3,294 cases of child abuse reported from Jan-Oct 2016
sNeglect and Sexual Abuse remain the leading forms of abuse against children in 2016.
The Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) final statistics for 2016 is still being tallied but child abuse reports at the end of October were at 3294 cases “with neglect followed by sexual abuse as the leading forms of abuse.” This is according to a statement from Head of the Childcare & Protection Agency, Ann Greene who said inadequate parenting is still a main contributory factor to child abuse and challenges experienced by youths.
As such, in its 2017 plan, the CCPA will be focusing on capacity building and in-home services for parents. This is expected to help more children can remain in their parents’ care.
“We will be increasing our efforts to forge community partnerships for the protection of children from harm and abuse; working to create child-friendly communities and encouraging community members to be more vigilant –watching out for children and persons who put them at risk and reporting these cases and keep reporting until action is taken” she said.
Greene said often times, during the investigations persons reveal that they knew of the child’s circumstances but did nothing.
She dubbed the behaviour as “out of order” noting that it is an infringement of the Child Protection Laws.
She affirmed that the synergy among Probation & Social Services Officers, Childcare & Protection Officers, School’s Welfare Officers and Health Workers must improve.
This year, she said the Agency is craving tangible support from its NGO partners and effective collaboration.
The Agency’s work is regarded as one of the riskiest in the Public Service due to risks of public opinion.
The Director also used the opportunity to call out the media on what she terms as “media bashing”. She urged that the media assist in raising the level of awareness to the plight of children who suffer abuse.
The focus too this year is continuing with the Registration and Licensing of daycare facilities and raising the awareness on the importance of children receiving positive early childhood experience. Included in the Licensing Process is the Child Residential Care Institutions to ensure that they are operating at minimum standard and above.