The Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) recently received $3M from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to purchase supplies for child advocacy centres in four regions.

According to UNICEF’s Country Representative, Sylvie Fouet, the monies will go towards the purchasing of computers, forensic kits, tables, and chairs for centres in Regions One (Barima/Waini), Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), Four (Demerara/Mahaica), and Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni).

Child advocacy centres provide a child-friendly, safe, and neutral location in which law enforcement and Child Protective Services investigators may conduct and observe forensic interviews with children who are alleged victims of crimes, and where the child and non-offending family members receive support, crisis intervention, and referrals for mental health and medical treatment.

The Child advocacy centre model’s main objective is to reduce trauma to child victims by bringing all disciplines together and sharing information more efficiently to minimise duplication. They also double-check and cross-check files in order to produce accurate public records.

Fouet noted that the supplies will go towards making the centres more conducive for children while, at the same time, boosting the CPA’s ability to record and document cases of abuse and helping with forensic support.

As of March this year, the CPA recorded 495 cases of child abuse. There were 4,917 cases recorded in 2018.


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