Family Court Assisting Parents


The Family Court has been hosting a series of seminars to teach parents about the values and benefits of proper parenting, as they are often held responsible for the behaviour of their children.
One of these seminars was held on May 27 at the offices of the Court on Duke Street in downtown Kingston.
Senior Resident Magistrate for the Corporate Area Family Court, Rosemary Neale-Irvin told JIS News that “in carrying out adjudications, we find that a number of persons, particularly litigants, are not able to be what we consider good parents and so we try to identify resource persons who can come and speak to them on how to deal with parental problems, be it on health or nutrition”.
Mrs. Neale-Irvin, who is also Co-ordinator of the parenting seminars, said that the many violent cases that the court had to deal with, was evidence that there was a lack of conflict resolution skills within the communities and that parental seminars were necessary to help stem the many cases of violence.
The seminars are held twice per year in May and October, with Mrs. Neale-Irvin explaining that the heavy workload and lack of personnel to conduct the sessions were responsible for the limited number that could be held.
“We would like to have more seminars but we don’t have the resources and it would also impinge on the work of the Court,” she informed. She explained, however, that the Court carried out further counselling sessions in support of the seminars.
The Senior Resident Magistrate noted that the large turn out by parents at the seminars and their request for certain issues to be discussed, were proof of its success and impact.
At the seminar, HIV/AIDS, conflict resolution, and nutrition were the principal areas of discussion, with presentations from representatives of Jamaica AIDS Support, the Dispute Resolution Foundation and the Tropical Metabolism Research Institute.
Shelia Evans, Acting Director of Jamaica AIDS Support demonstrated proper condom usage, and outlined the various ways of HIV/AIDS transmission.
She also sought to dispel the myths surrounding the disease and informed that testing for the disease was free. “This is a serious disease. We need to be careful and be informed about it,” she stressed. Paul Hines, Parish Co-ordinator for the Dispute Resolution Foundation called on persons to take the time to resolve disputes for a better and peaceful Jamaica.

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