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Children's Law Reform

DepartmentStrategic Policy, Planning and Performance
Start date05/12/2019
End date26/02/2020
Type of consultationOther
Deadline for comments26/02/2020
Responses publish date08/04/2020

About the consultation

In December 2018, the Minister for Children and Housing, Senator Sam Mézec, announced a programme of legislative change. The Children’s Legislation Transformation Programme covers 39 different areas of policy development that have a shared ambition of improving outcomes for children.

These proposals are in Phase 1 of the Children’s Legislation Transformation Programme and are due to form an omnibus amendment to the Children (Jersey) Law, 2002.

The policy proposals aim to strengthen the law in the following way:

  • to expand the focus of the current law to provide an entitlement to children and families for early help and support based on their wellbeing needs
  • to establish a legal requirement for strategic and operational integrated planning across services that will enable joint planning and clear priorities to improve children’s outcomes
  • to ensure there is clarity around responsibility for the promotion of wellbeing and for safeguarding children
  • the introduction of a new requirement for co-operation between providers of services for children
  • to establish a named list of corporate parents with clear duties and responsibilities for children who are in care and for care leavers
  • to clearly set out the elements of support that children in care, or leaving care, can expect from government
  • to embed the four guiding principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the law

Development of the proposals so far have taken into account:

  • the findings of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry
  • local and national evidence on effective ways to protect and support children and young people
  • discussions with children’s practitioners
  • meetings with Government counterparts in Scotland to learn from good practice elsewhere
  • views expressed by children and young people in respect of wellbeing

Before work begins on drafting this amendment, we want to test the key features of the underpinning policy through public consultation.

Public meeting dates

​We are holding two public drop-in sessions at Jersey Library on:

  • Wednesday 29 January from 12.30pm to 2.30pm
  • Friday 31 January from 9.30am to 11.30am

Please come along if you have a question or would like to find out more.

How to submit comments to the consultation

There are a few ways you can share your views. You can:

Complete our short online questionnaire

Email the Children’s Policy Team

Write to:

Children's Law Reform
Strategic Policy, Planning and Performance
19-21 Broad Street
St Helier

Children's Law Reform public consultation privacy policy

Responses to the consultation

The Children's Law reform public consultation ran for 12 weeks between 5th December 2019 and 26 February 2020. The aim of the consultation was to seek Islanders' views on the principles that will inform a number of amendments to the Children (Jersey) Law, 2002.

These proposed new legal provisions are part of the Children's Legislation Transformation Programme, which is composed of a wide range of areas of policy and legislation for development that have a shared ambition of improving outcomes for children and families.

The proposed amendments include a framework for early intervention based on wellbeing alongside a greater emphasis on integrated service planning and corporate responsibilities, including corporate parenting. Consultation activities included targeted face to face and group engagement with young people, meetings with and briefings provided to representative practitioners in the children's workforce from the Government of Jersey and the third sector, an online public consultation and two public drop-in sessions at Jersey library.

The online consultation was composed of the following themes:

  • embedding wellbeing in policy and practice
  • establishing corporate parenting in policy and practice
  • people working together
  • children's experience and perspective

The over-arching message that emerged from the consultation was that broadly, consultees, including children and young people, are welcoming of the policy proposals. This feedback and ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders will be used to inform the drafting of the amendments to the Children (Jersey) Law 2002. Work is now commencing on drafting the amendments, which are due to be presented to the States Assembly by the end of the year or in early 2021. 

Children's Law reform consultation summary report

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