- The unit now has a manager and 10 investigation officers deployed island-wide
- The unit is receiving assistance from students at the University of the Technology
- This is being facilitated through a three-year agreement between the Government and UTech
The Development Agency’s (CDA) capacity to effectively address incidents of child abuse has been boosted through the beefing up of staff in its Investigation Unit.
Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CDA, Rosalee Gage Grey, told JIS News that the unit now has a manager and 10 investigation officers deployed island-wide.
Most of the officers have been placed in the South East Region, which comprises Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas.
In addition, she informed the unit is receiving assistance from students at the University of the Technology (UTech) in carrying out field investigations.
This is being facilitated through a three-year agreement between the Government and UTech for collaboration in the area of child and adolescent development.
Ms. Gage Grey told JIS News that the students, from Levels III and IV of the Child and Adolescent Development programme, are placed with the CDA during the summer to assist with the investigations among other activities. “That has been going pretty well,” she stated.
She informed that the students have assisted the agencyto respond to cases received in a more timely manner. “We are trying to tighten the timelines in which we are able to respond to the needs of our clients and these are children and their parents,” she stated.
The Acting CEO said the CDA has been having more interventions within communities through presentations to schools, churches and other community groups.
“We take our mandate very seriously and with the resources that we have, we try to meet the needs of the clients through the services that we provide across the island and we believe that we are being very effective in what we do,” she said.
The CDA, which falls under the Ministry of Youth and Culture, deals with reports received from the Office of the Children’s Registry, set up under the Child Care and Protection Act of 2004.