Tuesday, July 4, 2017

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE JCLA

STATEMENT FROM JERSEY CARELEAVERS ASSOCIATION (JCLA)
Monday 3rd July 2017


On behalf of the JCLA and as a survivor I welcome today’s publication of the IJCI’s report.

We have waited a very long time not just for this report but to obtain an independent opinion and to understand why so many vulnerable children came to be abused in Jersey some for many years whilst in the care of the States of Jersey.

The report makes for disturbing reading. The inquiry exposes repeated failures in good governments and managements on the part of the States of Jersey. 

Very often and too often the term “historical” is applied like a label to the accounts of child abuse. This is both wrong and misleading. Survivors in Jersey and further afield are living testimony to the fact that there is nothing historical about the abuse they suffered. They are living proof that what happened is a challenge for today and tomorrow. A challenge in the sense that as a community we have to face-up to the failings identified in the report, to put those failings right, and to ensure that we have a fit for purpose child protection system in place for tomorrow.

The report identifies where the SOJ has gone wrong on child protection year in year out. Too often the interests of vulnerable children were secondary, and the risk as identified in the report that the lessons that could be learnt from the past will not be. Far too often the SOJ diverted its considerable resources on short-term measures to shore-up reputations. Those concerned may well have thought they were acting wisely at the time, but they were blinkered as to the real issues. Children were being failed and in the worse possible way.

Jersey should be rightly proud that it held the inquiry and credit is due where it is deserved. Those in the SOJ and others who supported the creation of the inquiry and allowed it to go about its work should be acknowledged.

The inquiry would not have been possible had not so many witnesses come forward, and by no means least survivors. It took courage and dignity to give evidence to the inquiry. 

We must now look to the future. It would be absurd for this report to be allowed to gather dust. It is incumbent on Jersey’s leaders and the SOJ to take this report, and act on the recommendations made by the IJCI’s Panel to ensure that there is a fit for purpose child protection system in place for all children from now and into the future.  


 History of JCLA

The JCLA was formed in 2008 in the wake of the announcement that an investigation into years of child abuse in the Island was being undertaken by the States of Jersey Police. Survivors/victims of abuse were offered the opportunity to join the charity, and it attracted members from as far afield as Australia. The objectives of the charity were fourfold -
  • To provide an open door for survivors to call as and when they felt they wanted to talk and be believed, to be listened to and to express their feelings without being judged. Survivors had a great mistrust of anything and anybody with States of Jersey connections and the JCLA was a place of 'safety' to them. 

  • To offer practical help in many ways to make it easier for members to obtain records whether it be their child care SOJ records, or police statements made by them. Many Care leavers were looking for answers and needed to understand what happened to them as children and why they ended up in care. For some, this process was invaluable to help them understand more about their past and gave them a better sense of identity with more of an understanding about what happened to them as children.  We helped with completing forms and attended meetings with those who were too nervous to go alone. Contact was made on behalf of JCLA members with agencies involved to make the many processes of the redress scheme and the Inquiry easier for Survivors. 

  • To ensure a Redress Scheme was put in place and reached out to as many Care leavers as possible to make them aware that this was in place. 

  • To ensure that a fully robust and independent Committee of Inquiry was enabled, and that JCLA’s input and recommendations for the Terms of Reference were taken on board. 
We kept members up to date with all updates and news through a regular newsletter and e-mails. We attended many meetings with Lawyers, the Chief Minister and other States members as well as various SOJ Departments to negotiate a way forward for all.  Not all the abuse survivors wanted to be members of the JCLA which we fully understood and respected, but it was hoped that any achievements and progress we made was of benefit to all. We worked very hard for justice for all survivors and recognition that at last the awful history of the past would come into the public domain, and expose the failings of the States of Jersey and the many agencies that should have prevented this ever happening. 

It is not something Jersey should be proud of, but we hope the Inquiry Report highlights not only the great failures, but recommendations will be made that will ensure that this will never happen again. 

This has been a very long journey for all but in particular for the very brave survivors who, having already been through the ordeal of a traumatic and abusive childhood, had to re-live their experiences once again. We would also like to thank all those who have helped and guided us throughout these many years, there are too many to mention but you know who you are. To you all - thank you.

We hope that we have given some form of comfort to those needing our help and hope that in time, Jersey will be able to heal and move forward from this dark chapter in her history however……… 

…..for some Survivors this can never happen. To them, this is not historic; the memories continue to consume their lives today and tomorrow. For these people, there will never be closure.     

Carrie Modral 

JCLA

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Carrie, I'd like to thank you for all you have done over these last 9 years.
You've supported people who've struggled with horrendous abuse, battled with local MSM, written reports, attended meetings and so much more. This can't have been easy and, was no doubt emotionally draining on many occasions.
You're unquestionably resilient and you've always been eloquent and sincere.
My thanks goes out too, to those others who've supported the JLCA and supported you.

I recall a difficult period for the JLCA when things didn't look good. Was it a raid or something?
It would be great to be pointed in the direction of this event.
Was it too part of the cover up? I don't know enough about it, other than it had a bad smell at the time.
I'm just a regular person, yet still the Jersey Way scares me.
The Jersey Way must be petrifying to those whose childhood was wrecked in often multiple ways.
I'm hopeful some will find closure with the IJCI now the report is finally available.
Personally, if I'd been writing your press release, I'd have gone further.
I'd be requesting a change to the structural arrangements that have allowed this to happen with a focus on the judiciary and the crown officers.
You write;
'Far too often the SOJ diverted its considerable resources on short-term measures to shore-up reputations.'
This is so true. I just think without a root and branch approach, it's window dressing.
Food for thought.
All the best to you and the JLCA.