The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) will host a virtual one-hour discussion programme, titled ‘Help Us Bring Our Children Home’, on Tuesday April 20 starting at 3:30 p.m.
This is in response to the number of children being reported missing, particularly girls.
The panellists will include Deputy Registrar, National Children’s Registry (NCR), Warren Thompson; Acting Team Lead, Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) Children and Family Support Unit, Jean Duhaney; and Head, Jamaica Constabulary Force National Intelligence Bureau, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, Paulette Green.
Topics to be discussed include statistics on missing children, Ananda Alert, CPFSA intervention/support, what parents can do when a child returns, how to safeguard a child from going missing, how to make a missing person report police investigations, and trends/concerns.
Between January and February of this year, the CPFSA received 173 reports of missing children, of whom 96 have, to date, been accounted for.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rosalee Gage Grey, said the Agency, through the NCR, continues to use social media as a platform to disseminate Ananda Alerts and solicit the public’s assistance in locating missing children.
She pointed out, however, that there has been heightened outcry about the number of children being reported missing.
According to Mrs. Gage Grey, this public unease was exacerbated by the ongoing issue with Lamekia Lamont, a 13-year-old who was reported missing on March 26, was rumoured to have been found, and was later located on March 29.
The missing report of 20-year-old Khanice Jackson, who was found dead three-days later, has also intensified public concern.
“Although Miss Jackson, an adult, is outside of our remit, her death brings to the fore issues surrounding violence against women and children, and the response time to missing persons’ reports,” she pointed out.
The CEO added that “no longer do we have to wait 24-hours to make a missing person report”.
“Once you become aware that someone is missing, do not hesitate to report it to the nearest police station, as each minute counts in the safe recovery of loved ones,” she further emphasised.
The discussion programme will be carried live on Power 106, and members of the public can participate via the CPFSA’s Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube social media pages.