The Council of Ministers have agreed additional measures aimed at helping to protect vulnerable people living in our community by establishing a Vulnerable Adults Protection Committee and a Vulnerable Adults Policy Group.
The Vulnerable Adults Protection Committee will put in place multi-agency arrangements to help safeguard vulnerable adults, and have the power to commission serious case reviews to investigate apparent failures in service. It will make recommendations to the Vulnerable Adults Policy Group which will provide robust political leadership across all services that impact on, benefit or protect vulnerable adults in Jersey.
These arrangements will mirror the existing Jersey Child Protection Committee (JCPC) and existing Children’s Policy Group (CPG) which was established in 2010 and has delivered clear successes such as developing the Island’s first ever Strategic Framework for Children and Young People and driving forward rules that protect school children from harm by limiting the hours they can work.
Senator Paul Routier, Assistant Chief Minister with special responsibility for Social Policy, will be Chair of the Vulnerable Adults Policy Group. He said “Jersey has an obligation to protect all vulnerable people from crime and abuse and to make cohesive policy decisions to support their well being”. He added: “This will become even more important as our population ages and the number of people who are potentially vulnerable and who have special needs grows”
Deputy Anne Pryke, Minister for Health and Social Services and current Chair of the Children’s Policy Group said “In 2007 our Island was confronted with the realisation that the systems previously in place had not been robust enough to protect children from harm or to ensure their wellbeing. The decision taken by the Council of Ministers will help ensure that is not the case for vulnerable adults”.
The new Vulnerable Adults Protection Committee will share a joint independent Chair with the JCPC, creating a single identifiable safeguarding champion, whilst the establishment of a Vulnerable Adults Policy Group will help drive forward cross department policy which benefits the well being of vulnerable adults.
Over a period of time, responsibility for the existing CPG will transfer from the Health and Social Services Department to the Chief Minister’s Department, creating a focal point for social policy development which accords with the States’ strategic plan; in particular the priority to Promote Family and Community Values” and the reflecting the importance the Council of Minister’s places on social policy.