The protection of children in Linden, Region Ten has been boosted with the opening of a Children’s Advocacy Centre (CAC) yesterday, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI).
The centre, situated in the former Linden Hospital Complex is the seventh of its kind and complements others in Regions Two, Four, Five and Seven. Professionals from, child protective services, law enforcement, medical and victim support advocates, and others work together to make decisions about the investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases, DPI said.
Statistics from the last Childcare Protection Agency (CPA) report 2017 show that Linden has had the country’s highest reported cases of sexual abuse, DPI said. This prompted the Ministry of Social Protection’s Childcare and Protection Agency, and UNICEF, in tandem with local Non-Government Organisation Blossom Incorporated to establish the centre.
The centres in the various regions are operated by NGO’s Child Link and Blossom Incorporated. The Linden facility will be run by Blossom Incorporated. Managing Director Ayo Dalgetty-Dean said, “We’ll be conducting forensic interviews of children who’ve been sexually abused. We’ll be doing therapeutic counselling or trauma-informed counselling, victim advocacy, court support and also we’ll be doing some preventative work, parenting classes and outreach sessions to sensitise the community on child sexual abuse. I think this is absolutely necessary and absolutely needed. We need to let the children know we’re here to protect them and there’s a system in place that will deal with them sensitively”.
DPI said that the initiative was welcomed by Linden’s Mayor Waneka Arrindell. She said, “This is something that the people of Linden needed, and as a Mayor I’m proud that it’s a part of our town and a part of our region.” The Mayor added that the facility will bring a much-needed relief to abused children.