CPA Director calls for partnership with Media to protect children

GINA, GUYANA, Friday, January 27, 2017

The Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA) is calling for support to protect children.

In an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA), Anne Greene, said the media plays an integral role in spreading awareness.

Director, Child Care Protection Agency, Ann Greene

Greene explained that the agency can only succeed in its mandate to protect children if it gets tye support of residents in communities and the media.

She urged the media to support the agency and share accurate information. “You can critique us, it keeps us on our toes with getting the service done but you have to be careful that before you air stories you check to see if you have the facts, most times you don’t have the facts and incorrect information is shared,” Greene said.

Greene added that the ethics of the child protection profession prevents employees from revealing sensitive information and this has often led to the dissemination of inaccurate information. She said this makes it necessary for the Agency and the media to form a partnership.

The CPA Director pointed out that perpetrators of child sexual abuse are walking away from the law with impunity. She said it would usually take long to provide justice for the victims and therefore, the agency needs more support from communities and the media to address this.

“So a child at 13 and his or her case taking seven years, seven years to solve. In that period that child is healing and would not want to bring up back that case from seven years ago and there the perpetrator goes free,” Greene related.

Additionally, Greene told GINA that the Agency will not establish new homes or institutions for children in 2017 but rather, would work to have them reintegrated with their family.

Greene said children thrive in family based care as opposed to institutional care. “In large homes, children are not getting the individual attention that they should have and that is what children need, so they benefit more from family based care than they would benefit from the institutional care,” she explained.

According to the CPA Director, the Agency will be licensing all residential care institutions so they would not be permitted to operate below a minimum standard.

There are cases when it is mandatory to place children in homes. However work must be done with the family members to return these children to their homes as soon as possible.

Greene said the Agency is looking to keep residential care institutions for children down to a minimum. She pointed out that child protection is a sensitive and critical issue and must be taken seriously by all stakeholders.

BY: Ranetta La Fleur

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