Children’s Convenor visits Alderney to extend support for young people and families

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Alderney’s Policy & Finance Committee (PFC) recently invited Children’s Convenor Karen Brady to discuss positive outcomes following the recent review of the Children Law.
The changes to the Children Law voted in by the States of Guernsey last year are intended to improve the overall childcare and welfare system by reducing delay and duplication and ensuring that children’s circumstances are considered in the right forum at the right time.
PFC Members, concerned at the low number of referrals to the Convenor from Alderney, were advised by Karen that the majority of referrals received by the Convenor were related to children in Guernsey where there were concerns about their care or they had committed an offence. 
Karen added that it’s possible the services available to children on Alderney are not widely known and that people may not be aware that anyone can make a referral to the Convenor. She also highlighted that the low number of referrals may indicate that the regular liaison that takes place with several on-island bodies, including the police and local education specialists, is working well to identify and support children and young people who need additional support.  
While in Alderney, Karen met with a range of individuals who work with children and young people. Karen hopes to extend this to include the Island Medical Centre and other relevant agencies in future visits. 
Karen said: “Alderney is a beautiful environment for children and young people to grow up in and is an important part of the remit of the Children’s Tribunal System. Some children and young people will need additional help and support to ensure that they can reach their full potential and it is important that islanders are aware of where to get help and support and when it might be appropriate to refer a child or young person to the Convenor.
“During my trip, I was lucky enough to speak to a wide range of people, including the Head Teacher and Inclusion Manager at St Anne’s School, the Greffier of the Court of Alderney and Police Sergeant Taylor, to discuss how we can improve visibility and awareness of the CYCT and Convenor. I was also able to attend a meeting of the Alderney Support Group, which gave me an insight into how services are working together to support children and young people, as well as visit St Annes Playschool and Humming Bees Nursery.
“I look forward to further opportunities for myself and my colleagues to engage locally with the community.”
There is currently no Alderney representation on the CYCT. It is anticipated that there will be a recruitment process for new Tribunal members later this year. The PFC is considering a public drop-in attended by the Tribunal President to provide more information about this voluntary role and to encourage some applications from Alderney.
Karen will also provide feedback to PFC following the conclusion of meetings with other on-island bodies.