Sunday, 27 April 2008

A comment for ex social worker to respond to.

I have just been left this comment and whilst I have published it on my blog along with the other comments I also wanted to list it here as a separate post.

I have done this for two reasons. Firstly, I am aware that the person whom this comment relates is reading my blogs and is therefore likely to comment in response, and secondly, this demonstrates how the senior civil servants operate in order to suppress complaints, close rank and demonise those people who have left or have been sacked, this is done in order to protect themselves and hide their own incompetancies and inadequacies.

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Reply to comments":

when the previous respondent left after seven days staff were told it was because he was having difficulty in arranging child careprovision,that he wanted to work flexi-time and this was not possible.

Nothing about the real reason for leaving,many including myself had no knowledge of the Grand Prix system.

By the way flexi-time is now operating ."

If either the 'previous respondant' or the author of this comment make further comments, which I hope they do, I will keep readers posted. I have also attachd the 'previous respondants' comments below so that you can understand the context of this post.

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Reply to comments":

Hi Simon,I will explain to readers that I was a uk social worker who came to work for the Jersey Social services as child protection social worker.

Prior to coming to Jersey I was a senior manager in childrens services in the UK with nearly 20 yrs experience. After 7 working days in Jersey I resigned.

This partly due to the procedures I discovered were in operation at the greenfields secure unit for children. This on its own would not have been sufficient for me to resign but it was this, combined with other features, which led me to believe that social work practice in jersey was unsafe.

Firstly though I can confirm Simons verson of events with regard to the Grand Prix system was in place and abusive to children. Secondly that upon induction to the unit children were routinely isolated and put into bleak cells for 24hrs.

This process was not based upon any threat or risk the young person may pose to themselves or others.Some of these children, as young as 10, would be in the unit for "welfare reasons" and not as a result of criminal behaviour but the process would remain the same.

The process would be abusive for either group of children in the UK, but I could see a warped argument to implement the procedure for young offenders but I would not condone it!

After discovering the above (plus lots of other bits which I will save for another day)I discussed my findings with other memebers of the Social Work team who said they were aware of the situation at the unit and expressed their dissatisfaction but nothing had changed. They also expressed their fear that if they compliained too loudly they may get the sack. They also explained that they believed if they complained it may lead to them " never work in jersey again".( they had other issues as well but too long to go into now )

Before I left Jersey, my manager asked me why I was leaving. I didn't wish to go into details as I had written a seven page letter to the chief exec detailing exactly why I was leaving and used the jersey whistle blower policy to do so. However I did say to my line manager that I had found practices at the childrens secure unit disturbing to say the least.

Their response surprised me in that they said " what goes on at the secure unit is not my responsibility". Considering my manager was a "child protection" manager their view that their responsibilty stopped at the front door of the secure unit was a tad shocking.

I kind of expected the response "tell me more and if its serious we will see if we can sort it out/investigate/ talk to unit managers etc".I had already made my decision to leave by mow but this was the icing on the cake!

The failure of one part of the Jersey child care system to want to tackle the inadequacies of performance of other related departments is one of the reasens that child abuse in childrens homes has been allowed to go undetected for so long. My experiences were in the past 3 years.

Not along time ago.The response from the chief execs dept was predictable. They informed me they had fully investigated my concerns and that I did " not understand the policy and culture of the island". By now I think I had fully grasped the culture of the child care system in jersey which was " dont rock the boat or else" and that the some of the policies were abusive to children.

Several months after my departure form jersey I was contacted by Simon Bellwood. Although mine and Simons time in Jersey had crossed we didnt meet at the time.

Simon informed me had been the manager at the secure unit and tried to end the abusive childcare practices, which I had been informed by Chief Execs dept, were a figment of my imagination and lack of knowledge about Jersey social work culture/policies etc.

Simon also told me that the govt investigation into my concerns went as follows.Simon received a telephone call that went."who did that new social worker talk to when he was shown round the unit?"Simon replied " I dont know"

That is the sum total of a an internal extensive investigation into abusive child care in jersey by the jersey govt.So baring in mind the Jersey govt superb internal investigative qualities, imagine how it must feel for children in jersy who comlpained about their treatment in childrens homes over the past decades.

I hope they got more than a telephone call to the manager of the home where thay were being abused but I suspect not.I firmly believed Simon was dismissed for trying to expose the process which resulted in children being abused whilst in the govts care.

If I had stayed in Jersey I believe I would have sufferd the same fate. The information so far is just one part of my story which could go on but I dont want to identify the staff who gave me even more information confirming what I believe to be potential systemic failings in the jersey child protection system.

I think what Simon has acheived is fantastic but it has probalby been at a great personal cost,both emotional and fiancial. I will write more if people are interested and i am particularly keen to talk about what the Jersey govt needs to do to put things right for the future.

The answers are pretty simple but i wll leave those for another day!"


Anonymous said...

Dear all,
Ex Jersey social worker here. When I left the main reasons were to do with culture of secrecy/ lack of feeling able to complain about poor practice without feeling very vulnerable, in my opinion the overall systems were not in place to protect children incare ie inpection by UK CSCI/Ofsted (even though probation and prisons are inpected by Uk inspectorates), poor feedback form partner agencies about the functions of child care systems in jersey( voluntary and statutory partners) plus lots of bureacratic bits about policies nto being followed. Yes I did ask about childcare availability and flexible working for child care both of which I was informed was available at interview. Neither was available in social services when I arrived(even though there was a states flexible working policy, which curiuosly applied to all depts except social services) but that wasnt why I left! I could have coped with that!
No there was a whole host of other issues which I wont go into.
Individual staff do a good job but in my opinion the overall performance monitoring of the child protection processes are not up to the job. I left but until CSCI/OFsted undertake regular inpections of child care in jerseythere will always be a nagging doubt.Why OFsted? Well, to
performance manager child care you need to do what they call "benchmarking " a service against a set of fixed criteria. The process also needs to include feedback from young people and families who receive the service. Children would need tonhave absiolute confidence the people thay are talking to to give feedback are independent and objective and able to take action against poor practice if reported.
For these reasons, and thinking about jrecent jersey childcare history it the " inspectors " woul;d need to be from the uk and experienced in inspecting childcare services. OFSTED are the only group woth this experience. It would alos bring child careinto to line with Prison and Probation departments.
So far the govt has had numerous
one off reports ie kathy bull andrew williamson etc but no "Benchmarking" against set criteria. Its obvious really so I am not sure what the delay is! Can any one think of why?

Anonymous said...

Speak OUT and LOUD For the silenced voices in the Macabre "Jersey"
Speak OUT and LOUD For our kids taken and killed by the UK Government.
Speak OUT and LOUD For the removal of new born babies from vulnerable mothers to be place in adoption by “$uitable citizen”. SPEAK OUT & LOUD.

August 18th . Hercules our Double Decker Bus will depart on a mission never attempted before in Britain: Assailing the UK Government

We, UK coalition of mothers, victims and supporters will launch a speaking out and loud campaign demanding the release of our children before another Jersey macabre discovery.

We, mothers and allies are gravely concerned about the safety and well-being of children currently under Government’ care, Foster Homes and Homes Centres. Jersey is a small blink of the big eye under the “Secrecy UK’s Government policy” ..that the World needs to know now.

Position: Persistent abuses of powers from government public servants, officers, police,
Unethical social workers, but the worst: Solicitors, Barrister, and UK Judges.

Jersey’s macabre discovery is all around the World. A major issue since
Hitler’s that the World can no longer afford to ignore. Nor the UK to hide it
Children, silenced, discriminated and segregated in groups of Caucasian white only areas to preserve the “Race and its culture” e.g: Surrey County.

UK Children are currently the poorest kids in Europe. They receive the lowest child benefit and no Holidays for low income families. No community support or respite is available for single mothers now forced to work by this Labour Government. In the meantime “Foster’s” will receive £££ per week.

Vulnerable, mothers and pregnant women under attacks to Remove their babies at birth with cooperation of hospital unethical staff And a barbarian police force eager to act against babies and weak new mothers. This is Brutal.

Behind Court rooms closed doors the UK policy of TORTURE is in full operation and kept in secrecy by Gagging anyone involved. This is against any Human Right’s Organizations and the United Nation Conventions.

Algeria criticises UK’s human rights record. By Judith Sunderland in Open Democracy. Our Kingdom….April 23, 2008. “The United Kingdom came in for robust questioning on its human rights record”

Mr Gordon Brown says “we share the same enduring values, .liberty, opportunity, the dignity of the individual….” by Guardian Unlimited. July 30th 2007


The Coalition of mothers and supporters are urging the governments all around the
World to demand the UK Government the immediate and unconditional release of
Several thousand of children held in captivity in unacceptable Homes & Centres.

We are calling for the UN Special rapporteur on children and women rights to conduct a Mission of Inquiry in to the grave situation in the UK.

We demand that the UK Government address the fact that England is no A mere Caucasian race and STOP ignoring the rights of “equal justice”, equal opportunity, and most of all,“Equal dignity and respect to citizen irrespectively of their low income, low IQ, or just for being different . UK moral values are the lowest in EU.

We demand a Family in-home preventive system to put in place inso fact to guarantee a safe return and reunion of children with their mothers and families.

We demand that Children and Human Rights to be taught in Primary schools.

We demand accountability for every officer who works with kids including Legal, so called Professionals and Paramount: Solicitors, barrister and Judges and clerks.

We demand that children with special needs and different culture background are treated with extra protection and respect for their family values or extra needs.

We remind the UK’s Government and its officers that Human Rights are not a privilege that we must work to earn it. They are everyone’s entitlement and it is an indictment for UK residents that the rights of children and women are continually trampled and ignored and routinely framed with false allegations.

This launching is a major VICTORY (A) for the abused children of the UK. They deserve a much better chance!!!

Women Legal Partnership Ltd and its coalition of Mothers, Fathers and Justice for Families.,