JIS News

The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) will host a Runaway Prevention Webinar on Friday, November 20 at 2:30 p.m.

The webinar forms part of the agency’s intervention strategy to reduce the number of children who go missing.

Speaking with JIS News, Deputy Registrar at the National Children’s Registry (NCR), Warren Thompson, said over the years there has been a reduction in missing children reports.

However, the majority of that number are children who voluntarily go missing – those who run away from home.

He explained that the webinar is to help parents to identify the signs that the child may be thinking of running away, and if the child does leave home, what to do and how to respond when the child returns.

“We want to work with parents, because coming out of a research exercise conducted from a focus group discussion and interviews with children who ran away and have returned, what was revealed is that conflict in the homes was one of the main reasons for them to run away from home,” Mr. Thompson said.

“This is Parent Month, so we saw it fit to engage the parents to be part of the mission to reduce the number of children who are reported missing annually, by focusing on those who run away,” he said.

According to Mr. Thompson, who will also be the presenter on the webinar, the CPFSA’s Runaway Prevention Programme is much more than just spreading information to parents.

“What we do when children do return home is critical to its success. For us, every child who goes missing, whether they are abducted or run away, once they are out there, they are children in need of care and protection, and as an agency, we have a duty to respond,” he said.

Registration is now open online. To participate in the webinar, persons should visit www.ocr.gov.jm/webinar and register.

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