CPA saves over 840 children from separating from their family -during first quarter

GINA, GUYANA, Friday, April 28, 2017

The Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA), has recorded significant success during the first quarter of 2017. Director of the agency, Ann Greene told the Government Information Agency (GINA), the CPA was able to prevent the separation of 841 children from their family by providing increased support and services to improve their parenting role.

Greene explained that these children were on the verge of being removed from their family because of their home situation. She said the agency worked with them, some of whom were in the special parenting category, while others received assistance from the Ministry of Social Protection’s safety net programme.

Director, Child Care and Protection Agency, Ann Greene

Greene further explained to GINA that without the intervention by CPA those children would have been placed into institutional care. She noted that the children were able to stay at home with their families whilst they received services from CPA.

“These children would have had to be removed from their families because they were at risk, but they (children) were saved from being removed because they (parents) cooperated and were able to change some of the things that were creating the vulnerability for children at home,” Greene stated.

Additionally, during the first quarter, the CPA successfully installed the new visiting committee for children’s residential care institutions. The committee is a recognised body authorised to visit all established children’s homes and institutions. It consists of no less than 17 responsible citizens who will work for no more than three years.

The CPA Director highlighted that, “Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally, was able to install the new visiting committee for the children’s residential care institutions, so they are onboard and have commenced working because we have to ensure that these institutions are up to minimum standards. They must operate at a level that the minimum standards are in effect because later on this year we want to licence the residential care facilities, but to be licenced they have to have the minimum standards.”

Further, an inspector of homes is employed by the Ministry to work with the current 23 children’s home to get them up to minimum standards.  When the homes are up to standard they will be issued operating licences especially now that the child care and development service Act is in place.

The agency also managed to heighten its public awareness campaigns. Persons in Berbice, Essequibo and Bartica are among those benefitting from more information on child abuse via newspaper, television and radio advertisements and notices.

By: Ranetta La Fleur