CDA Moves to Address Child Abuse in Residential Facilities


The Child Development Agency (CDA) will be seeking to complete the Protocol for Child Abuse Prevention and Control in Residential Child Care Facilities (RCCF) during this fiscal year.
According to a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives on June 19 by Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, the protocol is intended to raise awareness of the problem of child abuse and identify violations against children as well as the associated penalties.
The protocol will also serve as a guide for staff and key stakeholders on working more effectively to safeguard children from abuse and ensure that there is no ambiguity regarding the actions to be taken if abuse is suspected. When completed, the protocol will include a code of conduct instrument, which all persons employed by the CDA as well as others in the care and protection sector will be required to sign. During the last fiscal year, the CDA introduced the Complaints Policy and the Medication Administration Protocol into its operating portfolio, as part of continued efforts to ensure the protection of the nation’s children.
The introduction of the Complaints Policy has since strengthened the Agency’s routine monitoring instrument to record and report complaints made by children, while the Medication Administration Protocol seeks to promote care in handling medication in child care facilities irrespective of size and capacity.
In addition to the completion of the Child Abuse Prevention and Control Protocol for RCCF, the CDA will be seeking to introduce student councils in the residential child care facilities so that wards, through an election process, will have representation on boards and also have the opportunity to meet with managers of the institutions to discuss matters concerning them.
The CDA is responsible for the provision of care and protection to children who have been abused, neglected, exploited or who are at risk of being abused. The CDA was granted executive agency status in 2004 following a merger of the Children Services Division, the Adoption Board and the Child Support Unit.

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