The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry on Friday (31 July) continued to hear evidence about the workings of Children’s Services from the 1990s, as well as evidence from two anonymous witnesses.
In a detailed account, Children’s Services Officer, Mr Tony Le Sueur, covered a range of topics from the Key Worker System and training provision, the use of detention rooms and child placement policies through to staff assessments and social workers’ caseloads.
Taking him through his statement, Inquiry Counsel, Mr Patrick Sadd, asked Mr Le Sueur about the impact of these organisational practices on residents and on staff morale.
Mr Le Sueur described the formation of the Health and Social Services Department and the Jersey Child Protection Committee. He spoke about the problems that arose around funding and budgets, issues around communication between staff and departments, police involvement and how this all played out against the backdrop of deep-seated cultural issues and Jersey's political system.
He recalled Jersey’s failure to implement the recommendations of other external inspections and said he sincerely hoped that the Inquiry’s recommendations would be taken on as there were hugely committed professionals working on the island who wanted better services.
Mr Le Sueur will conclude his evidence next Thursday.
In the afternoon, anonymous witness, Mr ‘A’, described how he had starting taking children from Haut de la Garenne for days out at the beach and cinema, on a voluntary basis, in the 1960s. In 2003 one of the children, Witness 195, repeatedly asked him for money, and when faced with threats, Mr ‘A’ reported him to the police. During the police investigation, Witness 195 made significant allegations of sexual abuse against Mr ‘A’ in relation to these trips out during the 1960s.
In 2004, police interviewed Mr ‘A’ about the allegations, which he denied. During evidence today, Mr ‘A’ also denied allegations in relation to other former residents of Haut de la Garenne that he had taken for days out during the 1960s.
Earlier, anonymous witness, Mr ‘K’, refuted allegations of sexual abuse during visits to Haut de la Garenne whilst working for Children’s Services.
Transcripts and supporting documents will be made available in due course.
Public hearings resume 1000 on Tuesday 4 August. Please monitor the Timetable for up-to-date timings