Family Group Homes, Jersey, Channel Isles
The first of the new homes was opened on September 17th, 1960, at 46 Nicholson Park, St Saviour. It could accommodate 6 children, aged from 9 months to 14 years of age. The home had a 'house mother', employed by the Education Committee, and a 'house father', who continued with his own independent employment, but took on the paternal role in the household. House parents were allowed to have their children or elderly parents living with them at the home. The home closed in August 1969.
The second home was established in September 1964 at 108 Le Clos des Sables, St Brelade, and again accommodated 6 children. The home had the same house parents in charge for the whole of its existence. It closed in 1989 following a police criminal investigation and subsequent prosecution of the house father.
The next home, opened in March, 1965, was located at 13-14 Clos de Roncier, St Clement, where up to 7 children were housed. Its house parents were those who had initially been in charge of the Nicholson Park home. It was closed following the sudden death of the house mother in April, 1977.
Another home was established in May, 1967, at 9-11 Blanche Pierre Close, Le Squez, St Clement, sometimes referred to simply as 9 Le Squez. The home, which accommodated 8 children, was formed from two newly-built three-bedroomed council houses which were merged into a single property. The home had several successive set of house parents, the last set being in charge for around ten years. In 1990, a police investigation was launched into the conduct of both the house parents. Although no prosecution resulted, a new house mother was appointed in May, 1990, to organise and oversee the closure of the home.
The fifth family group home opened in June, 1969, at Norcott Villa, Norcott Road, St Saviour, where 10 children were housed. The home closed in September, 1977, after the house's owner decided to dispose of the property. The house parents and the six children then in residence were relocated to the house at 9 Le Squez, which was temporarily empty at the time.
In August, 1969, the home at 46 Nicholson Park was closed and the children and house parents moved to a property at 42 Don Road, St Helier. In 1977, following the house mother's extended illness, the children were relocated to other homes. Following unsuccessful attempts to recruit new house parents, the lease on the Don Road home was given up in 1980.
On 6th December 2010, the Island's Chief Minister made a formal apology to all those who suffered abuse in the States' residential care system, acknowledging that the care system had failed some children in a serious way. At the end of 2013, the The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry began work to investigate a number of 'unresolved issues' in relation to historical abuse in the Island.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Jersey Archive, Clarence Road, St Helier, Jersey.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.