Jamaica News: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage-Grey, says the agency remains steadfast in its mandate of protecting children from harm and ensuring their well-being.
“We ensure that their voices are heard and they are never silenced or forced to live in fear. We guarantee you our children, that the policies impacting your lives are tailored for your benefit at all times. This is why we are on a campaign to make it known that every child deserves protection,” Mrs. Gage-Grey said.
She was speaking at the fourth staging of the biennial National Children’s Summit (NCS), held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Thursday (August 15).
The CEO said the Summit has become a flagship event on the agency’s events calendar, and a valuable resource for the CPFSA in implementing effective interventions that serve the best interests of the children in care of the State.
“Since its inception, the NCS has enabled our children in State care to interact with their peers while engaging them on topical issues and other matters that concern the future and well-being of the island’s youth. Therefore, the Summit will continue on the tradition of locking ideas that can benefit you our children,” she said.
Mrs. Gage-Grey commended the Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP) for having the prudence to advocate for a Summit of this nature where the voices and views of the nation’s children can be heard.
“It is through CAP that we have this national conversation about the rights of children. I am also very proud of what you have achieved and encourage you to continue influencing policymaking that benefit our children. Hearing from children is not only empowering for them, it helps us as adults to get things right,” she said.
Mrs. Gage-Grey said this is particularly important as the policies, programmes and laws that are being shaped directly and indirectly impact children.
“Our children are the consumer, the client and the recipients of so much of what we do. Ignoring the experiences and the views of children who are, after all, experts in their own lives will invariably lead to interventions that just don’t work for them,” the CPFSA head argued.
Prior to the Summit, regional sessions were held with children across the island to compile a list of recommendations to issues affecting them.
These recommendations will be analysed and used to shape changes in the CPFSA’s Corporate Strategic Plan and other policy frameworks. The information will also be incorporated into the National Children’s Summit 2019 Declaration that is being prepared by the delegates.
Established in 2012, the CAP provides guidance and advice to the CPFSA Chief Executive Officer and management of the agency on ongoing matters pertaining to children in the child protection system and Jamaica.
The Summit brings together children between 12 and 17 years of age from across the island (mainly wards of the State) and different interest groups. It creates an atmosphere for learning, exchange of ideas, developing and strengthening social skills.
It is organised by the CPFSA, in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Summit is held under the theme ‘Empowering Children, Uplifting Jamaica’.
Some 1,200 children, caregivers and stakeholders took part in the workshop.
Source: JIS News
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