Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Friday, 7 March 2008

Jersey childcare children 'safe'

Andrew Williamson
Andrew Williamson said a number of concerns had been addressed

A UK childcare expert says children now in care in Jersey are safe, in the midst of the historical abuse inquiry.

Andrew Williamson also said Jersey should have a Minister for Children in Jersey and there should be improvements to the current system.

He was appointed by the States last year following concerns raised by then Health Minister Senator Stuart Syvret.

His investigation started after Jersey police probed claims of child abuse in the island going back decades.

Skull found

Mr Williamson, former director of Devon Social Services, has been speaking to people who have either given or received child care services in the island in recent times.

He has also worked closely with the police who started an investigation in 2006 into historical child abuse.

The police inquiry has led to the discovery of part of a child's skull at former children's home, Haut de la Garenne.

More than 160 people have come forward to police to claim they were physically and sexually abused at the home.

Mr Williamson has spoken to 40 people who have either received or given child care services in the island and carried out 70 interviews.

The full report is expected later this month.

He said: "As a result of my interviews and visits there are a number of organisational and structural changes that will be recommended.

"And I am very pleased to see that a number of these are already being addressed.

"For example, the HR policies for dealing with inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour when working with children are now firmly in place."

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