The plight of children in the Caribbean region is one which receives high priority by member church The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (UCJCI). On Sunday May 22, 2016 UCJCI launched its Child Protection Policy on their radio programme United in Faith.
With statistics in Jamaica indicating that 150 children on average are reported missing each month and 38% report advances by persons on social media the protection of children is an urgent matter for attention. The UCJCI Child Protection Policy provides a core set of ground rules for operation in the member church. The policy’s terms and conditions raise awareness about the responsibilities, risks and boundaries of working with children to facilitate a safer environment for all. While the policy relates chiefly to protecting the welfare of children, it also applies to the protection of adults, particularly those in supervisory roles involving caring for children and young people and working closely with them.
Observance of this policy is not only expected of Clergy, but of Sunday School teachers, superintendents, youth leaders, camp counselors, volunteers and other adults within the church environment interfacing with children on a regular basis. The policy also provides an overview of the training and support mechanisms being put in place to facilitate the sustainability of child welfare and protection in the UCJCI.
Contributed by Karen Francis