Parenting support heading west

The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) will launch its parenting education programme in western Jamaica on Friday. The programme, which will be rolled out in Westmoreland, Hanover, and St James, will be focused on the issue of child abuse.

Education minister Ruel Reid said the commission, through the campaign, is continuing its efforts to empower parents with the knowledge and skills to effectively raise their children.

The minister said he was “deeply moved” by videos of children being abused, which he said represented “the negative manifestation of the breakdown in the family”.

Speaking in the Senate on Friday, he said that the society cannot condone acts of violence meted out against children in the name of discipline, “not in the homes, not in schools and not in the wider society.

“We cannot continue to grow our children this way and expect them to be emotionally well-adjusted teenagers growing into mature adults,” he said.

Reid cited statistics from the Office of the Children’s Registry, which show increased reports of physical abuse linked to corporal punishments.

A total of 3, 214 physical abuse reports were received in 2014, while 3,639 reports were received in 2015.

In addition, the Investigation Unit of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency indicated that close to 2,000 of the matters investigated up to October 2017 were related to physical abuse.

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