The Ministry of Social Protection on Thursday afternoon commissioned a $250M Children and Family Care Center at Block C, Sophia, Georgetown.
The Center is made up of seven buildings inclusive of a dormitory, a large kitchen with dining facilities and administrative areas for counselling and teaching.
It was constructed with the aim of being a safe place to comfortably aid neglected children while empowering and educating parents in need of help.
Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency Ann Greene stressed that many children continue to need out-of-home care.
Greene also briefly highlighted the process by which neglected children and parents will be able to access the services of the centre.
“The new Children and Family Centre is a fresh start for a child in difficult circumstances and will be accessible 24/7.
“It is a Centre where children, on arrival, would be assessed to determine the needed assistance.
“After the completion of the assessment stage if there is need for a long term out-of-home care, family-based care such as kinship and foster care will be the first options,” Greene stated.
President David Granger, in his feature address, said the implementation of child protection laws must be enforced by way of the commissioning of facilities such as the new centre to help answer the social needs of children, parents and social workers.
“Laws are necessary but not sufficient; in order to safeguard our children and to reduce the incidence of abuse, we must strengthen enforcement.
“Children and parents need support mechanisms if they are to be effective in protecting the nation’s children.
“They must be protected from abuse,” the President stated.
The President said protecting children from abuse is not a job for Government and citizens but that “this is a Guyanese problem.”
“It is in our national interest, collectively, to ensure that no child in this country suffers abuse.
“…Every citizen is invested with the responsibility of protecting our children. Parents, teachers, communities, civil society organizations should all be part of a protective shield safeguarding our children.”