Judges should refer more children to child diversion programme

JUSTICE Minister Delroy Chuck has urged high court judges to continue making referrals to the Child Diversion Programme.

His latest call was made during a recent online training session for high court judges conducted by the Ministry of Justice’s Child Diversion (CD) Unit.

Addressing the session, Minister Chuck encouraged the approximately 38 judges from the Supreme and Appellate Courts to “join the ministry’s work in making an important difference to the children who are exposed to multiple vulnerabilities by referring them to this programme”.

The sensitisation session was the latest in a series of sessions hosted by the Child Diversion Office, as the effort to educate stakeholders in spite of the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Child Diversion Coordinator Ruth Carey said she was pleased with the outcome of the training as it allowed the unit to provide exposure on the programme to the nation’s high courts.

She said that next on the agenda is training of parish court judges to offer a more holistic understanding of the Child Diversion approach. “Child Diversion unites all stakeholders who work with children and offers a more robust programme with a treatment plan that provides more benefits to children as it brings all the players of the justice sector together with the interest of the child in mind,” she stated.

Since the programme’s implementation in December 2019, 230 children have been referred and are enrolled in treatment programmes at the 13 Child Diversion offices islandwide.


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