JIS News

Children’s Advocate, Mary Clarke is reminding adults that positive reinforcement is necessary for the development of a healthy child.
According to her, too often persons focus on the negatives, that the children begin to believe that there is no good in them.
“Let Child Month this year be the start of celebrating our children, and let us highlight the positive traits and deeds in them,” she said in her Child Month message.
“Too often we focus on the negatives…we need to begin to praise and encourage our children as much as we can,” she noted, and commended all those who have been working tirelessly in the interest of the survival, protection, and development of the children.
Mrs. Clarke also made an appeal to fathers to shoulder their responsibilities. “Some of you are doing a fantastic job in caring for your children, but there are others who need to step up to the plate and be counted among the good fathers,” she said.
This year, Child Month (May), is being celebrated under the theme: ‘Fathers! Your Children Need You’, and as such, Mrs. Clarke is imploring fathers to go to the Registrar General’s Department and add their names to their children’s birth certificates.
“Being a good father means giving your child a name and an identity, so place your name on your child’s birth certificate,” she urged.
Additionally, the Children’s Advocate has called on parents, church leaders as well as members, and all Jamaicans to join in the fight to protect children.
“Report cases of rape and carnal abuse or any other act of violence that is perpetrated against our children,” she said. In addition to making these reports to the Police, persons may also report such crimes to the Office of the Children’s Advocate, as one of its roles is to receive and conduct investigations into complaints made by, or on behalf of a child whose rights have been violated.
“We need to take a zero tolerance approach to these and other atrocities to which many of our children fall victims,” Mrs. Clarke stressed.
The Office of the Children’s Advocate is located at the Air Jamaica building, 72 Harbour Street, Downtown Kingston. The telephone numbers are: 948-1293, 967-3225 or 967-5890.

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