Government moving to reduce caseload of CDA investigators
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green has committed to reducing the workload of investigators at the Child Development Agency (CDA), as latest figures show they are under immense pressure.
With the 2016 data not yet ready, 2015 figures show 14,000 reports submitted to the CDA, which had only 120 investigators to probe them.
But addressing a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the newspaper's head offices in central Kingston last Thursday, Green said the problem will be addressed.
"That is how we found it and that is not how we are leaving it, and that is why we are putting in additional reporters," Green told Gleaner reporters and editors.
"It is an issue. I don't know if we will ever have the resources we will need to bring it to the levels that we would like to see it, but what we hope is that people will start behaving differently and the number of reports will come down," added Green.
He argued that if child abuse continues at this pace in Jamaica, the CDA would never have enough investigators.
"We have developed a culture that we just have to stop because we will never be able to keep pace. The reports will just keep going up," said Green to nods of agreement from representatives of the CDA and the Office of the Children Registry, who were also at the forum.
"One of the things that keep our officers going is their tremendous success stories. There are young people who were taken from very perilous situations who are now very productive, who are now at universities and are contributing to the society," said Green.
He noted that the Government has given the CDA more money this fiscal year, with a big chunk of the increase going to recruit staff.
The CDA's housekeeping budget for this financial year is just over $2 billion. Compensation for employees was increased to just over $736 million, up from $664 million last year.