The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) continues its child-protection programme with a series of drive-throughs covering several parishes.
Regional Director of the CPFSA South East Region, Robert Williams, said that the intention is to go into communities to promote childcare and protection, especially those where the entity is seeing an increase in reports of child abuse.
“We actually started the programme with walk-throughs, where we have interacted with hundreds of residents in several communities across the island, however, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the decision was taken to engage in drive-throughs instead,” he told JIS News.
In late February, a convoy of about 20 vehicles drove through several communities in St. Catherine, starting at Spring Village just outside of Old Harbour, and included Banister, Bartons, Bowers, Bullet Tree, Red Ground, Davis and Brown’s Hall.
The officers conveyed their message through the use of a public address system, while handing out flyers and pamphlets to hundreds of residents they passed along the way.
Mr. Williams told JIS News that he was encouraged by the response to the CPFSA’s officers as they spread the message that all children deserve love and protection and that communities have a role to play in the fight against all forms of child abuse by making reports to the entity.
“During the tour, we were able to assist persons who indicated that they were having child-related issues, and persons were also recommending to us other communities we should visit,” he noted.
Mr. Williams said that the CPFSA is committed to ensuring that the message of childcare and protection reaches as many people as possible, even during the pandemic.
“We have to keep focus on childcare and protection,” he said, noting that the next drive-through will target communities in Rural St. Andrew.
Persons can report child abuse by calling 888-PROTECT or by visiting the nearest CPFSA regional office.