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Digital copy of Ernest Mallett’s statement to the Inquiry providing an account of his experiences of childhood in care in Jersey, voluntary work at Haut de la Garenne, employment with the London Borough of Wandsworth, and employment at Haut de la Garenne and La Préférence Children's Home. [Some details redacted].
June 30th 2015 - June 30th 2015
|Scope and Content|
Provides details relating to childhood in care in Jersey due to mother's ill health, mentioning placements at Westaway Creche, in foster care, and in a hostel. Recalls visits whilst in foster care from [Child Care Officer] Charles Smith. Refers to instance of sexual abuse as a child, and incidents of physical abuse whilst resident at the boys' hostel. Volunteered at Haut de la Garenne between 1969 and 1974, whilst in paid employment elsewhere. Recalls lack of a formal vetting or interviewing process prior to appointment to voluntary role. Refers to employment in the London Borough of Wandsworth between 1974 and 1987. Recalls employment as a Residential Child Care Officer at Beecholme [Children's Home] in Surrey. Comments on friendship and professional association with a former member of Haut de la Garenne staff who later joined Beecholme. Refers to training received whilst employed by Wandsworth Council. Comments on the frequency of staff meetings and record keeping. Discusses the Key Worker Principle, as in operation at Beecholme. States that he witnessed no instances of abuse whilst employed at Beecholme. Returned to Jersey in 1981, and initial application to work at Les Chênes [Residential Home], prior to employment as Assistant Director at Les Amis for nine months. Left Les Amis for employment at Haut de la Garenne. Provides recollections of staff at Haut de la Garenne, and residents. States not to have received any training during time at Haut de la Garenne, and that other members of staff were not interested in Ernest Mallett's experiences gained in England, mentioning the Key Worker Principle. Transferred to La Préférence [Children's Home] in 1982, continuing in employment there until 2002. Refers to Joan and Edward Paisnel's association with La Préférence. Refers to a a member of staff's [husband] beoming involved with an older child at La Préférence. Following the [husband's] departure, Ernest Mallett was promoted to a role assisting with the care of the children. Provides details of the layout and management of La Préférence, as well as the daily routine. Refers to the day nursery that also operated from La Préférence. Recalls making scrapbooks for the children so that they would have mementos to take with them upon leaving Care. Does not recall any formal inspections of La Préférence taking place whilst La Préférence was owned by the Vegetarian Society. Provides recollections of staff and children at La Préférence, and association with Children's Services. Recalls emphasis on placing children in foster care. Recalls training whilst employed at La Préférence, mentioning National Children's Home certificate courses at Haut de la Garenne. Comments on not having received restraint training until 2000. Refers to discrimination at La Préférence prior to purchase by the States of Jersey, stating that only vegetarians were permitted to run the children's home. Refers to apparently unsuitable members of staff employed who were vegetarians. Discusses disruption caused to children in care during the uncertainty over whether another organisation or agency would purchase La Préférence from the Vegetarian Society. Notes that funds were limited in the months leading to the States of Jersey's purchase of La Préférence. Refers to the closure of Haut de la Garenne during the 1980s, and the purchase of La Préférence by the States of Jersey. Criticises method of distributing children from Haut de la Garenne across existing States of Jersey Children's Homes. Comments on changes to the management structure and routine at La Préférence once in the ownership of the States of Jersey. Refers to new difficulties presented by children admitted to La Préférence, such as alcohol, drug, substance, and behavioural issues. Comments on threatening behaviour experienced by staff in London and Jersey. Comments on the hiring of staff at La Préférence by Fay Buesnel. Discusses contact with other children's homes, mentioning Clos des Sables and houseparent Leslie Hughes. Refers to practice of encouraging children to return to their families at weekends, and permenantly. Refers to cases where Children's Services sent children into homes where there was a risk of harm. Comments on discipline at La Préférence, and denies allegations made against Ernest Mallett in a letter dated 27 November 1992. Comments on Fay Buesnel's transfer from La Préférence in 2000, and management of La Préférence by a new member of staff. Notes changes for staff and residents following the introduction of the new member of staff. Refers to a complaint made against Ernest Mallett in May 2000. Denies assault whilst restraining a resident at La Préférence. Refers to Kathie Bull's Report on child care in Jersey, published in 2002, providing commentary as requested by the Inquiry. Left La Préférence in 2002 to spend more time teaching music. Notes later reception of the British Empire Medal for work in music. Provides concluding thoughts regarding staff training, the modernisation of Children's Services, Mario Lundy, the atmosphere at La Préférence following purchase by the States of Jersey, and the need to create dedicated and seperate facilites for short term, medium term, and long term care in order to minimise disruption to those already on placement. [For Exhibits EM1 to EM17 as referred to in this Witness Statement, see C/D/AW2/A7/22/WD006573/1 to C/D/AW2/A7/22/WD006573/17].
British Empire Medal
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