Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Department of Probation and Child Protection Services continues to work closely with stakeholders to provide comprehensive services to children, parents, and families in need of assistance, said Gerald Connor, Acting Director in the department.
“We work closely with a number of different government agencies – the Counseling Unit, the National Drug Council, the Ministry of Education, who has guidance counselors within the school systems and we do that to ensure that children have wrap-around services, not just the children but their families to ensure that they understand the situation [COVID-19 and its impact] that is happening,” said Mr. Connor on the June 16 edition of Working for You.
Wrap-around services are an individually designed set of services and support provided to children and their families including treatment services, personal support, or any other support necessary to achieve the desired outcome.
Mr. Connor encouraged other government entities to start doing work within the education system to help children understand the COVID-19 environment and its impact on humanity both locally, regionally, and globally.
Important to note is the current learning environment where students returned to virtual learning platforms. He noted that guidance counselors are extremely important at such a critical time and should organize sessions with teachers as well who are experiencing challenging situations.
“They themselves are trying to figure out how they are going to be shifting from being in the classroom to becoming virtual. The education department should have that put in place, built into their whole online training platform that would have guidance counselors, counselors from the Counselling Unit, and persons from the Family Matters Programme to do sessions online with various schools to engage these teachers and parents in that regard,” he said.
Acting Director Connor said that it would be important to have open dialogues and discussions “to prepare teachers to be able to take on those challenges because when we do start getting back to the norm” teachers would have to “re-engage children into the classroom setting and they are going to come with certain behaviours that are going to change the dynamics of the classroom,” he added.
The vision statement of the Department of Probation and Child Protection Services simply speaks to a caring environment for all children in which love and warmth flourish; one which provides each child a safe place for sleeping, playing, and learning, a healthy start, a healthy lifestyle, the opportunity to learn positive values and at least one responsible and loving adult who is unconditionally committed to safeguarding and promoting the best interest of any child.