The Council of Ministers has agreed the details of a Historic Abuse Redress Scheme for those who were in the States of Jersey’s full time residential care between 9 May 1945 and 31 December 1994.
On 6 December 2010, the Chief Minister issued the following apology: “On behalf of the Island’s government, I acknowledge that the care system that operated historically in the Island of Jersey failed some children in the States’ residential care in a serious way. Such abuse has been confirmed by the criminal cases that have been before Jersey’s courts. To all those who suffered abuse, whether confirmed by criminal conviction or not, the Island’s government offers its unreserved apology.”
By that apology, the States of Jersey acknowledged failings in the Island’s historical residential care system.
A number of individuals who were previously in the Island’s residential care have made compensation claims against the States of Jersey. The question of how to respond to those claims was delayed until related criminal proceedings were concluded. Detailed discussions with claimants’ lawyers have concluded that all individuals concerned would prefer to settle matters, if possible, outside of public, expensive and adversarial court proceedings.
The Chief Minister, SenatorIan Gorst, said “The Council of Ministers wants to ensure claimants are dealt with fairly and sensitively. We intend the scheme to be efficient, enabling early resolution wherever possible and offering claimants privacy over the details of their claim. We support the wish of claimants to resolve their claims outside of court proceeedings and asked our lawyers to advise on how these claims might be resolved and to liaise with the claimants’ legal representatives on a scheme
that meets these requirements. The Council of Ministershave now agreed to the launch of the Scheme based on legal advice from Mourant Ozannes.”
Under the Scheme, claimants will provide the relevant details and Mourant Ozannes will assess each claim. They will then determine whether the claim can be admitted into the scheme and assessthe amount to be paid within agreed financial bands.
Those bands have been arrived at following advice from expert UK counsel. This Scheme is voluntary, in the belief that claimants are too late to bring legal proceedings.
All claims for financial redress are to be received by the States of Jersey’s legal advisers by 30 September 2012.
Support for anyone affected by these issues is available through the Department of Health and Social Services. Please contact your GP who will discuss a referral with you,if you live in Jersey and do not have a local GP you can contact Psychological
Assessment and Therapy Servicedirectly on 444550.
Victim Support Jersey are also available to offer advice and guidance to anyone who needs their support. Victim Support can be contacted on 440496 or for more information go to www.victimsupportjersey.co.uk