Presently, there are 190 children in State protective care because of abuse and neglect. According to the data collected by the Child Development Division, in 2019 the department received approximately 300 reports of children being abused or neglected.
Approximately thirty-four (34) percent of the reports were classified as victims of child neglect thirty (30) percent as victims of physical abuse, twenty -three (23) percent as victims of sexual abuse and ten (13) percent as victims of psychological abuse. Activities are undertaken by the Division:
The Division has conducted twenty (20) awareness programs in ten (10) communities and or schools with parents, teachers, children, health care practitioners, shelter managers, coaches, counselors, and religious institution to heighten awareness of child abuse and neglect.
The participants were sensitized in the following areas: Child Abuse Protocol and reporting guidelines Children ( Care and Adoption ) Act 2010 Child Abuse in Emergencies Child Abuse in Sports The Rights of the Child.
The Division in collaboration with UNICEF conducted a series of training workshops on the Child Abuse Protocols and Reporting Guidelines and the Children (Care and Adoption) Act 2010 to provide police officers, health care practitioners and educators with the knowledge and skills to recognize, prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect thus enhancing their capacity in the execution of your duties.
A total of one hundred and eighty (180) Law Enforcement Officers including Gazetted Officers, Non Commission Officers (NCO), Police Constables, Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department, outstation and Sexual Offenses Unit, DARE Officers and other police officers who work directly with children attended a one day training during the period 5- 9 August, 2019. Additionally, one hundred and forty –two (142) Health Care Professionals including medical doctors, hospital administrator, nurses, social workers, etc also received training during the period 19-23 August 2019.
Another training workshop will take place in the month of October for 150 educators including principals, counselors and senior officials (3) The Division recognizes that parents play a vital role in their child’s development. Parents are not only caretakers, but they are instrumental in the development of their child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being. As a result, the Division has conducted parenting programs in five (5) communities and schools. A total of 130 parents have benefitted from this initiative.