In an effort to reduce and eventually eliminate the scourge of child abuse, the Child Care Board, in collaboration with the United Nations Children???s Fund (UNICEF), will host two one-day workshops to educate and equip key persons on how to better deal with this issue.

The first workshop will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, July 16, at the Barbados Hilton, under the theme Let???s Break the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse, while the second is scheduled to be held the following Wednesday, July 23, under the same theme.

The objectives of the workshops are to ensure that the education and training of nursing and other health professionals reflect an understanding of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of victims or survivors of child sexual abuse; and health professionals are equipped with appropriate knowledge to address the incidence of child sexual abuse.

They will also seek to ensure that response mechanisms at health institutions for victims of child sexual abuse are accessible, sensitive, confidential and culturally and developmentally appropriate; and health institutions??? policies and their practices are relevant and responsive to the needs of victims or survivors of child sexual abuse.

Speakers at the first workshop will include Paediatric and Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. Shirley Alleyne, who will discuss How to Respond to the Psychological Needs of the Child and Family Post Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse; Inspector Caroline Blackman Alleyne of the Sex Crime Unit of the Royal Barbados Police Force, who will speak about the investigation process; and Legal Consultant, Faith Marshall-Harris, who will make a presentation on the Mandatory Reporting Protocol.

Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steven Blackett, will deliver the feature address, and Deputy Representative at UNICEF Violet Speek-Warnery will make remarks.

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