Local and international stakeholders in child protection yesterday converged on the Mona Visitors Lodge, UWI, for day 1 of the 2nd staging of the International Safeguarding Children Conference, which continues today.
The conference which is staged by UK based company One Step Forward Consultancy and the Victoria Climbie Foundation, with the endorsement of the British High Commission, featured presentations from State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information, Hon. Floyd Green, multi-award winning Youth Advocate Nathaniel Peat and various key agencies in children’s welfare such as the Child Development Agency and the Office of the Children’s Advocate. Presentations addressed issues across the scope of child protection with special emphasis on Safeguarding, Education, Training and Development.
Minister Green acknowledged the importance of an international effort in addressing issues regarding children’s welfare and expressed the Ministry’s support “The Ministry is fully committed to anything that has to do with our children. It benefits us to learn from best practices overseas,” he said.
Youth Advocate and Founder of the Safety Box Nathaniel Peat, in his presentation, drew reference to the tens of thousands of children in Jamaica who are abused annually, noting that “the figure is much too high, we must learn from what works elsewhere and apply it here.”
Other speakers at the conference included Tameka Hill, Youth Advocate with the United Nations, Director of Jamaican Inspired UK, Khori Hyde and Psychotherapist and ASEBA country representative Dr. James Gibbs. Hyde, noted in his remarks that “Just like we are looking to the U.S. and U.K., they are looking to us to see how to raise their children.”
The all-day conference was broken down into two segments; a large group session in the morning which saw presentations and performances, then into more detailed small groups. The presentations were wide-ranging, to reflect the “Quality of Life Conference with a Difference theme of this year’s staging.
The conference continues today, May 6 at the Mona Visitors Lodge with workshops focusing on the well-being of social workers and those entrusted to care for children.For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org