Family Court Reaches Out To Persons In Need Of Support

Photo: Mark Bell Senior Resident Magistrate at the Kingston and St. Andrew Family Court, Paula Blake Powell, looks through the Family Court handbook at an exposition staged last Friday (November 20) at the Court’s Duke Street headquarters, downtown Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • Senior Resident Magistrate at the Kingston and St. Andrew (KSA) Family Court, Hon. Paula Blake Powell, is imploring families in need of assistance to take advantage of the free services offered by the Court.
  • The Court, located at 55a Duke Street, offers support and assistance to families facing challenges including poor parenting, child delinquency, and domestic abuse, among other issues.
  • The Senior Resident Magistrate told JIS News that the Court is committed to building families in Jamaica.

Senior Resident Magistrate at the Kingston and St. Andrew (KSA) Family Court, Hon. Paula Blake Powell, is imploring families in need of assistance to take advantage of the free services offered by the Court.

The Court, located at 55a Duke Street, offers support and assistance to families facing challenges including poor parenting, child delinquency, and domestic abuse, among other issues.

The Senior Resident Magistrate told JIS News that the Court is committed to building families in Jamaica.

“We want to go to the root of the problems; we want to reach the delinquent child, the abusive parent and guardians, who are having problems coping because cumulatively, they all impact the change the Family Court is working towards,” she said in a recent interview.

“The Court is not about locking up children or pulling families apart but rather to restore the family structure with the help of the professionals that work at the Court,” she added.

Mrs. Blake Powell told JIS News that as part of measures to address child delinquency, visits are being made to schools that have a large number of students attending the Family Court.

“The school tours are aimed at motivating children to do well and remind them of the consequences of their delinquent behaviour,” she informed.

The Senior Resident Magistrate expressed her gratitude to Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, the social workers, court staff, police and others, who have taken time off from work to interact with the students on these tours.

The Parenting School, which started in 2013, is another initiative of the Family Court to restore the family structure.

Mrs. Blake Powell said that in addition to offering parenting skills, the school benefits from the services of a team of experts from Corporate Jamaica, who assist in teaching vocational skills, instructing participants how to set up a small business, and how to survive on a small budget.

She informed that there are also trained social workers, psychologists, counsellors, who work with families daily to address challenges.

Parents, who face socio-economic and psychological problems, are assisted to cope, so as not to take out their frustration on their children.

The Court also offers services such as adoption, childcare and protection, custody, declaration of paternity, maintenance, youth delinquency and domestic abuse.

The Senior Magistrate told JIS News that the KSA Family Court is constantly improving the way it interacts with the people they serve and how information is disseminated, and recently completed a new brochure that will help the public to understand the services it offer and how to access these services.

The KSA Family Court is observing November as National Parents’ Month, under the theme: ‘Parents Take the Time to be involved’.

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