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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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01/07/2015
Former Blanche Pierre worker, Mrs Sue Doyle, gave evidence to the IJCI on Wednesday 2 July.

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Wednesday (1 July) heard evidence from a former member of staff from Children’s Services, who worked at Blanche Pierre Family Group Home, Heathfield and then in the fostering and adoption team.

Mrs Sue Doyle, who previously worked as an auxiliary nurse before moving to Highlands College, told the Panel that she was first approached to work on a temporary basis at Blanche Pierre in 1989 by Brenda Chappell.  Six weeks later she accepted a part-time job – but was already concerned about the way the children were treated by House Parents, Alan and Jane Maguire.  

IJCI Counsel Patrick Sadd took Mrs Doyle through her statement as she described some of the physical and emotional abuse suffered by the children. She explained how she reported it to Children’s Services and eventually the Maguires were asked to leave Blanche Pierre.

In 1991, Mrs Doyle moved to Heathfield and she described events leading to the criminal proceedings against the Maguires in 1997 - and her surprise when the case against them was dropped. She also helped with the subsequent internal investigation into what happened at Blanche Pierre and subsequently with Operation Rectangle.

Since 2001 Mrs Doyle has been working with the fostering and adoption team and explained how the recruitment process had changed to involve more vetting and assessments.

The transcript and supporting documents will be available in due course.

The IJCI has now adjourned for the week and public hearings will resume 1000 on Tuesday 7 July.
  
30/06/2015
Two former child workers give evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Day 81.

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Tuesday (30 June) heard evidence from two former child care workers.

Miss Marilyn Carre worked as a Child Care Assistant and Officer in Jersey between 1977 and 1990 before moving to the probation service. 

Counsel to the Inquiry, Mr Patrick Sadd, took her through her statement in which she described her role working with young people in the community and working occasional night shifts in various residential homes – mainly Heathfield and La Preference, in order to supplement her income. She detailed the referrals process by which children were sent to Children’s Services, how she developed a specialism in dealing with suspected sexual abuse cases and training provision by the States.

 Miss Carre also described what she saw during visits to Les Chenes, Blanche Pierre and Haut de la Garenne before explaining how she stopped working as a Counsellor on Operation Rectangle due to a conflict of interest.

 After lunch, Mr Sadd took Mr Ernest Mallet through his statement, in which he detailed being brought up in Jersey’s care system and subsequently becoming a volunteer at Haut de la Garenne between 1969-1974.

 He then went to England to work as a residential Child Care Officer in Surrey where they used the key worker system, before returning to Jersey in 1981 as Assistant Director at Les Amis. He joined Haut de la Garenne nine months later and then spent 20 years working at La Preference until 2002.  Mr Mallet recalled various members of staff, management, records, care of the children, discipline and relationships with the States. He also responded to two allegations of assault made against him, which were investigated by Children’s Services in 1992 and 2000 respectively.

Transcripts and supporting documents will be available in due course.

Public Hearings resume tomorrow (Wednesday 1 July) at 1000 with another former care worker speaking about their experiences of Jersey’s care system.  

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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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