As was reiterated by The Committee for Health and Social Care (HSC), and by many of the States Deputies during the debate, our unique legislation, and the principles that underpin it, serves our community well.
We have supported and welcomed the need to evaluate and update the law to make sure it’s still relevant for our community, and this review has provided us with the opportunity to strengthen our existing law, as well as increasing people’s awareness of the System as a whole.
We are especially glad to see the States giving strong support to the Children’s Tribunal System and we are encouraged that the amendments passed which will give additional powers to the Court will be limited to exceptional cases. We believe that the holistic and informal space of the Tribunal allows young people to be active participants in decisions made about their welfare, and we are glad to see that the ethos of the original law will continue.
HSC will provide greater clarity on the specific changes in due course but, for now, our focus will be on ensuring that the changes when implemented are monitored and that they meet the policy objectives of reducing delay and duplication, which has always and will always be a priority for us.
We hope that these changes will include strengthening Social Services to ensure that any potential operational challenges do not impact negatively on the implementation of the changes, and that the governance review in Phase 2 of the review ensures that the entirety of the child welfare system is working as effectively as possible.