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The Child Diversion National Training Curriculum has transitioned to an e-learning platform that has, so far, delivered training to the Parish Committees in Manchester, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth.

Child Diversion Consultant, Ruth Carey, told JIS News that training started at the end of last year and continued until March, but with the reality of COVID-19, the programme transitioned to the virtual space.

“We equipped the persons who were nominated to sit on the parish committees with the training and we were also able to complete four sessions for our mentors, which would be 120 mentors, also trained in child rights and responsibilities and the Child Diversion Act. We trained all of our personnel in the programme in the national curriculum and we are now currently developing a training of trainers module, which we intend to have delivered in October with our staff to ensure that the programme is sustained and that the education programme is continued,” she said.

The training of the trainers session, which will be virtual, consists of a four-module curriculum established by the Ministry of Justice.

“Module one covers child rights and responsibilities, so it looks at a child’s evolving capacities and development, all of the international instruments and legislation that impact a child in conflict with the law or in need of care and protection. Module two covers client-held diversity (understanding the differences in people) and safety and security as it relates to treating with children. Module three is the Child Diversion Act and the standard operating procedures and case management, and module four looks at treatment planning. It’s called creating a care plan which includes the child,” Ms. Carey explained.

The Training of the Trainers session is intended to equip child diversion personnel to be able to deliver this training as the programme moves forward.

“As we have more members of the parish committees that are nominated and who need to be trained or more mentors in the programmes, we want to be able to continue that and sustain that programme of education and a comprehensive training programme that we have developed,” Ms. Carey said.

The National Integrity Action, the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), the Department for International Development (DFID), the Canadian Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are among the donors who funded the programme.

Meanwhile, sensitisation efforts were also continued, in spite of the pandemic.

“During the entire COVID-19 period when the project, to some extent, was experiencing lockdown and curfews, our officers were visiting the police stations and sensitising police officers. So, the child diversion officers on the team were training police officers and our service providers,” Ms. Carey said.

She noted that the team will continue to sensitise, and now looks towards sensitising court professionals and children over the next few months on the Child Diversion Act.

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