As the Child Protection Authority (CPA) continues to work toward ensuring that children in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique are protected from all forms of abuse, it is beginning to place extra emphasis on not just what it does, but how it does it.
On 29 June and 6 July 2017, the authority hosted one-day workshops on Conflict Resolution and Interpersonal Skills geared at building the in-house capacity to identify the nature of conflicts, as well as develop strategies for their effective management on the personal and organisational levels. A total of 40 members of staff benefitted from the training.
“This is critical for organisations like CPA, because they deal with clients that come to them every day, and most of them have conflicts of various sorts stemming from various issues. How they treat them – how they deal with their own issues – helps in the delivery of a better service,” the workshop’s facilitator, David Andrew said.
The authority believes competency-based training and professional development are key components that support an effective child protection system, and is of the conviction that building capacity in critical areas will improve the overall operations of the authority.
New CPA Director Yvonne Da Breo, says an assessment will soon be conducted to develop a training plan to cater to the organisation’s needs.
She said the CPA hopes to soon collaborate with bodies such as the National Training Agency (NTA) in that regard, in harmony with the authority’s new mission statement: ‘Delivering effective child protection and adoption services by well trained, qualified staff, in collaboration with all stakeholders.’
“The key focus at the moment is improving our service delivery. In order to do so, we must augment the capacity of the staff, and that is where the training comes in,” Da Breo said.
“By the end of the year we hope to have a cadre of trained staff in parenting facilitation, so that as the CPA focuses on a more preventative approach to addressing child abuse, we can reach out to parents and the public in communities and deliver advice on parenting skills,” the director said.
In addition to the latest workshops, selected members of staff have recently completed training in Preventing Domestic Violence in the Caribbean, organised by the Sweet Water Foundation, and the use of the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY™) Tool, an instrument used to test whether or not juvenile offenders will re-offend. The SAVRY™ training was organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).