how mistreatment of children remained hidden for so long and what was done when concerns were raised. We must also consider whether appropriate decisions were taken in deciding whether to prosecute individuals - and whether there was political or other interference in those decisions.”

Ms Oldham explained that the Inquiry team would now begin an intense period of preparation for this phase.  The IJCI will sit for three days during the week beginning April 13 to hear evidence from a witness who won’t be available at a later date.  It will then begin a full timetable of hearings from the week beginning May 4 and sit Tuesday through to Friday each week.

Ms Oldham concluded: “The Inquiry is grateful for the assistance and co operation of all Interested Parties and other agencies in Jersey.”

Earlier, Counsel to the Inquiry, Patrick Sadd took two live witnesses through their evidence. Mr Alan Tadier spoke about his son’s experience at Aviemore residential care home in the 1990s. Speaking anonymously, Miss "K", told of her experiences at Les Chenes in the 1980s.

Counsel to the Inquiry, Paul Livingston, read into the record a statement given directly to the IJCI by Witness 140 who wanted to give evidence about his stays in foster care and at Haut de la Garenne in the 1970s.

Full transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Video Notes

00:00 Slate
00:05 "So far the Inquiry has heard from 203 witnesses who have given evidence about their experiences of Jersey’s child care services since 1945. Our first challenge has been to gain the confidence and trust of victims. Whilst there have been some positive accounts, most of what we have heard has related to painful and damaging experiences. The first Phase of the Inquiry has been slow and painstaking, - not least because of the difficulty many of the victims have had to wrestle with emotionally in terms of firstly giving a statement - and then deciding whether to give evidence in public.
00:43 "I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has come forward and contributed to the work of the Inquiry. It is important that we now move to the next stage. We must establish the truth about how mistreatment of children remained hidden for so long and what was done when concerns were raised.
We must also consider whether appropriate decisions were taken in deciding whether to prosecute individuals - and whether there was political or other interference in those decisions. We now begin therefore an intense period of preparation for the next phase of the Inquiry.
01:23 "This is when we will hear evidence from those who worked in Children’s Services or were in contact with child care on Jersey. We will also hear from some of those accused of abuse. The Inquiry will sit for three days the week beginning April 13th. We will hear evidence from a witness who is not available at a later date.
We will then begin with a full timetable of hearings from the week beginning May the 4th and sit four days each week Tuesday through to Friday. The Inquiry is grateful for the assistance and co operation of all Interested Parties and other agencies in Jersey."
01:57 End

Further video of the Panel & Inquiry Room on Vimeo & YouTube

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Chair: Frances Oldham QC
Frances Oldham QC
Alyson Leslie
Alyson Leslie
Sandy Cameron CBE
Prof. Sandy Cameron CBE

Witnesses Appeal

The Inquiry would like to hear from anyone with information about care homes or foster care in Jersey. This includes senior managers, support staff such as cooks and cleaners, police officers, teachers -
indeed anyone coming into contact with children in the care system. People who
were in care at anytime since the war are also asked to come forward and tell
their story.  A free and confidential support scheme is available on and off Jersey.

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