GEORGETOWN, Guyana, December 11, 2019 (CMC) — The Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) has said that it received 3,752 reported cases of child abuse, up to the end of October.
Director, Ann Greene, said family members were the principal perpetrators, with others amounting to 14.9 percent.
According to Greene, this was ironic since the home was where a child should be safe.
An examination of the cases shows there were 1,729 acts of neglect and 890 of sexual abuse.
“Generally, there is a steady increase in the reporting of cases over the years, and this has been attributed to the systems put in place for reporting, and our ongoing awareness programs, encouraging persons to report abuse,” the Director stated.
Greene noted that the CC&PA’s ‘Communicating 4 Development’ initiative would continue to raise awareness, while new methods will be used to boost the public’s involvement in child protection.
“The last half of the year, we worked with two new programs — one is a partnering skills awareness video, with seven episodes; and the other is an interactive storybook for teachers to use with children, to highlight safe and unsafe touching and to encourage children to always tell about any situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. These are to be launched in the new year,” she added.
Greene said they were able to meet with various service groups for children, including sports and religious groups this year.
Referees and coaches were exposed to special seminars, while 271 parents benefitted from the Positive Parenting Program, and 223 youths completed the Pregnancy Prevention and Empowerment Program.
The Director added that a pediatric mental facility, to meet the mental health needs of children, was urgently needed. She also called for processing centres for juveniles – as stated in the Juvenile Justice Act – and a restricted care facility to deal with “out of control” children.
Projecting plans for 2020, Director Greene said the Transitional Coaching Program, for families temporarily accommodated at the New Children and Family Care Centre, would be rolled out.
“This initiative is to provide social-work intervention and other assistance to the families, for them to transition to independent and sustainable living accommodation and to adequately care their children. It is designed for clients to achieve success in their transitional experience,” Greene advised.
The information was provided at the Agency’s year-end Staff Conference, today.