Blossom Inc. leads in helping Linden’s children

DPI, Guyana, Friday, January 25, 2019

The Department of Social Protection for Region Ten has teamed up with the Non-Governmental Organisation Blossom Incorporated to provide rehabilitative services to children who are sexually and physically abused.

The Blossom Incorporated Child Advocacy Centre was commissioned on January 3 and has already dealt with cases of child abuse referred by the department. The staff has been trained in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) and can professionally provide services to both the children and their parents so that they can heal from trauma.

The centre allows abused children to relay their experiences just once in an interview where representatives from all the necessary agencies are present.  These include a forensic interviewer, police officer, doctor, relative, welfare officer and whoever else is needed in the process to allow for justice to take its course.

In addition to providing trauma therapy, Blossom Incorporated collaborates with other stakeholders such as the Linden Hospital Complex’s Social Workers and the E’ Division Police Force, where team decisions are made about an investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child sexual abuse, emotional abuse such as neglect and extreme physical abuse cases. Forensic interview and victim support services are also provided to the affected children and their families.

Region Ten Councillor Mellissa Chapman related that cases continue to come out of the region, and such services provided by Blossom Incorporated are necessary. Chapman holds a degree in Sociology and with her TF-CBT training, she can bring relief to many children and their families.

“We help them (children) overcome whatever traumatic experience they would have suffered and help them reintegrate into their family, get back into their social life because when children go through traumatic experiences, it can be really difficult for them…so this counselling, helps them to overcome all of these things.”

She also provides court support for children, so that abusers can face the full brunt of the law.

Chapman said that bringing a smile to a broken child’s face is her passion and she will continue to provide the needed support to the children. “I have always been dedicated to helping people and it brings me joy to make a positive change in the lives of both the child and parent.”

Statistics show that for 2017, Region 10 had the highest rate of child abuse. The Child Protection Agency (CPA), recorded a total of 4,179 cases. Region 10 reflected 22.1 cases per 1,000 children.

For 2019, nine cases have already been referred to the advocacy centre.

Story and Images: Vanessa Braithwaite.

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