JIS News

As the global recession deepens, Children’s Advocate, Mary Clarke, has recommended that more counselling facilities or services be established or begin to avail their services to caregivers, to assist them in responding to the uncertainties of this period.
This, she noted, will be necessary, if caregivers are to avoid stress transference to children under their care.
Mrs. Clarke said that with the constant threat of job loss and other economic challenges, parents and guardians will need coping mechanisms to handle “unforeseen situations”. Without such, she noted, children will definitely be affected.
“We are going to have people losing their jobs and so we need to have counselling facilities available to help in alleviating the frustration and feeling of desolation that comes with losing one’s job, or the possibility of losing one’s house,” she told JIS News. The support of the media, she noted, will be crucial in all public education efforts, geared towards caregivers.
The Children’s Advocate further pointed to the need for a revision of social safety net programmes to ensure that they are reaching the most vulnerable. “We have to revisit our means testing to ascertain if we are really getting in the nets those who are targeted,” she stated.
The Office of the Children’s Advocate, located at 72 Harbour Street in Kingston, is mandated to protect and enforce the rights related to every Jamaican child. The Agency investigates complaints made by or on behalf of a child whose rights have been infringed upon by any action taken by a relevant authority.
The Office also reviews services provided for children by relevant authorities to ensure that they are adequate and effective and provide legal assistance and representation for children when needed.

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