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Child Safeguarding progress disappoints Governor Carriere

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Governor of Montserrat, Her Excellency Elizabeth Carriere

While speaking two Fridays ago about her disappointment and her under-achievement in areas she had hoped to see develop or improve during  her first year as Governor of Montserrat, Her Excellency Elizabeth Carriere said one of the areas in which she is dissatisfied was the slow pace of Child Protection Reforms.

Miss Carriere referred to a number of the recommendations of a Child Safety review carried out in 2014-15 have not been implemented.

But continuing her report of the ignorant behaviour of the Public Service she noted: “There appears to be a fair amount of resistance or reluctance or confusion around some of these changes,” citing, “…setting up the Child Protection Unit. Getting the relevant legislation passed and getting the board operational has taken much longer than I anticipated.”

Asking Why? And saying she makes no judgments or place no blame, “this is a relatively new area of focus for Montserrat and for the Overseas Territories in general, ” which appears to some as also covering for the public servants, some of whom by the way are very diligent.

She said that while there was quick action on a number of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation recommendations, when it came to changes in organization, staffing and budgets, “things seemed to slow down – perhaps difficulties with or resistance to new ways of doing things,” which makes her ask, “is that sufficient reason to put children’s wellbeing at further risk especially when we are experiencing a rise in cases?”

She had enumerated in January such things as changes to current legislation and the creation of a Child Safeguarding Unit as ways to enhance the protection of the island’s children. The reviewers had “considered” that the Social Services department and the members of the Royal Montserrat Police Force who had the most active dealings with safeguarding were dedicated and competent, but were handicapped by an absence of legal, institutional and operational powers.  They blamed a lack of coherent legislation that might underpin efforts to safeguard children, and the social services department having to use outdated and clumsy Statutes as a means of legitimising their role.”

The Governor had also expected there to be “Counselling in the schools, campaigns, public campaigns – making a difference to public awareness, along with practices in institutions. There was to be and there has been enhanced training of police and social service workers of how to handle situations; how to handle evidence; how to deal with affected people, not just victims themselves but also the families and the communities.

At the time she said she thought “that’s very positive, and she was pleased that the   decision had been made to fast track a Child Safeguarding, adequately and professionally staffed.  “That will be like a surge response to the additional cases that have been coming forward over the months,” she declared.

Wach full press conference here: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/governors-monthly-press-conference-july-2016/

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

DSC_5904

Governor of Montserrat, Her Excellency Elizabeth Carriere

While speaking two Fridays ago about her disappointment and her under-achievement in areas she had hoped to see develop or improve during  her first year as Governor of Montserrat, Her Excellency Elizabeth Carriere said one of the areas in which she is dissatisfied was the slow pace of Child Protection Reforms.

Miss Carriere referred to a number of the recommendations of a Child Safety review carried out in 2014-15 have not been implemented.

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But continuing her report of the ignorant behaviour of the Public Service she noted: “There appears to be a fair amount of resistance or reluctance or confusion around some of these changes,” citing, “…setting up the Child Protection Unit. Getting the relevant legislation passed and getting the board operational has taken much longer than I anticipated.”

Asking Why? And saying she makes no judgments or place no blame, “this is a relatively new area of focus for Montserrat and for the Overseas Territories in general, ” which appears to some as also covering for the public servants, some of whom by the way are very diligent.

She said that while there was quick action on a number of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation recommendations, when it came to changes in organization, staffing and budgets, “things seemed to slow down – perhaps difficulties with or resistance to new ways of doing things,” which makes her ask, “is that sufficient reason to put children’s wellbeing at further risk especially when we are experiencing a rise in cases?”

She had enumerated in January such things as changes to current legislation and the creation of a Child Safeguarding Unit as ways to enhance the protection of the island’s children. The reviewers had “considered” that the Social Services department and the members of the Royal Montserrat Police Force who had the most active dealings with safeguarding were dedicated and competent, but were handicapped by an absence of legal, institutional and operational powers.  They blamed a lack of coherent legislation that might underpin efforts to safeguard children, and the social services department having to use outdated and clumsy Statutes as a means of legitimising their role.”

The Governor had also expected there to be “Counselling in the schools, campaigns, public campaigns – making a difference to public awareness, along with practices in institutions. There was to be and there has been enhanced training of police and social service workers of how to handle situations; how to handle evidence; how to deal with affected people, not just victims themselves but also the families and the communities.

At the time she said she thought “that’s very positive, and she was pleased that the   decision had been made to fast track a Child Safeguarding, adequately and professionally staffed.  “That will be like a surge response to the additional cases that have been coming forward over the months,” she declared.

Wach full press conference here: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/governors-monthly-press-conference-july-2016/