CC&PA partners with stakeholders to empower Region 10 youngsters

The Office of the Childcare and Protection Agency (CC&PA) in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), has partnered with other related agencies and stakeholders to roll out several initiatives aimed at having youngsters make better-informed decisions and improve parent to child and community relationships.
Recently, the CPA brought together these stakeholders for a meeting where issues and solutions were discussed. The agencies also planned proactive activities which were rolled out this week.

Officials and stakeholders at the seminar

Probation and Social Services Officer attached to the Linden office, Tonza Ward said the agency was made aware of numerous issues and online “challenges” which youths are engaged in which can be considered as detrimental.
This, she stressed, includes the popular “silhouette challenge” which is done on various social media platforms. As such, she noted that the agencies sprang into action in an effort to offer solutions and support to youth who are mainly at home in light of the pandemic. The meeting was the first in a series of steps planned.
“We thought it important to provide education, not only for them, but for their parents so that they can be properly guided…So…we decided that this task is a huge one and one that we shouldn’t work with on our own but we should explore all options, all of our stakeholders and pool our different expertise together in an effort to have a holistic approach in remedying the issue,” Ward said.

Stakeholders at the meeting

Coming out of the meeting, it was highlighted that the team will not take a harsh approach in tackling such issues and trends, but a friendly one that will also assist communities in raising children. Ward said the CPA will be working together with parents, children and agencies in the community.
They would have agreed on activities including workshops, media sensitisation, fan-out exercises and whistle stops in an effort to have feedback and provide guidance.
Ward added that it was realised that with lots of persons at home and on social media, there is a tendency to be part of some activities which are not conducive.
“It was noted during our session that this (challenge) is just one of many things that our youths will occupy themselves with and this approach will have a ripple effect on many other things…so…we would have spoken about value systems, the parent to child relationship, parenting in the whole, how persons occupy their time, safety measures for the use of the internet and issues as it pertains to the culture…” she said.
Ward noted too that the media plays an integral role in helping to propel the message and urged all to become actively involved. Those present included representatives from the Sexual Offences Unit, schools’ welfare division, regional health, Police division, Blossom Inc (child advocacy centre), social workers of the Linden Hospital Complex and Upper Demerara Hospital, religious organisations, Central Recruitment and Manpower Division and other agencies.