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Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to Support Children and Families
The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), formed out of a merger of the Child Development Agency and the Office of Children’s Registry, is a leader in Jamaica’s child protection system, with a combined legacy reputation for our work in promoting child-friendly policies and ground-breaking programmes to strengthen families.
The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) was established by the Early Childhood Commission Act (2003), in keeping with the strategic goal of the Government of Jamaica to improve the quality of early childhood care, education and development within the early childhood sector. The ECC, which is an agency of the Ministry of Education, coordinates all activities, development plans and programmes within the early childhood sector.
The OCA has a team of dedicated individuals who are passionate about the rights of all children. We pledge our unwavering commitment as we seek to represent the views of children, advocate for quality service delivery to children and safeguard the rights and well-being of all children in Jamaica.
The Ministry of Education (MoEYI) is the government entity responsible for the management and administration of public education in Jamaica.
The Victim Support Unit of Jamaica (VSU), operated by the Ministry of Justice is intended to assist persons against whom certain offences have been committed. The Victim Support Unit is committed to the best interests of victims of crime by actively supporting them, identifying their needs and advocating their rights. The Unit, through its parish offices island-wide, assists victims of crime to manage the emotional trauma associated with and caused by crime. Victims of crimes (both major and minor) fare better whenever the Victim Support Unit intervenes.
The Government of Jamaica (GoJ) has created a four-year National Plan of Action for Child Justice (2010 to 2014). The National Plan of Action was prompted by the concerns of the State regarding the protection and care of children as articulated by the various advocacy groups, social workers and caregivers. The increase in violence by children and against them caused significant concerns among the public and State officials who noted the shocking nature of the randomness and unpredictability of criminal conduct involving children throughout the country. The goal of the Plan of Action is to develop and sustain a justice system in which the best interest of the child is paramount in the administration of the programmes to secure their protection and in the maintenance of the rule of law. The Ministry of Justice has been appointed as the lead Ministry to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate a Child Diversion Pilot Project.
The Government of Jamaica in focusing its efforts on advancing social development initiated a programme of safety net reform in 2000. As part of the reforms, the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) was introduced as a Conditional Cash Transfer programme targeting vulnerable households within the population.
The Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) is an early intervention programme for young children (0-6 years) with various types of developmental disabilities. The Programme commenced operation in 1975 as a project but subsequently became integrated into one of the Ministry’s social programmes. Since its inception in 1975, the Programme has benefited well over twenty thousand children with various types of disabilities across the island.