On Monday 9th of February, we (Peter le Mesurier, the Secretary of the JCLA, Eireann le Poidevin, Chair of the JCLA, and Candia Cooper, Peter’s partner, along with myself) met with Mike Pollard. Mike Pollard is the head of Jersey Health and Social Services. We wanted to discuss the provision of future services. The meeting agreed agreed on the need for urgent and widespread consultation with all of the care leavers on Jersey (a quick but comprehensive and funded research project), with a package of support to follow that consultation. This will happen in the next two or three months. In the meantime, emergency services will be improved. The result of the research will go to a steering group or stakeholder group of some kind, with Jersey care leavers at the heart of it, who will decide how to implement its findings. The meeting also agreed that the Jersey government would fund a Development Worker post, which the JCLA really need now.
We held a JCLA meeting on Wednesday evening (11th February). The JCLA had invited as many care leavers as possible. Mike Pollard came along to address them all. There were 36 people who turned up. About 25 of these were Jersey care leavers, some of them with relatives. Some of them had not been to a meeting before. A few other people turned up, some unexpectedly. The police liaison team were there, having been invited by a number of the care leavers. So, too, was Dave Coleman, the solicitor acting for the JCLA and for a number of individual care leavers. Mike publicly repeated the above agreement with the JCLA, including the paid worker and a rough time frame for implementing what was agreed. There were lots of questions and issues raised by the care leavers present.
After the break, once the other agencies have left, there was a meeting between Dave Coleman and the Jersey care leavers. This was really an update on what will happen this year.
All in all, it was a productive week. The key, of course, is to make all the plans happen. It looks like the next few months could be very busy and productive ones for the JCLA.
Jim Goddard (Secretary)