Members of the National Child Protection Month Committee presented Mrs. Patricia Minnis, Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister, with a T-Shirt and Mask commemorating the 2021 National Child Protection Month as a thank you for Mrs. Minnis’ support of National Child Protection Month (April, 2021), and her participation in child abuse prevention efforts. The presentation was made by committee members Mrs. Seanalea Lewis Mrs. Yvette Bain, who both serve in the Child Protection Unit of the Department of Social Services. Child Protection Month concluded Friday, April 30, with T-Shirt Day throughout the Ministry of Social Services and the Department of Social Services and its many Departments, Divisions and Units, including the School Welfare Unit, the Child Protection Unit, Child Care Facilities, Disability Affairs Division, Family Island Division, Urban Renewal Commission and the Early Childhood Centre.
They were joined by representatives from the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Unit of the Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health, and the National Child Protection Council (NCPC), who also sit the National Child Protection Month Committee, in addition to a number of other partners.
Mrs. Minnis applauded the group for their ongoing efforts in advocating for the safety and protection of the nation’s children through their varied child protection/child abuse prevention initiatives. The Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister, itself, has done extensive work – on its own and in collaboration with partners and stakeholders — in helping to ensure that the education and awareness campaigns undertaken by those various partners in the fight against child abuse, receive national attention.
The Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister has also been instrumental in assisting the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, and its partners and stakeholders, in advancing a “Zero Tolerance’ mindset towards Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
“Gender-Based Violence can have significant short, medium and long-term negative impacts on the children who witness this type of violence,” Mrs. Minnis said. mAs part of the 2021 Child Protection Month thrust, Mrs. Minnis consented and facilitated a National Message, and participated in the production of Several Public Service Announcements that are scheduled to be used as part of the Education and Awareness Campaign throughout the course of the year.
“As the 2021 theme says: ‘Child Abuse Prevention Begins with All of Us,’” Mrs. Minnis said. “Each one of us (adults) is responsible for the children in our care, or the children that we — in our case — mentor. One of the main functions of the Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister is to advocate on behalf of women and children. I am always ready and willing to assist in any way that I can.
“I thank the Committee and its partners, and the Department (and its Divisions and Units) for the work that you do and I wish you all of the best as you continue to work in the area of advocating for, and working on behalf of, our children, ensuring that they are always safe,” Mrs. Minnis added.