CPFSA to host Ananda Alert community meetings
The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) will be staging a series of islandwide Ananda Alert community meetings starting on today in St Thomas.
The session will take place at the Social Development Commission (SDC) Complex, 1 Springfield Road, Morant Bay, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Speaking with JIS News, Acting Ananda Alert Officer at the CPFSA, Anandjae Roberts, said that the community sensitisation sessions are part of the entity’s strategy to increase the knowledge base of citizens and to encourage people to tell what they know when there is a case of a missing child.
She noted that there were 727 reports of missing children between January and May of this year.
Roberts said that the CPFSA “will be going from parish to parish, where persons will have the opportunity to learn about what to do if their child goes missing, and how they can help in finding other missing children”.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), along with other stakeholders, is partnering with the CPFSA to host these meetings.
Other sessions are scheduled for July 16 at the St Gabriel’s Anglican Church, 10 Church Street, May Pen, Clarendon; and on July 24 at The Source, 224 Barracks Road, Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.
Both meetings will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
“Everyone should make an effort to come out and be a part of these meetings because child protection is the responsibility of all citizens and each person has a part to play in addressing the issue of missing children,” Roberts said.
She pointed out that coming out of these sessions it is expected that “there will be greater participation and community involvement in efforts to locate all our missing children by providing information to the police and, ultimately, protect children from harm”.
Reports on missing children must be made to any police station islandwide, and persons can also contact the Children’s Registry toll-free at 888-protect (776-8328).
The Registry is also accessible through social media using the handle @cpsfajm for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.