National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month of activities 2018 will focus on the theme “Every Child Safe, Every Community Awake!”

A number of activities for the month were outlined by Director of the Child Development Division, Jemma Alexander at a press briefing on Monday at the Family Affairs Department.

Ms. Alexander explained that the month is dedicated to encouraging individuals and communities to support the children and families while preventing abuse from happening.

“Child abuse and child neglect is a major social problem that exist in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and continue to threaten the lives and health of our nation’s children,” she said.

Ms. Alexander said that the national Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month is not a celebration “but is an on-going public education campaign to encourage persons in society to acknowledge the prevalence of child abuse and providing information on how to respond and where to access services to help both victims and perpetrators.”

She said that in 2017 there were more than 300 reported cases of child abuse.

Ms. Alexander used the opportunity to highlight a particular challenge in the Department, that is, the shortage of volunteers to become foster parents.

 This, she said, has become more challenging over the years, especially, for differently abled children.

To address this situation, the Department will host a foster care recruitment drive later this month. She appealed to individuals to become foster parents.

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