Saturday, December 7, 2013

PM's Children's Task Force gets to work, wants strong Children's Authority

PM a “hard task mana­ger”: Diana Mahabir-Wyatt 
The Child Protection Task Force established by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar met Friday and agreed that one of the first things it would do is recommend that the Children's Authority is strengthened.

At a media briefing attended by the PM, Diana Mahabir-Wyatt, whis chairing the 17-member task force, said: "One of the things that we are going to address first is the matter of the Children’s Authority and getting it up on its feet."

She said the first report of the task, which she will give the PM before Christmas, force would focus only on the authority. She explained that she would lead a sub-committee that would have the resdponsibility for delivering the report. 

"They have already drawn up the necessary recommendations about what they need in detail, including budget and once those are referred to us we will take a look at them and within two weeks we will be able to make a first report on the first part of the first terms of reference,” Mahabir-Wyatt told reporters.

She added that the authority needs to get its work done. "If we could get that approved before Christmas we can do something practical and immediate,' she said.

Mahabir-Wyatt also spoke about child abuse, which she said is a cultural problem that could benefit from parenting programmes in all government schools.

“If we had started having parenting classes in all government schools 30 years ago when this proposal was made, people who are now damaging children, this would not be happening,” she stated.

“We are very passionate about what we are doing, we are very serious; we are committed to making sure that things will be implemented and we are not going to stop until we see results,” said Mahabir-Wyatt.

The task force will examine three main areas:
  1. The Children’s Authority - working towards getting this body up and running.
  2. Legislation and looking at the proclamation of various acts and how they affect others
  3. Looking at the prevention of problems and examining the processes in the existing social programmes and ensuring they get the support to be valid and efficient
The Prime Minister told reporters she is confident the team would deliver and she promised full support to get the Children’s Authority functional.

She spoke about the recent murders of children and added, "We don’t know how ma­ny more out there who are being abused; we just don’t know because it is such a silent killer, that is, only when the last act is taken that we find out.”

A final report is due in six weeks.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai