Hermas Rees Jones left Surrey County Council in 1964 where he had been Deputy Children’s Officer, (prior to that post he was a DCO in Bristol), to a post of Child Care Officer with Islington and worked alongside John Rea Price between 1965-1968. He is listed on one survivor’s file as Child Care Officer in March 1971 yet he became Director of Social Services in May 1970 and resigned in December 1971 – a period of just 18 months as the first Director appointed since the changes in Local Authority structures for social welfare became law in 1970 introduced the position of Director of Social Services in each authority. Miss Rosamund Mary Marshall was his Deputy Children’s Officer and she retired in 1968 after 32 years in local government service. . Mr D C U Swain joined as Chief Welfare Officer from his role as Director of Welfare at Cardiff City Council.
Hermas Rees-Jones set up the structure for 10 area teams, located within their service areas (decentralised), 8 – 14 mixed-discipline social workers in each
The first mention ISN has found of Hermas Reece Jones (note different spelling) is in 1965 as Children’s Officer in Islington responsible for the first Islington children’s home New Park House in Cuffley, Herts. The home was opened by an official from the Home Office. The ‘Council has to look further afield for small homes of this kind.’
In the mid-60s Hermas Rees Jones began the process of preparing to transfer children from the large children’s homes such as Hutton Poplars in Essex , Beecholme, in Surrey and Shirley Oaks in Lambeth into small, children’s homes within the newly formed London Boroughs. This was a Home Office Policy ‘The Community Homes Project’ outlined in a publication ‘Care and treatment in a planned environment’ (1970) Home Office Advisory Council on Child Care, which acknowledged Peter Righton as an advisor with regard to Chapter 4 on staff training. The chapter acknowledges that whilst staff may have previous training in residential child care or other social work fields, ‘Some are qualified by experience only’. The role of staff states, ‘Such an environment can encourage the growth of personal relationships between children and adults, enabling the staff to provide support for the children while helping them to cope with their individual problems and to face the implications of disturbing behaviour.’
‘Interviews both individual and group are likely to remain the principal method of determining suitability.’ It is of interest that Clifford Heap was the prime managerial contact for interviews for the new Heads of Homes.
For detail of this see #Report 10 which also describes a 1967 visit to Islington from an Australian Archbishop with Hermas Rees Jones and John Rea Price who from 1965 was Senior Child Care Officer. The Archbishop describes the child care policy as developed in Islington at the time.
‘13.2. In 1967 when an Australian archbishop visited Islington Children’s Department his contacts were Hermas Rees Jones, the Director, and John Rea-Price, Senior Child Care Officer. “The time here provided a good overall picture of how the social work and other community services have been restructured in the new London Borough system. This Dept, is the main statutory agency where extensive and intensive family casework is being done. Islington has a policy of gradually withdrawing all its children from institutional care, bringing them lack into the local setting with the family and supporting them with intensive casework. The other aspect of its policy is to ensure that children are not placed in care in the first place, and it does this by simply not referring them to the Court for care and protection.” The same archbishop resigned in 2011 and an inquiry concluded that he had allowed a paedophile priest to remain in post.
Hermas Rees Jones left Islington to become Director of Social Services in Pembrokeshire.
The following two reports are only relevant as proof that Hermas Rees worked in 1956 in Surrey as Deputy Childrens Officer.
The Times, 23.06.1956
Law Report, June 22 Before the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE, MR. JUSTICE ORMEROD, and MR. JISTICE DONOVAN The DIVISIONAL COURT held that an assistant children’s officer had no grounds for bringing before a juvenile court a girl aged 14, who had not been to school for three weeks, as a child or young person ” in need of care or protection” under the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933. The COURT quashed the return made to a writ of habeas corpus issued by the Court last week (Tlhe Times, June 15, 1956) on the application of the girl’s mother, and ordered the release of the girl who had been detained in a children’s home under an order made by the Kingston-on-Thames Juvenile Court under section 67 (2) of the Act. Section 61 (1) of the Act defined ” a child or young person in need of care or protection” as one who, having no parent or guardian or a parent or guardian unfit to exercise care and guardianship or not exercising proper care and guardianship, is either falling into bad association, or ex- posed to moral danger, or beyond control.” By section 62 (2) “Any local authority, constable, or authorized person, having reasonable grounds for believing that a child or young person is in need of care or protection may bring him before a juvenile court.” By section 67 (2) “If a juvenile court before which any child or young person is brought is not in a position to decide whether any, and, if so, what, order ought to be made . . . it may make such interim order as it thinks fit for his detention . . . in a place of safety” such order not to -remain in force for more than 28 days. Mr. Paul Sieghart appeared for the applicant; Mr. L. G. Scarman for the matron in charge of the home at which the child was detained and the assistant children’s officer. OFFICIALS ” IN SUCCESSION” MR. PAUL SIEGHART, moving for the dis- charge of the child, said that the mother and child had come to Kingston-on-Thames for a short time, being normally resident elsewhere. Within a short time of their arrival the mother was visited in rapid succession by a school attendance officer, an inspector of the N.S.P.C.C., and the children’s officer. The child was eventually removed from the house and placed in a remand home and brought up the next day before the juvenile court which made the order before the Court. Almost the whole of the evidence before the juvenile court was directed to whether or not the child was going to school. Although it was mentioned in the affidavits that the justices found the child to be in need of care and protection, that was not mentioned in the order, and no such final order had been made. MR. SCARMAN said that his two submissions were (I) that irrespective of the evidence the detention was legally justifiable by the order exhibited and annexed to the return; and (2) upon the evidence, the justices were justified in making the interim order which they did under which the infant was held, not at a remand home, but at a home instituted under the Act of 1933. “WE CANNOT HAVE IT” The LORD CIEF JUSTICE.-I want to know how anyone could take this child before justices, and on what grounds they did it. We cannot have people going round and seizing anybody they like and taking them before Justices, just because they are not going to school. MR. SCARMAN.-There were certain facts before the justices as to the conduct and demeanour of the mother. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.-The mother appeared to be not wholly polite to the officers. I think in similar circumstances I should have been even more rude to them. MR. JUSTICE DONOVAN asked what ground there was for bringing the girl before the juvenile court. Counsel replied that she had not been to school for three weeks and the mother re- fused to tell the assistant children’s officer where she was going. Although she, was not legally obliged to answer that question it was a reasonable request by the officer and from her refusal it might be inferred that the mother was not exercising proper care. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.-IS it because the mother was rude to the children’s officer or was not polite to him ? Counsel replied that that was one factor. His LORDSHIP.-Bureaucracy gone mad. He had searched the affidavits, his LORD- SHIP said, and could find no reason for the officer taking the child away. ” All I can find is that he thought the mother was cheeky.” MR. JUSTICE DONOVAN said that the im- pression on his mind was that the mother was rude, the officer took offence, and the child was taken not because she was out of control but as some measure of retaliation. Counsel.-The officer would like to repudiate that suggestion. He is here and can be asked questions. Counsel then read an affidavit by the deputy children’s officer (Mr. Hermas Rees Jones) which stated that on June 4 he visited the child’s mother with an N.S.P.C.C. inspector. THE N.S.P.C.C. The LoRr CHIEF JUSTICE.—Why bring in the N.S.P.C.C. ? There is no suggestion from start to finish that the child was being badly treated. These inspectors are nothing but paid servants of a voluntary society. People get frightened because they wear a uniform. The affidavit continued that when the officer asked the mother about her daughter going to school she said she had no intention of sending her to a mixed school. She thought that Kingston was no place for a child and she would be leaving at an early date. GIRL’S ” REASONABLE” COMM1ENT Asked the address to which she would be going. the mother said she had no intention of telling either the officer or the inspector and did not know herself. Her manner was aggressive and when told that unless she discussed the child’s welfare reasonably an application would be made to the Court she said: ” You do that.” As the officer and the inspector were leaving the house. the girl made a comment about minding their own business. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.-That seems reasonable. The deputy children’s officer’s affidavit also stated that though the child’s physical condition appeared to he good her manner was not normal. She was verv highly strung and in her attitude before him and the inspector of the N.S.P.C.C. she appeared to be beyond control. His LORDSHIP.-If this is the idea of what is meant by being beyond control we had better correct it at once. GIRL’S DEMEANOUR Counsel said that, although it did not appear to the Court that the child was in need of care and protection, it had so appeared to the officer, and that being so. it was his duty under section 62 (2) to bring her before the juvenile court. and to put into operation the procedure tinder the Act, which was not a penal procedure, but was for the welfare of the child. The justices saw and heard the child and the mother. and had the advantage of observing their demeanour. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE said that be- cause. it was stated. the girl pulled faces ‘before the justices, that was not a reason for taking her out of the control of her mother. A lay bench of justices who had a county official bringing someone before them naturally thought that it was all right. BATING AGAINST ” BLUNDER- BUSS ” Counsel said that he desired to urge his submission. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE-Mr. Scarman, you have stood up to the bowling magnificently. MR. SCARMAN said that he was afraid that he had not done so as well as the Australians. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.-But you have had a rough passage. Counsel continued his argument. H e described the case as in a sense a clash between the old common law rules relating to habeas corpus and a very important part of the modem welfare state. He suggested that habeas corpus proceedings in such circumstances were “using a blunderbuss to fire into a very delicate mechanism.” JUDGMENT The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE, giving judgement, said that the evidence upon which the Court last week had ordered the writ to issue was the affidavit of the mother which showed that she was usually resident in the county of Kent, where the child was going to school. The mother’s house was burnt down on May 8, and naturally she had to find somewhere to live. She was offered temporary accommodation at the house of a friend at Kingston-on-Thames. where she went with her daughter. It might be right that. when a child had to be moved in those circumstances during term time, a school ought to be found at once-he (his Lordship) did not know-but before a long time had elapsed a school attendance officer presented himself at the house. His Lordship did not know why: there was no suggestion that the child was illiterate. That was followed by a visit from an official or paid servant of the N.S.P.C.C., and also by one from a children’s officer. There was no suggestion against the mother, or that the child was out of control; there was no evidence at all except that, during those three weeks, the child had not been to school. It was evident that considerable pressure was put upon the mother and she allowed the child to go because she was threatened with a warrant. The child was brought before the justices by the officer as a young person in need of care and protection. The justices, having heard evidence, remanded the child, and she was taken away from her mother and sent to a home where she was to be kept until July 5. The Court was asked to interfere by habeas corpus because it was said that she was unlawfully and unjustifiably detained. His Lordship said that the justices, with- out any evidence at all that she was in need of care and protection within the Act, decided nothing except to remand her to that home. AN IDEA TO BE “STAMPED ON” The case had been brought before the Court on the footing that the proceedings were wholly irregular. The Court could not find any suggestion whatsoever that the child fell within any of the grounds set out in section 61 as a child or a young person in need of care and protection. Before any such proceedings could be taken the children’s officer or local authority must have reasonable grounds for instituting them. There were no such grounds whatsoever. If it was thought that the mere fact that a child was not going to school was a sufficient ground for taking proceedings under the Act, the sooner that -that idea was stamped on the better. If a child was not going to school, proceedings could be taken against the parent. Apparently the only ground for the proceedings was that when the children’s officer went to make inquiries of the mother the mother, to use a convenient expression, was ” uncooperative.” No doubt many parents would be uncooperative if officials came and asked questions which they might think impertinent. There was no suggestion made against the mother or the child except that she was truculent. Was that surprising ? No doubt she was and no doubt she had reason. He (his Lordship) desired to repeat what he had said in Regina v. Board of Control, ex parte Rutty ( 2 W.LR. 822. 832)-the mere fact that officials, or doctors, or anyone else. thought that it would be good for a child or young person, or any other person, to receive treatment. was no ground for putting into operation the procedure of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, or of the Mental Deficiency Acts, or that of any other Act. The child had been detained under an order of a justices’ court which had no jurisdiction because she was never properly before the court at all. In those circumstances, this Court would quash the return and order the release of the child. MR. JUSTICE ORMEROD and MR. JUSTICE DONOVAN agreed. The child, who had been brought to the Court, was ordered to be discharged. Solicitors.-Messrs. Theodore. Goddard & Co.; Mr. W. W. Ruff, Kingston-on- Thames. HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION CHILD TAKEN FROM MOTHER FOR NOT GOING TO SCHOOL “BUREAUCRACY GONE MAD” IN RF: CArA I FNnF
The Times, 23.10.1956
Before the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE, MR. JUSTICE HALLETT and MR. JUSTICE ASHWORTH The DIVISIONAL COURT began the hearing of this application by Mrs. Julia Callender and her daughter Jean Callender. aged 14, for orders of certiorari to quash a removal order made by Mr. F. S. Stevens. a magistrate, and a remand order dated June 7, 1956, by Kingston justices detaining the child who was alleged to be in need of care and protection in a children’s home. On June 15 an application for a writ of habeas corpus was applied for. A return to the order was quashed by the Divisional Court on June 22, 1956 (The Times, June 23, 1956), and it was ordered that the child be released. Applications for leave to move for orders of certiorari were granted on June 29, 1956 (The Times, June 30. 1956). Mr. Paul Sieghart appeared for the applicants; Mr. George Baker, Q.C., and Mr. D. M. Wacher for the justices; Mr. Geoffrey Lawrence. Q.C., and Mr. L G. Scarman for the assistant children’s officer. HISTORY OF CASE MR. SIEGHART, applying for the orders of certiorari, said that in June the applicants were on a temporary visit to friends at Kingston. Surrey. They were visited by the school officer, an officer of the N.S.P.C.C., and Mr. H. R. Jones, assistant children’s officer. Mr. Jones formed the view that the child was beyond control in her attitude towards him and the N.S.P.C.C. officer. He applied to Mr. F. S. Stevens, a magistrate, for a removal order under section 67 of the Children and Young Persons Act. 1933. The child was removed to a place of safety on June 6. On June 7 the child was brought before the juvenile court, and the mother was present. There was, said counsel, no evidence that the child was in need of care and protection. The court, however, found her to be in need of care and protection and made an order for her to be detained in a children’s home for 28 days. On June 15 an order for a writ of habeas corpius was applied for. On June 22 the court ordered the return to the writ to be quashed and the child ordered to be released. He (counsel) asked for orders of certiorari to quash the removal order and the remand order, because the child still appeared on the record as a child being in need of care and protection. Those findings still stood against the applicants. The child had been falsely imprisoned for 16 days. There might be actions for malicious prosecution or false imprisonment, neither of which remedies could be pursued until the orders were quashed. “AFFIDAVITS TO BE ATTACKED” MR. LAWVRENCE said that where affidavits were not candid and where they did not fairly state the facts the Court could refuse the order. He (counsel) said that he was attacking the three affidavits made by Mrs. Callender on the ground that subsequent affidavits showed that there was less than candour. The matter should be treated as a preliminary point on the authority of Rex v. Kensington Income Tax Commissioners ( 1 K.B. 486). The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE said that counsel had better take the point later if he wished. The Court had read all the affidavits and was aware of the grounds on which he (counsel) would seek to attack the affidavits. He (counsel) would have to consider whether the inaccuracies were relevant or not. Until the Court was in full Possession of all the facts, he (his Lordship) thought the case should proceed with Mr. Lawrence’s rights being reserved. MR. STEGHART then read affidavits sworn by Mrs. Callender in the habeas corpus proceedings and also one sworn in the present application submitting that the order made by the justices was made with- out jurisdiction and was contrary to natural justice. Counsel read an affidavit by Mr. Hermas Rees Jones, deputy children’s officer to the Surrey County Council, and by the clerk to the justices. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE said that no suggestion was being made against the conduct of the proceedings before the justices and the only question which his Lordship under- stood had been put forward was that there was in law no evidence. He was sure that the justices had treated Mrs. Callender with every consideration. WHAT DOES ” MALADJUSTED” MEAN? MR. BAKER, for the justices, reading notes of the evidence before the justices, referred to the evidence given by the N.S.P.C.C. inspector that he had formed the opinion that Jean was slightly maladjusted. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.-What does “slightly maladjusted ” mean ? Counsel said that he imagined that it meant not a normal member of society as a child of that age should be. MR. JUSTICE ASHWORTH.-Might it mean old for her years ? The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE,-Words like that are so often used but they are nothing but jargon. I have not the least idea what it means. Counsel said that it would probably con- vey to his mind the sort of young person who would run after a film star at Victoria Station for an autograph. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.-That is not maladjusted, because that is what all young girls do. It is like the Rutty case when we were told that a person was a high grade border line mental defective. It is all words. Counsel said that the crucial matter was that the child was before the justices, and they had seen her. There was no definition in the statute of beyond control, but the later Act introduced an entirely new word, ” refractory.” Continuing to read the notes of evidence. counsel said that the inspector said that he was satisfied that there was no question of any physical cruelty, but he concluded there might be mental cruelty through her attitude and general demeanour of the mother. “WORDS USED IN AMERICA” The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE.-Mental cruelty are words used in divorce cases, and generally in America. Counsel said that perhaps it meant that the child was under the dominance of her mother and that it was not a good dominance. The inspector decided to obtain a second opinion on the family. Counsel said that it might well be that if a child did not come within the definition in section 61 (1) the justices might be wrong in making the order. The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE said’ that he always wondered whether the full facts were put before the Court by the Surrey County Council in the habeas corpus proceedings, because the case did not begin to come within the section. Counsel said that he had to deal with the case put before the justices. The justices themselves and many others were concerned. If they made an order without evidence were they acting without jurisdiction ? The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE said that this was a case where the subject had been deprived of her liberty. If the justices committed a person without evidence, assuming for the moment that there was not any, surely the order was bad ? Counsel replying said that the order might be attacked, but it was made with jurisdiction. He was not prepared to con- cede that there was no evidence before the justices, but he was prepared to argue the case on the ground that there was no evidence. If justices acted without evidence provided that it was matter on which they had to make an order that was a matter in which they were acting within their jurisdiction. The hearing was adjoumed. Solicitors.–Messrs. Theodore Goddard & Co.; Messrs. Wilkinson, Howlett & Moorbouse; Mr. W. W. Ruff. Kingston- on-Thames.- HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION RELEASE OF GIRL FROM REMAND HOME APPLICATION TO QUASH ORDER STILL STANDING REGINA v. STEVENS EX PARTE CALLENDER