JIS: The church is being called on to help in the counselling of abused children, and to assist the authorities in nabbing perpetrators.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says the church has the capacity to play a greater role in the security of children.
“We have a collective responsibility to ensure that each child is taken care of, that each child is protected, and I hope the church will join with us,” the Minister of State told the congregation gathered for the Child Month National Church Service, at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, in Portmore, St. Catherine, on May 1.
Arguing that every child is “our national asset,” Mr. Green told his audience that a redoubling of effort is required to protect the children. “If you know a child is being abused, speak up. Break the culture of silence,” he urged.
The Minister of State said he wants more persons to look out for signs of detachment in children; to provide guidance where they can, and where they know or hear of abuse, supply the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) with the information.
He said all persons of goodwill must become “informers” if that is what it will take to provide security for children against abusers.
“If you hear, let us do the investigation. We have the entities that will intervene, and under the Child Care Protection Act, it is a crime if you know about child abuse and you don’t report it,” Mr. Green reminded.
The Minister of State said that under a new programme, called ‘Our Children JA’, there will be increased focus on helping parents to provide children with healthy foods; strengthening the diagnostic systems for children with special needs; and improving the reporting and investigative arms of the OCR.