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Digital copy of the Witness Statement of David James Castledine, part-time Child Care Officer, to the States of Jersey Police providing an account of his experiences of working for Children's Services. Signature witnessed by M Newman. [Some details redacted].
July 19th 2008 - July 19th 2008
|Scope and Content|
Provides details of his background and experience, stating that he studied Social Work at Vaughn [Vaughan] College, Leicester University, qualifying in 1967 to work as an Education Welfare Officer and then Social Worker in the Leicester area. States that he successfuly applied for a post in Children's Services in Jersey in 1974 when it was a section of the Education Department based at Highlands. Names Charlie Smith as the Children's Officer and Jim Thomson and Brenda Chappel [Chappell] as the two Senior Child Care Officers upon his arrival, noting that he was one of six Child Care Officers who had two secretaries. States that John Rodhouse was Director of Education. Refers to the Children's Act 1969 [Children (Jersey) Law 1969] and outlines the means by which a child could be put into care. States that there were over 250 children in care in Jersey for a population of around 60,000 when he arrived on the island, with cases spread between the six Child Care Officers. States that he had a caseload of about 70 children, 42 of whom were in care. Notes that children in care would be placed in one of the children's homes, one of the 5 Family Group Homes or in foster homes, with some children going to homes in the United Kingdom in cases where secure or special needs accommodation was required. Includes comments about Haut de la Garenne, Heathfield, La Préférence, Brig-y-Don at La [Les] Chênes/Greenfields, in respect of the capacity, organisation and roles of each of the children's homes. Also describes the Family Group Home system. Refers to his appointment as Fostering Officer in 1981, stating that he introduced foster parent training using National Foster Care Association and British [Association for] Adoption and Fostering trainers. Also refers to his involvement in setting up the Fostering and Adoption Team in 1992 which he worked on until 1996 when he loved with the Long Term Care Team at La Chasse, becoming the Senior Practitioner in 1998. Refers to his official retirement in 2005, noting that he has continued to work park time with a reduced caseload during matrimonial and out-of-hours work. Describes lack of child protection training in Leicester or Jersey when he qualified, referring to advances in this field in Jersey since the 1990s. Provides an overview of the current structure and organisation of Children's Services in Jersey. Describes being a regular visitor to Haut de la Garenne since he started work in Jersey, recalling members of staff at Haut de la Garenne upon his arrival including Morag Kidd and Tony [Jordan]. Describes involvement with Haut de la Garenne regarding children under his care and responsibility for admissions and placements. Describes discipline at Haut de la Garenne as strict referring to use of the cane as a means of punishment, asserting that he never witnessed any excessive use of force towards a child, nor received a complaint of physical or sexual abuse from a child or seen any children at Haut de la Garenne with visible injuries. States to keep comprehensive notes of visits to children in care. Comments on the use of detention rooms at Haut de la Garenne for regular absconders and self-harmers, commenting on the length of such placements and referring to the use of proportionate force by staff to place children. Asserts to be unaware of any practice of placing children in detention rooms on arrival or keeping children in detention rooms for extended periods of weeks or months. States that he was a regular visitor to La [Les] Chênes, referring to its purpose as a secure unit and common use of detention rooms. Asserts that in his experience it was not a matter of practice on admission and detention period did not exceed 24 hours. States that he never witnessed or received any complaint of physical or sexual abuse from any of the children in his care at La [Les] Chênes. Includes recollections of a girl in care, stating to have no recollection of her contacting him 12 years prior to discuss a police investigation. Recalls placing her in care and her being admitted to Haut de la Garenne. Includes general comments about the girl stating to be unaware that she was involved in a sexual relationship with an individual. Also recalls a family but asserts to have no recollection of meeting a boy in care where he alleged that he had been abused or that papers had gone missing from his file. States that he has never been complicit in the loss or removal of documents, asserting to have kept meticulous records. Refers to incident in February  where he received a number of texts from an individual consisting of allegations of abuse against her children by [Colin] Tilbrook. States that the matter was dealt adequately by the States of Jersey Police and expresses desire not to pursue the matter further. Includes recollections of other children in care, stating to have no recollection of a boy ever being placed in foster care, noting that in all of his dealing with him he was always at Haut de la Garenne. Includes comments about the boy's behaviour recalling that he was a regular absconder, noting that he may have gone to a hostel from Haut de la Garenne. Asserts that the boy never told him that he been raped nor made a complaint to him of physical or sexual abuse. Recalls other children in care and comments on alleged incidents involving them, including incident involving a family about which Richard Davenport would have likely spoken to him. States to have no recollection about writing a specific comment about a child in care noting that he was badly behaved.
Brig-y-Don, Coast Road | Haut de la Garenne | Heathfield, St Saviour | Greenfields | La Chasse | La Préférence, St Martin | abuse | adoption | allegations | caning | child abuse | Child Care Officers | child protection | childcare | Children | children's services | complaints | detention rooms | discipline | evidence | families | Family Group Homes | foster homes | fostering | Fostering Officers | Hostels | IJCI | interviews | physical abuse | Police | punishments | sexual abuse | social workers | statements | training | witness statements | witnesses
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|Level of description|
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