JIS News

Children’s Advocate, Mary Clarke, has said that Jamaicans need to be more nurturing in order to reduce the incidences of violence and criminal activities in the country.
“Research has shown that many of the persons, who are involved in violence and other criminal activities, did not receive the requisite love and nurturing to make them productive citizens in adulthood. A number of them have been physically, emotionally and sexually abused as well as neglected and as such, have evolved into bitter, resentful and aggressive persons,” Mrs. Clarke said.
She was speaking at the official opening of the Rock the Baby Project at the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon recently.
“Our children always need to be nurtured. They always need to know that they are loved and cared for and this should be constantly reinforced not only in our words but also by our actions,” she emphasized.
Under the Rock the Baby Project, persons are invited to come into the hospital and hug and rock the babies in rocking chairs specially provided by the business community in the May Pen area. The aim is to provide the young patients with some of the nurturing that would take place in the home or in another loving environment.
The Child Advocate, who was hospitalized last year following a motor vehicle accident, said that the time spent in hospital can be lonely, particularly for children. She commended the May Pen Hospital’s Social Work Department for undertaking the initiative. “I think (it) needs to be documented and introduced in other hospitals and child care institutions across the island as a best practice,” she stated.
Medical Social Worker at the hospital, Stephanie Simpson, explained that the project “looks at rocking those babies who do not get a lot of visitors in the hospital.”

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