Community action groups on the rise in Regions One, Two and Eight
– aimed at curbing child abuse
The Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) says several awareness exercises are currently ongoing in Regions One, Two and Eight to tackle all forms of child abuse.
Senior Probation Officer at the CPA, Mr. Smith made these disclosures to DPI during a recent interview.
“We have social work officers stationed in Region One. There are four officers and three offices in Region Two and two officers working from one office stationed at Anna Regina,” he said.
Agency officials made several trips to the regions to set up community action groups comprising welfare officers and volunteer social workers residing in the respective regions.
“The community action group initiative improved sensitisation throughout various communities and, so far, we are seeing a number of persons coming forward to report cases of abuse, teenage pregnancy, truancy and the lack of birth registration,” Mr. Smith explained.
There are currently no social work offices stationed in Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight).
Awareness exercises were held with parents and counsellors of Paramakatoi, Mahdia and Monkey Mountain, Region Eight and in Port Kaituma, Mabaruma, Moruca and Baramita in Barima-Waini (Region One).
In Region One, sensitisation sessions were held with over 150 parents at the Port Kaituma Secondary School and the Mathews Ridge Primary School on the role and responsibility of parents.
In Regions One and Two, the CPA was able to reunite parents with their children. The children had been in foster care for several months for various reasons.
“The children were joyful, some of them would have returned home after months. However, there were some cases where some children were unable to re-integrate with their parents because of poor living conditions and they were placed in foster care in the said regions,” Mr. Smith said.
The Agency also addressed birth registration matters, including registering children who were nearing adolescence, but were never registered.
“We are going after birth registration. In the case of a sexual abuse act committed on a child, the social worker will not be able to verify the child’s age or decipher if the child is underage and this issue halts the process to provide justice,” Mr. Smith explained The CPA is collaborating with the District Education Officers, Regional Executive Officers, Toshaos and the Guyana Police Force to curb child abuse countrywide.