Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Child Safeguarding gets funding to move into effect

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Former Premier R. Meade signed the MOU

Mr. Adrian Davis

Mr. Adrian Davis

Following activities within the last couple years highlighting the issues of child sexual (and violence) abuse, the signing of an MOU between DFID, UNICEF and some UK Overseas Territories, which was hosted in Montserrat;, as well as initiatives through the OECS Commission, HMG is demonstrating its commitment through its 2015-16 budgetary aid to Montserrat. The Child Safeguarding program with DFID and UNICEF signing took place just over a year ago.

At the Governor’s press conference held on April 8, His Excellency informed that in keeping with his promise to issue short reports on progress made in implementing the recommendations of the recent child safeguarding review, that £253,000 has been ring fenced for child safeguarding.

He said, “As part of the 2015-16 budgetary aid settlement agreed between the Government of Montserrat and DFID, £253,000 has been ring fenced for child safeguarding.”

He explained that the funds will cover measures such as payments for foster carers; establishment of a family centre; the use (on a call-down contract basis) of an experienced family lawyer to support the process of safeguarding cases through the court system; specialist child abuse investigation training for the police, including forensic examination of mobile phones and computer equipment; special measures to improve the integration of Spanish-speaking children in the community, including formal teaching of English as a foreign language; recruitment of two school guidance counselors; and continuing the public campaign to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

He also informed that work on the draft Child Care and Protection Bill will be undertaken by the Attorney General’s Office as soon as they have finished with the draft Housing Bill which is currently the top priority.

“Progress on establishment of a Child Safeguarding Board has been limited to gathering information. In the region, only Barbados has established such a Board,” he added, informing also that the Department of Social Services is also contacting St Helena so that they can share the terms of reference for, and composition of, the Board that was established there.

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Untitled-2

Former Premier R. Meade signed the MOU

Mr. Adrian Davis

Mr. Adrian Davis

Following activities within the last couple years highlighting the issues of child sexual (and violence) abuse, the signing of an MOU between DFID, UNICEF and some UK Overseas Territories, which was hosted in Montserrat;, as well as initiatives through the OECS Commission, HMG is demonstrating its commitment through its 2015-16 budgetary aid to Montserrat. The Child Safeguarding program with DFID and UNICEF signing took place just over a year ago.

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At the Governor’s press conference held on April 8, His Excellency informed that in keeping with his promise to issue short reports on progress made in implementing the recommendations of the recent child safeguarding review, that £253,000 has been ring fenced for child safeguarding.

He said, “As part of the 2015-16 budgetary aid settlement agreed between the Government of Montserrat and DFID, £253,000 has been ring fenced for child safeguarding.”

He explained that the funds will cover measures such as payments for foster carers; establishment of a family centre; the use (on a call-down contract basis) of an experienced family lawyer to support the process of safeguarding cases through the court system; specialist child abuse investigation training for the police, including forensic examination of mobile phones and computer equipment; special measures to improve the integration of Spanish-speaking children in the community, including formal teaching of English as a foreign language; recruitment of two school guidance counselors; and continuing the public campaign to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

He also informed that work on the draft Child Care and Protection Bill will be undertaken by the Attorney General’s Office as soon as they have finished with the draft Housing Bill which is currently the top priority.

“Progress on establishment of a Child Safeguarding Board has been limited to gathering information. In the region, only Barbados has established such a Board,” he added, informing also that the Department of Social Services is also contacting St Helena so that they can share the terms of reference for, and composition of, the Board that was established there.