190 Children in State Protective Care
There are 190 children in State protective care because of abuse and neglect.
According to the data collected by the Child Development Division, in 2019 the department received approximately 300 reports of children being abused or neglected.
In a statement released last week, Frederick Stephenson, Minister of National Mobilization, Social Development, etc said approximately 34 per cent of the reports were classified as victims of child neglect, 30 per cent as victims of physical abuse, 23 per cent as victims of sexual abuse and 13 percent as victims of psychological abuse.
He said the Division has conducted 20 awareness programmes in 10 communities and or schools with parents, teachers, children, health care practitioners, shelter managers, coaches, counselors and religious institution to heighten awareness of child abuse and neglect.
The participants were sensitized in Child Abuse Protocol and reporting guidelines; Children (Care and Adoption) Act 2010; Child Abuse in Emergencies, Child Abuse in Sports; and The Rights of the Child.
The Division, in collaboration with UNICEF conducted a series of training workshops on the Child Abuse Protocols and Reporting Guidelines and the Children (Care and Adoption) Act 2010 to provide police officers, health care practitioners and educators with the knowledge and skills to recognize, prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect thus enhancing their capacity in the execution of your duties.
A total of 180 Law Enforcement Officers including Gazetted Officers, Non Commission Officers (NCO), Police Constables, Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department, out station and Sexual Offenses Unit, DARE Officers and other police officers who work directly with children attended a one day training during the period August 5- 9, 2019.
Additionally, 142 Health Care Professionals including medical doctors, hospital administrator, nurses, social workers, etc also received training during the period August 19-23, 2019. Another training workshop will take place in the month of October for 150 educators including principals, counselors and senior officials.
“The Division recognizes that parents play a vital role in their child’s development. Parents are not only caretakers, but they are instrumental in the development of their child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being,” the statement said.
As a result, the Division has conducted parenting programmes in five communities and schools. A total of 130 parents have benefited from this initiative.