Disciplinary action for officers at Camal Home; greater monitoring for privately owned orphanages

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By Kurt Campbell

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Officers at the Camal International Home for the homeless and battered women will face disciplinary action according to the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) appointed to investigate allegations of maltreatment in December 2013.

These three children from the Camal Home were taken before the Court.
These three children from the Camal Home were taken before the Court.

This is according to Human Services and Social Security Minister Jennifer Webster who had appointed the COI investigate the allegations and review the operations of the Home in accordance with the Minimum Operating Standards for Children’s Homes and Institutions.

This stemmed from the arrest and subsequent charging and sentencing of three orphaned teenagers who resided at the Camal’s Home in Corentyne, Berbice.

It was noted that disciplinary action will be brought against those officers who failed to execute their duties in accordance with public service rules.

Among other recommendations is for the immediate establishment of a Management Committee to review and have oversight responsibility for the operations of the home; to develop and implement procedures that govern the rights of children living at that home; training of personnel on the relevant laws for the protection and rights of children of Guyana and to recruit a tutor to assist the children with homework and assignment.

Webster said too that all the gaps in the juvenile justice system must be closed. To do so, she noted that compliance relating to the protection of Guyana’s children who live in institutional care must be ensured.

She added that work is ongoing to complete the regulations for the Child Care and Development Services Act. Webster said the Act will support the registering and licensing of daycare facilities and privately managed children’s home and orphanage.

“While there are some children who will have to remain in institutional care, greater emphasis will be placed on monitoring the 19 privately managed children homes in Guyana.”

The Child Care and Protection Agency will conduct an awareness campaign to sensitize the providers of day care facilities on the prescribed requirements for the operation of these facilities.

“I’m sure that all of us in this House will agree will agree that working with families is a key strategy to ensuring the continued well – being of children, whilst forging strong family ties and discouraging the development of dysfunctional families.”

Webster reminded that the sum of $382M has been budgeted for the delivery of effective child care and protection services, adding that, training will be conducted for approximately 2000 parents.

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