JIS News

Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency (CDA), Alison Anderson, has called for the strengthening of supportive environments in homes, schools and communities, to promote better outcomes for children.
Miss Anderson, who was speaking at the official launch of Children’s Expo 2006 at the Hilton Kingston Hotel today (April 11) said that, “children without a stable home life are offered a poor start in life. A clear picture of this is seen in the number of children remanded each year because they are in need of care and protection or are in conflict with the law”.
She noted that on average, “there are 1,200 such children, who enter the formal tertiary child protection system each year, 70 per cent of whom enter the system because of behavioral problems such as criminality, risky sexual behaviour, violent action and persistent disobedience to caregivers”.”These are all problems, which are correlated to ineffective parenting and poor family support,” she stated.
The CDA head pointed out, that while the agency has increased its focus on early intervention and preventive work with families and communities, there was need for “broader, overarching public family policy as part of a coherent framework”.
Included in this measure, she said, was an accessible welfare protection system and formal training for families, who needed to build their communication and coping skills, as well as a wide range of alternative care services for children, who may need to be separated from their families.
Meanwhile, the Children’s Expo will be held at the National Arena from May 11 to May 14 and according to Richard Lumsden, Chairman of the Jamaica Foundation for Children, which is organizing the event, the expo would provide wholesome, useful and vital information as well as entertainment for Jamaica’s children and young people.
He said the event, which would be held under the theme: ‘Restoring the Family, Saving Our Children’, was in recognition of the importance of the family as the foundation for providing care and protection for children and young persons and preparing them to meet the many challenges in the society.
He noted that despite the “real achievements made in the child development and survival sector in recent years.our children and young people continue to face real and serious challenges”.
Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Bertrand Bainvel, in voicing his approval of the upcoming event, said it presented an opportunity to provide children with direct access to services to enhance their welfare.