Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Every Child Matters in the Caribbean

Published:Saturday | May 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM
David Fitton,(right) British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Earl Jarrett, General Manager of Jamaica National Building Society and Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith speak with students at the International Safeguarding Children's Conference at Mona Visitor's Lodge yesterday.

Stakeholders examined best practices in child care and protection at the International Safeguarding Children's Confe-rence staged at the Mona Visitor's Lodge at the University of the West Indies yesterday.

At the one-day workshop and exhibition conference, held under the theme: 'Every Child Matters in the Caribbean', professionals from the United Kingdom (UK), United States and the Caribbean looked at issues concerning the protection of children, shared experiences, and proposed solutions to the challenges being faced, not only in Jamaica, but across the Caribbean and internationally.

"This conference aims to assist professionals to plan, safeguard and promote the welfare of young people and children throughout the Caribbean," noted Patricia McKenzie-Thomas, director of the UK-based One Step Forward Consultancy, organisers of the conference.

more shared resources

Stating that no country has got it right in the safeguarding of children, she noted that, "Some countries are doing better, but some need more shared resources and supportive working practices and knowledge as seen in and around the Caribbean."

The conference was the first step in providing stakeholders working in the safeguarding of children throughout the Caribbean, with multi-disciplinary approaches and best practice guidelines

on enhancing partnerships and improving child protection provisions and services.

One Step Forward Consultancy is a social work company that focuses primarily on safeguarding and protection issues relating to children and families. The company also provides education and training in social work.

Its mandate is to, among other things, provide exceptional service in the areas of child protection and safeguarding of children in liaison with government departments in the UK and Jamaica.