Monday, 24 November 2008

While we wait for a Frank response!

While we wait for a response, if any, I would like to discuss where I/we go from here.

Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you for all of your support. Thank you to the regular readers, those that leave comments as well as those who silently support me.

I am sorry that I do not always respond to individual comments but I do try when I have the time.

It is great to see a bit of dialogue on here. Stuart's blog, which he has invested an inordinate amount of time in, has a great deal of dialogue and is great for sharing information and views.

Hopefully my blog, with time, will also provide a forum in which people can share views and get access to information which would perhaps not be printed in the media.

Where do we go next?

I have two aims.

First and foremost, I want the Looked After Children of Jersey to be ‘looked after’ properly. Whether this be Greenfields, Le Moye, Heathfields, La Preference, Bryg y Don or anywhere else. This also includes the homes for children with learning difficulties.

I am not suggesting, and have never suggested, that the frontline staff are at fault. It is the system, the lack of checks and balances, lack of funding, lack of training and, a lack of competent managers. That is where you will find the faults.

Secondly, my aim is that staff who work for the States of Jersey can do so without fear of being bullied.

It is widely known that the States of Jersey's civil service is rife with bullies. Especially by those of you who have been the victim. They know how bad it really is.

Let us be clear, not everyone is a bully. Not everyone will even know a bully or even a victim for that matter.

But they are there, in almost every department throughout the States of Jersey.

The worst thing about these bullies is that they are often middle or senior managers and often they are protected. They are allowed to bully without consequence.

Since my employment tribunal in March of this year I have been contacted by a number of employees. Each with their own story to tell. Each one impacted in a different way. In fact, there is only one department left which I have not yet heard from a victim of this bullying. But the poll topper is Health and Social Services! Well done Mike Pollard - good job!

The common theme which unites these people, is that as well as being bullied, their complaints were not listened to.

The people who are protecting these bullies are a minority, but very senior and very powerful. They are a handful of people who have consistently maintained, time and time again, that ‘there is no evidence of bullying’!

Between them, they earn over 2 million pounds of tax payers money per year.

You can almost forget about the bullies, without their protectors. Without them they would stop. If they failed to stop they would be sacked.

What we need to do is to expose the people who are protecting them.

Going back to my aim, in order to take both of these issues forwards I am considering setting up my business to tackle them head on.

I would be interested in meeting people who have the time and expertise to help set it up and run it.

I have the drive and the passion but I lack the time. I am sure we could gather a few like minded people with specialist knowledge in things such as law, accountancy, PR, psychology/psychiatry, nursing, social workers, IT etc.

I already have a business called Children and Family Services, which this business could be run under.

What do you think? I certainly think there is a need for it - it is just a question of would it actually help anyone?

I also need to speak to witnesses.

I want to hear from anyone who has information about anyone who has played a part in either bullying or the abuse of children. Many names have been mentioned on blogs and we need to crack this issue once and for all.

Information would have to be factual and have the ability to be corroborated independently.

If you know anyone who has been to Les Chene, Greenfields etc then please let them know that I would like to speak to them in confidence. Perhaps you know their families who could offer information.

I know there are also States Members who would be willing to speak with you, or you could go to the Police.

The NSPCC are also still available to speak with in Jersey if required.

If you have any information please don't stay silent anymore.

If you are a teacher, a social worker, a cleaner, a receptionist, if you have information then please share it.

This will help force changes in the system. It is the system that has allowed these abusive practices to exist, even if the abuse was committed by an individual, it was the poor system them let it happen.

If you need to speak with someone in the Police you can contact the incident room at on 0800 735 7777.

There is also the NSPCC helpline on 0800 169 1173 within Jersey, or + 44(0)20 7825 7489 from outside.

Simon

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Simon,

At some stage you could either get a copy of Tim Fields Book or contact Tim Field. He is an expert in Bullying in the Workplace. He was very helpful to me when I underwent problems for blowing the whistle on care issues. It is admirable that you are setting up some sort of network to help people who are being bullied and also at the same time making sure that the children of Jersey are being treated with the respect they deserve.

Workplace bullying, whatever the industry, school, care home, childrens home is rampant and it is important that the abused do have a resorce to help them. Bullying in the workplace more often than not is the result of mis-management, mal practices and above all unqualified management who feel threatened by staff who have experience and qualification, so many Managers have zero qualification, even less qualification in staff management, or law. The bullied end up with health issues believe me.

A few years ago I wrote a 52 page document on care, health and safety issues - that I had experienced working with EBD children in a residential establishment. I must admit however non of the issues apart from one which was life threatening were as bad as the Grand Prix system, the introduction of the Children Act did give the children some protection. Why does Jersey not comply to the Children Act?

I hope you get a lot of support.

Isobel

Anonymous said...

Surely someone with your obvious talents could get a job in the UK as a social worker? How come you haven't got a proper job? Are you sponging off the State? Come on whistleblower, spill the beans

Anonymous said...

Crown representation in the Crown Dependencies
The Queen is the Head of State of each Island and the Lieutenant Governor on each Island is Her Majesty’s personal representative. The Crown is ultimately responsible for the good government of each Island and exercises its responsibilities for the Islands through the Privy Council. The Crown also makes appointments to the judiciary in each Island.

Bree said...

Simon,
Good job mate keep your chin up. Im on this for you it gonna take me time but no worrys pure facts and who better ha me bree telling the truth and ive spoke wit a lot of ex puplis from 95-2008 who will make statments k.Anyway you gota beat them through the courts Human Rights ha well thats wot i wonna do an will trust.Surley every child has the right to be educacted which u dont get coz ur looked up 23hr a day as a child!!!Which surley is detrmental to our helath as children.I reckon all out gang warfair

Anonymous said...

Maybe the queen is involved in all the covering up too. Watch out your Royal Highness. We're on to you. You will be exposed!

Zoompad said...

"Anonymous said...

Surely someone with your obvious talents could get a job in the UK as a social worker? How come you haven't got a proper job? Are you sponging off the State? Come on whistleblower, spill the beans"

I presume this person is just trying to be helpful, by demonstating bullying in action!

Zoompad said...

"It is the system, the lack of checks and balances"

One of the things that I think is very important is that people have EASY access to information.

I think that if anyone is going to be working with, and have power over, vunersble children and adults, then the public should be able to see who these people are and check their credentials. We ought to be shown what qualifications they have and where they gained them - otherwise they could turn out to have trained in an inappropriate institution and even have a hidden agenda.

I have been studying the history of the Kinsey Institute, and from what I have learned I would be very alarmed if a person who chose to study there was working in a children's home. I would want to see what they had studied, and wether it had any bearing on the work they were employed in. Ditto the False Memory Syndrome Foundation - if a person had gained their qualifications from this institution, then worked with vunerable youngsters or adults, how could they be expected to protect those people, and take an unbiased view if they were approached with allegations of abuse?

As a person who has been dragged through the secret family courts for seven years, I have been put under a microscope and analized by a long procession of professional experts, to check if I am a fit person to care for my son. There are many other ordinary parents who are going through this same process every day. If ordinary mothers and fathers are being treated in this way, to see if they are fit people to look after their own children, I do not think it is too much to ask that people who are working with other people's children are required by law to make their CV on higher education and work related experience freely and easily available.

Anonymous said...

http://st-ouennais.livejournal.com/39032.html

Anonymous said...

There is a very good letter in tonights evening post from Rev Geraldine Baudains who makes some very sensible points. It's about time someone spoke up for all the good that is happening. It's not all doom and gloom contrary to what some readers/contributers on this blog may think.

I note that the Rev Baudains has made 3 visits to Greenfields since taking up position on the Youth Court Panel. That would be 3 visits more than Senator Syvret in his entire term of Minister for Health and Social Services.

Anonymous said...

Re Good Letter from the Rev.

It may be "good in your opinion" depends which angle your looking at it from. Obviously your one of those who feel that it's ok to lock kids up. Sad, sad that the Rev, who like most so called Christians, preach humanity and then leave it on the door step when they leave on a Sunday, the church, the church also does not have a good reputation when it comes to child abuse. Usually when these residential establishments open their doors to visitors everything in the garden is rosy, like open day in the school, you never get the "true" picture. In fact it's usually so far from reality that it's possible to get, if you had ever worked in one of these institutions you would know that, obviously you haven't. You know it's like your neighbours "what goes on behind closed doors".

Your reference to Stuart Syvret. When you make remarks like this you really ought to think about what your saying. These instititutions are run by civil servants, civil servants who are paid extortionate salaries, that is what they are employed for. Now would you expect Stuart Syvret when he was a Minister to have attended every doctors surgery to make sure the Doctor was doing his job properly, would you expect him to take part in Surgical Operations to make sure the surgeon was doing his job properly. No of course you wouldn't that is what the surgeons, doctors etc., etc., are paid for. Hence the same applies to the civil servants who were supposedly meeting the theraputic and caring needs for children. Tell me did the Rev ever visit one of these kids when they were locked up in a cell, No, did she ever visit when young prisoners were stripped to their underclothes, of course not. All she saw was the "show".

Get real, this woman has been manipulated by the States to give another States view in this case in the name of Christianity, shame on her.

Sadly like so many your little narrow mind does not stretch very far. People like Simon, people who blow the whistle is usually the only way that it becomes known that systems are failing. These are the people to be admired.

Isobel

Anonymous said...

My 'narrow little mind' has worked in similar institutions in 3 continents. My narrow little mind has seen what happens when you don't take the threat of violence against staff or other residents seriously, and my narrow little mind has also seen many young offenders turn their lives around, sustain employment, raise familes and become valuable, considerate and happy members of their community. And at the risk of 'blowing my own didgerrydoo' I would like to think I can take some of the credit for that.

I couldn't give a stuff whether the rev baudains is a Christian, Muslim or a Mormon, in my 'narrow little mind' she made some valid and sensible points. Religion has nothing to do with it.

Isobel, answer me this. A 16 year old violent male, weighing in at 190lbs, arrested for a a violent knife attack on an old age pensioner arrives at your facility. He has already assaulted 3 policman, seriously injuring one of them. He has threatened to seriously hurt you and anyone else who so much as looks at him, then spits a mouthful of blood and vommit in your face.

What course of action are you going to take. Offer him a nice cup of tea and see if he wants to chat about his childhood, or keep him and everyone else safe until he calms down and is ready and able to engage and accept the support that is available to him.

The above scenario does not relate to anyone in Jersey by the way and I accept that this is an extreme example.

Oh, and for the record, yes, I do expect a minister to keep close tabs and inspect the departments that are his responsibility.

GP's I believe, are not employed by the States, they are private practioners who are not answerable to H&SS.

Zoompad said...

"It's not all doom and gloom contrary to what some readers/contributers on this blog may think"

It is if you happen to be one of the people who survived those hell holes! I did, and I was not in the worst of them, it was bad enough to smash my life for almost 40 years, and I STILL have panic attacks and wake up sobbing, nearly 40 years later! And yet I count my lucky stars that I was not in the worst of them!

I wish people like you could experience even a tiny fraction of the torment that us survivors have gone through, just so that you could have a bit more understanding.

Zoompad said...

"I accept that this is an extreme example"

I'm glad you accept that. You see, a lot of the children who were put in those terrible places were no danger at all to anyone.

I certainly wasn't. I was only put into "care" because I had been sexually abused. So they put me into "care" so that I could get abused some more.

I didn't see a single 16 year old 190lb violent male while I was in "care", just a lot of little kids. There was a violent man there, but he was the man in charge, not one of the inmates!

Anonymous said...

anonymous,

I have possibly worked with some of the most difficult kids, violent, abusive, disturbed and never once were any of these children isolated for long periods of time. If isolation became necessary, this was used as a last resort, at least one member of staff would be with that child at all times if they were acting out, other members of staff would be there for support. Believe me the most important thing was to try and calm down the child. No child was ever stripped of his or her dignity, no child ever had their bedding removed.

We are talking about children who have reached the care situation, how we deal with them in that situation.

Children who are placed in residential situations usually arrive there after the event. Of course these kids are abusive, yes I have been kicked, spat on, abused etc., etc., as have most staff in residential establishments and believe me girls are the most difficult, however you work hard to gain there trust. Most of these kids have never had a good family life, most of these kids don't what a good meal is, most of these kids have never been rewarded in their lives, in fact the majority have no self esteem. Would you subject a dog to isolation for 24hrs a day, told him if he doesn;t bark he will get an hour exercise and maybe his dinner, of course you wouldn't so what sort of humam being would. The Grand Prix system was an offence against Human Rights, those who instigated it should be held accountable, as should any person who has contributed to abusing already damaged children.

The only way to help these children above all is to listen, even when they are not talking, listen when they are being abusive and above all to actually care for them. For some the carers they meet in these institutions are possibly the only people who have ever listened, the only people who have ever shown them a kindness and above all have not judged them.

The first 24hrs they arrive in care is the most important time, to isolate them is punishment, there punishment in a secure unit is taking away there libities from the outside world. To isolate kids who are frightened, believe me the biggest ones are equally afraid, the best thing for them is intricate them into the community, not lock them away.

Of course a lot of these kids, especially in the residential establishmemt I worked in carried on in life to do very well, alas some have fallen by the wayside, however a lot of them do still keep in touch, a lot of them do still come to visit, a lot of them have very fond memories of the time they spent in a residential situation.

Any residential establishment is only as good as the Management who run it. The establishment I worked in was run exceptionally well for many years but when Management changed so did goal posts. Poor management can cover up for so long, however when things become too bad the whistle gets blown.

Inspections, I will reiterate what I said, Show days, all is well on the Home Front - but please do not look at the mess in the cupboards.

Ministers of the Church, well I am afraid I have little faith in most of them, I only ever met a good vicar once, he was the only one that would allow me in the 70s to run a rock n roll club in the local church hall for those unclubable youngsters, needless to say he liked rock n roll as well.

Rather surprised to learn that Doctors et all are not part of the dept of H&SS So your hospitals et al were not part of SS remit. Are all the hospitals, doctors etc., etc., privately run, does the States not pay anything towards your Health Services

isobel

Anonymous said...

I too had bullying at my place of work resulting in depression on my part. I have now left my job as I had no option. People in charge will always make sure they are covered even if it means upsetting people so much that they contemplate suicide. But hey thats life they have still got their jobs even though they were useless at them! I am so relieved I am no longer at this place of work everyone I speak to is sick of the idiots in charge but due to @rselicking and certain people sleeping with certain people nothing changes for them. My advice to anyone is get out if you are bullied it is not worth your health suffering. I believe in karma so I know these tossers will get well rewarded for their actions or inactions in their next lives.

I won't say where I worked for fear of reprissals however I have nothing but contempt for the people that treated me this way. If I didn't see them again before I died it would still be too soon!

Work place bullying is endemic over here due to stupid pressures put on people to become ever more efficient. People are cracking up but who cares as long as the job gets done?

I was off for more than 6 months with hardly any interest shown by my bosses and no get better card. However my boss who had a minor opperation and was off for 2 weeks got a get well card (lick lick. This is how patheitic things are over here.