JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government will be embarking on several initiatives to continue the fight against child abuse, including widening partnerships to strengthen the response to the problem.
  • Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says the national plan of action, will include a Cabinet submission for a comprehensive “integrated response to children and violence".
  • The CDA has been hosting sessions across the island to help parents to effectively carry out their responsibilities.

The Government will be embarking on several initiatives to continue the fight against child abuse, including widening partnerships to strengthen the response to the problem.

Noting that abused children often become abusers of other children, Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says the national plan of action, will include a Cabinet submission for a comprehensive “integrated response to children and violence, which will outline existing initiatives and seek approval for new initiatives to meet the evolving needs of children”.

She said the Ministry will “mobilise and make operational a number of initiatives to effectively arrest the issues affecting children, while creating a transformative environment”.

Minister Hanna, who was addressing a press briefing at the Ministry, in New Kingston on April 8, informed that more partnerships will be developed with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), faith-based organisations, media and entertainment fraternities, and international development partners, to effect the programme.

She emphasised that when children are abandoned by their parents, or suffer abuse, it is the Child Development Agency (CDA) which intervenes to ensure the care and protection of these children.

In order to educate parents, and communities, and ultimately reduce incidents of abuse, the CDA has been hosting sessions across the island to help parents to effectively carry out their responsibilities. The sessions also provide mediation for families. The CDA’s annual budget, for these and other interventions, is $1.7 billion.

Meanwhile, Minister Hanna also disclosed that the Sisters of Mercy, operators of the Alpha Boys Home, in Kingston, and the Manchester-based St. John Bosco Boys Home, have informed that residential services at Alpha will be discontinued as of June 2014.

Additionally, she reported, the learning facilities at Bosco will be opened to other children and youth.

Miss Hanna noted that the CDA will hold further discussions with the operators of the institutions, to determine the transition process for the children and will be “moving ahead with plans to find alternative locations for children who will be dislocated by the closing”.