Digital copy of a Superintendent's Report by Haut de la Garenne Superintendent J H [Jim] Thomson titled A Report for the Eighties. Undated, c. 23 January 1980. [Some details redacted].

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January 23rd 1980 - January 23rd 1980

Scope and Content

Refers to a personal report based on 11 years experience as a Child Care Officer and Senior Child Care Officer, and 3 years experience as the Haut de la Garenne Superintendent. Refers to views being shared by other members of Field and Residential Staff. Provides details relating to the development of Haut de la Garenne between 1960 and 1966 into a multi-purpose, all age Children's Home, attempting to fulfil various functions, including remand. Provides a description of the facilities available at Haut de la Garenne, noting attempts to make the building as comfortable and attractive as possible. Notes that the size, layout and appearance of Haut de la Garenne negate attempts to provide family style care. States that three or four smaller Children's Homes catering for up to 20 children, each with a flexible function, would have served the needs of the Island better than Haut de la Garenne. Refers to the opening of Les Chenes [Residential School] as a positive step towards that eventuality. Refers to Haut de la Garenne's history as an Industrial School and as the Jersey Home for Boys. Refers to boys remaining at Haut de la Garenne during their schooling before their graduation to the outside world, mentioning the Armed Services, farming, or emigration. Notes that since 1960 (upon the admission of girls) and 1965 (upon the admission of toddlers and babies) Haut de la Garenne's basic function has been to provide intermediate and long-term care. Refers to the policy intention that children in long-term care who could not be rehabilitated with their families, would be placed in foster homes or Family Group Homes. Present Situation and Functions. Refers to the division of children currently resident at Haut de la Garenne into four Groups of 15, noting gender and age ranges. Refers to admissions, lengths of residence, turnover, and the average age of residents. Refers to the possibility, due to a reduction in the number of residents, of the introduction of a three-Group Home; notes that 1979 saw an increase in the numbers of children at Haut de la Garenne, negating this possibility. Comments that recent long-term admissions reflect degrees of parental neglect and incompetence. Details admissions of teenage girls who are beyond the control of their families, and present issues relating to sexual behaviour, drinking, and anti-social behaviour, also mentioning Courts, and offences of dishonesty. Refers to counselling required by the teenagers. Details cases of success and less successful cases. Relatively Successful. 1. Cases with strong family links, and an ability to return to the care of their families. 2. Cases where a young person left home of their own accord, mentioning stepmothers or stepfathers. 3. Cases where a child is happier in a residential situation due to stress at home. Relatively Unsuccessful. 1. Cases with no family ties, or siblings. 2. Cases of long-term care, erratic family ties, and an unclear ability to return to the care of their families. 3. Cases where emotional distressed children require greater individual attention from more skilled staff. 4. Delinquent or disruptive children requiring custodial or supervisory environments, such as that provided by Les Chenes. Staffing. Notes high turnover of Residential Care Staff, in contrast to the domestic, catering, and night staff. Provides reasons for the high turnover. 1. Unsocial hours. 2. Tendency for female staff to marry and become pregnant. 3. Difficulties associated with working with children in care. Concludes that; 1. Two years consecutive employment in Residential Child Care is to be expected. 2. Continuity of service has generally been provided from staff who are Jersey born or basedm or from the North of the United Kingdom, noting Scotland. 3. Staff living at a premises other than their place of work tend to remain in employment longer than staff living at their place of work. Refers to the 1979 NJC Agreement on Salaries and Conditions of Service as a means of rectifying the situation. Conclusions. (a) Refers to Haut de la Garenne remaining as Jersey's major residential Child Care resource. (b) Notes that Haut de la Garenne cannot perform all its functions with equal success. (c) Refers to teenage girls as the most likely cause of most of the problems faced at Haut de la Garenne that are not possible to solve via legal action or alternative placement. Suggests the creation of a teenage Group Home to ease the problem. (d) Recommends that children in long-term care with no or low parental contact should be transferred to a Family Group Home or to the care of Foster Parents. (e) Recommends that a Reception Group be formed to eliminate disruption caused by children temporarily placed at Haut de la Garenne. Suggests that Haut de la Garenne should be the subject of quarterly meetings between Haut de la Garenne and the [Children's] Sub-Committee, rather than part of the subject of monthly meetings of the [Children's] Sub Committee. Suggests that the meetings should be held at Haut de la Garenne as a means of boosting morale. Requests that a States Member act as a liason contact with Haut de la Garenne, referring to the number of children resident at Haut de la Garenne and the size of Haut de la Garenne's budget as justification for this request.


Children's Sub-Committee
Children's Department
Children's Services
Education Committee
Education Committee (Children's Section)
Education Department
Haut de la Garenne
Jersey Home for Boys
Jersey Industrial School
Les Chênes Residential School
States of Jersey
Thomson, Jim


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