JIS News

Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency, Alison Anderson, will address this week’s Friday Policy Forum, where she will discuss the country’s child protection services, against the background of those operating in North America, Europe and Australia.
This comes as part of the process to modernize the local child protection mechanism.
The forum, which will be held at the Old Hope Road offices of the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) will examine, the modernization agenda set by the Cabinet Office and assess benchmarks that may be applied from other jurisdictions.
“It isn’t a matter of comparing,” Miss Anderson told JIS News, “it is a question of benchmarking. We would look at the issues that have affected them [overseas] and how they have solved them. It would also involve exploring those that are relevant to the Jamaican situation and looking at the solutions that may be applied here.”
The topic of her discourse will be ‘Modernizing Jamaica’s Child Protection System: Law, Policy and People’.
To facilitate dialogue, Miss Anderson will provide details of reports on child protection systems, in the jurisdictions, which she claimed, have almost the same results as the Review Report, which was done locally last year. “I have to say that the issues that are facing them and the challenges are exactly the same [as ours]. So Jamaica is not alone in terms of the challenges and problems it faces,” she noted.
In terms of implementing policies to improve childcare and protection, Miss Anderson said the issue was broader than just children in state care. “It has to do with a wide range of services and needs that children require in order to be well protected,” she stressed. These, she said, included those related to education, social safety and health. “All children in Jamaica require protection, not just the ones who are in care [children’s homes],” she emphasized.
Alison Anderson has been CEO of the Child Development Agency since 2002. Prior to that appointment, she served as Project Manager for the Children Services Division Modernization Programme for two years. She was also a lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies for a number of years.
The Friday Policy Forum, which is hosted by MIND, has been established as a mechanism to examine issues of national importance. Members of the public who are interested in attending the Forum should contact MIND.

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