New methods to strengthen child protection introduced
The Court of Guardianship (CoG), with technical support from UNICEF the Netherlands and Augeo Foundation, are introducing new protocols and methods to tackle child abuse and neglect together with children, parents and professionals on the island.
Some activities include restructuring the central (advice and) reporting centre for child abuse within CoG, introducing rapid social support for children who witness domestic violence through the ‘Handle with Care’ method, and implementing ‘Child Check’ in healthcare and emergency institutions to help detect child abuse or neglect.
Child protection professionals and stakeholders were invited to sensitization and implementation sessions to ensure the new protocols and methods are realistic and practical. Invited were professionals working in the healthcare sector, educational institutions, and the justice system, such as the Police Department.
Methods such as Handle with Care and Child Check create more robust systems through which professionals working with children and parents can help prevent abuse and/or provide early social support to minors and families that have been exposed to traumatic events. We were pleased to hear from all the stakeholders that these methods are a welcome addition and that they are enthusiastic about working together towards successful implementation,” explains Kimberly Brown, Head of the CoG. Further consultations, workshops, and the development of implementation plans are scheduled for the remainder of the year.
These activities are part of the Child Resilience and Protection Project (CRPP) executed by the Government of Sint Maarten in collaboration with UNICEF The Netherlands, financed by the Government of The Netherlands, through the Sint Maarten Trust Fund, as part of the Child Resilience and Protection Project (CRPP).