450 parents to benefit from mentorship programme

Thursday, June 02, 2016

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THE Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) is seeking to identify mentors to work with parents as part of the objective to reduce crime and violence in the communities where the agency has rolled out its programmes.


Come September, some 90 parent mentors from 50 communities in eight parishes will be working one-on-one with 450 parents in their homes over a six-month period.


The aim is to provide support and behaviour modification interventions to aid in improving their parenting skills. Parents of children aged six to 15, in Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine, Westmoreland, St James, St Ann, Clarendon and St Mary, will be targeted under the initiative.


Case Management Coordinator for the CSJP’s Central Region Alva Marie Graham said the agency will be collaborating with the National Parenting Support Commission to identify the appropriate mentors.


To qualify, individuals must be literate, professionally trained, confidential, understanding, respectful, live in CSJP communities and interact well with residents, and have a good police record. Graham said the mentors will be provided with a manual and workbook, which will help them to train, guide and coach the participants to exhibit better parenting techniques.


"The selected parents will be engaged in monthly workshops where facilitators will reinforce what they are taught in their homes, and we hope it will impact the kind of parenting that they are engaged in with their children," she informed. Graham said the curriculum will explore self-awareness, acceptance and respect, as well as the development stages of children.


"It will also look at family roles and responsibilities, building family relationships, raising emotionally intelligent children, how to manage anger and conflicts in the home and behaviour change strategies," Graham said.


She noted that the intention is for parents to have quality time with their children and to get the family working as a unit. Graham explained that an assessment will be conducted at the end of the programme and another six months thereafter, in order to measure its impact.


"After this intensive training, parents would have recognised that they need to change how they relate to their children, how they are raising them, and to realise that there is a direct correlation between how they treat their children and how the children behave. So, we are expecting that after this intervention there will be changes within families," she said.


Graham noted that parents will be able to call on the mentors for support even after the programme has ended. Persons living in the targeted communities, who are interested in becoming parent mentors, may contact CSJP.


CSJP is a crime and violence- prevention initiative under the Ministry of National Security that focuses on building community safety and security, and provides violence-prevention services to vulnerable and volatile communities.


It is funded by the Inter- American Development Bank, United Kingdom Department for International Development and Global Affairs, Canada.

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