Baseline Survey: Knowledge, Attitude & Practices Regarding Child Maltreatment in Jamaica
The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR), in collaboration with UNICEF, commissioned this baseline survey to explore the currently held views, opinions, knowledge levels, attitudes, behaviours and practice relating to child abuse and child abuse reporting in Jamaica. The OCR, which was established in 2007, closely collaborates with three other agencies specifically dedicated to the welfare of children, which are the Child Development Agency (CDA), The Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) and the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA), and provides them with information on reported cases of child maltreatment. OCR also collaborates with the Victim Support Unit of the Ministry of Justice.
The baseline survey will be used to inform the development of the OCR’s communication strategy which will determine action to influence current attitudes towards, and encourage higher levels of reporting of child abuse and increase levels of awareness of the role and functions of the entity. The communication strategy will include a public education campaign aimed at increasing levels of awareness of the role of the entity. In the final analysis, the survey will be the baseline for a post awareness evaluation survey, which will follow. It is hoped that through this public awareness campaign, persons will become more acutely aware of child abuse issues, resulting in a reduction of the incidence abuse. It is also anticipated that this will encourage greater reporting of such instances in order for more effective management of the planned interventions of the OCR and its related bodies, the CISOCA, OCA and the CDA.
Market Research Services Ltd. (MRSL) was the company commissioned to conduct the baseline survey. This document represents MRSL’s report of the findings of the baseline study.
To view the results of the survey, click here
Registrar’s Message 2015
The year 2015 when the Office of the Children’s Registry is celebrating its eigth (8th) Anniversary will present several challenges and opportunities for the agency. The realities of child abuse and missing children are constant reminders of the collaborative approach that must be taken to effectively tackle the negative issues that affect our children. The care and protection of the children of Jamaica is everybody’s business and must be treated as such. It is my encouragement to all Jamaicans who know or suspect that a child may be missing or abused to REPORT IT NOW by calling the OCR at 1-888-PROTECT. Break the silence! Send a signal to predators that you have had enough and you are willing to do something about it by speaking out and allowing the law to take effect.
Our children are precious, dependent and creative therefore they must be guided appropriately as we aim to secure a bright future for our country. As the head of one of the country’s child protection agencies, the OCR, my commitment to the people of Jamaica is that the OCR team will continue to efficiently and effectively play its role as the government agency responsible for receiving, recording, assessing and referring for investigation and action all reported cases of abused or missing children; but the truth is we cannot do so without the cooperation and assistance of well thinking members of the society.
Ananda Alert System is Jamaica's Child Recovery Strategy which was modeled off the Amber Alert System in the United States of America (USA). According to the Ananda Alert Policy document (2008): "there has been a steady spate of child abductions that ultimately led to murder." The Constabulary Communication Network (CCN), reports that between January 1 and September 30, 2008, 737 children were reported missing (177 males and 560 females). 519 were returned, with over 200 still missing. Two murders have been confirmed, with one unconfirmed.
These horrendous occurrences culminated with the much publicized murder of Ananda Dean which triggered the Department of Local Government in the Office of the Prime Minister, in conjunction with the Association of Local Government Authorities of Jamaica (ALGAJ) - the representative body for the island's 14 Local Authorities, including the KSAC and the Portmore Municipal Council - to offer its support in the form of a partnership with law enforcement, through the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), in setting up an Amber Alert type system across the island."
This system, which replaces the Red Alert, was named after Ananda Dean, who was abducted and subsequently murdered, is aimed at mobilizing public and private sectors, civil society and communities to work with law enforcement to assist in the speedy and safe recovery of missing children.
Ananda Alert Secretariat was originally established in the Ministry of Local Government, however, since March 01, 2013 has been transferred to the Ministry of Youth and Culture and is being operated from the Office of the Children's Registry (OCR), an agency of the Ministry. The OCR has been able to forge alliances with the Constabulary Communication Network (CCN), Missing Person Call Centre (MPCC) and a few media houses in publicizing information on missing and recovered children.
BE THE CHANGE! Help us bring our children home!
Listen to the Ananda Alert Jingle:
Nothing is stronger than the heart of a volunteer!
Sign up today.
The Child Abuse Reporting System (CARS) application is designed to enable users to submit reports of suspected and actual cases of child abuse to the Office of the Children’s Registry. The application delivers data entered directly to the Registry, which is the institution established by the Child Care and Protection Act (2004) to receive reports about the abuse of Jamaican children.
This application does not in any way shape or form store, save or keep the information entered in a report.