Monday, 28 April 2008

Response from ex Jersey social worker

Yesterday I posted a comment from a reader who had responded to a previous comment left by an ex social worker.

The ex social worker has now responded to clarify the situation and I have pasted that response below.

"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 in care ie inspection by UK CSCI/Ofsted (even though probation and prisons are inspected by Uk inspectorates), poor feedback form partner agencies about the functions of child care systems in jersey (voluntary and statutory partners) plus lots of bureaucratic bits about policies not 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 curiously applied to all depts except social services) but that wasn't 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 inspections of child care in jersey there will always be a nagging doubt.

Why OFsted? Well, to performance manage 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 to have absolute confidence the people they 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 recent jersey childcare history the
"inspectors " would need to be from the uk and experienced in inspecting childcare services.

OFSTED are the only group with this experience. It would also bring child care into 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?Anon"

If the author of the first comment would like to respond to the 'ex social worker' it would be appreciated.

Has anyone got any views about this? What do people feel is needed? Do people think that the States of Jersey need to introduce regular independent 'checks and balances' to regulate their services for children and young people?

I fully support this notion, however, if this is all that is needed why has the prison service received 3 scathing reports and yet still fails on virtually every assessed standard? The service has now received a financial boost from the States of Jersey but my theory is that this has been a reactive damage limitation excercise as a result of the child abuse scandal and not as a result of the reports themselves. I think that the world media raised the accountability stakes - something Jersey's senior civil servants and politicians need so very desperately to improve public services for the islands most vulnerable people.

It would be great to get some views on this. Also, please, if you can register a name, still stay anonymous but use a fictitious name so that it is easier to follow the communicate with each other.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything that is being said i.e the benchmark of organisations such as OFSTED. Checks and balances do need putting in place. Our civil servants and ministers should be held accountable. Our current goverment could well be described as corrupt.

But in all honesty you're not telling us anything we don't know or at least nothing that will suprise us. As I commented previously we, or I need to know what can be done about it all. I'm getting bored with the repetitive stuff of how bad things are.

Most people seem to be happy living in the problem when they should be getting into the solution.

I know it was strongly suggested to you to stand as a candidare for the next elections, something I believe you should consider seriously.

I believe you to be a man of high morals, integrity and courage and would get my vote any day of the week.

Senator Syvret already has the market cornered with telling us all how bad things are and how corrupt our goverment is and really has the captive audience on that.

Like I said your blogs are very little new and nothing suprising, you have my upmost respect and sympathy's, but do us a favour and get out of the problem and into the solution!!

Pike Mollard.