CPFSA provides counselling for children, parents in Bath, St ThomasMonday, October 25, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) says over 30 children and their parents in Bath, St Thomas took part in the agency's intervention initiative on Friday, October 22.
The invention initiative follows the abduction of nine-year-old Phylisa Prussia and 13-year-old Winshae Barrett.
Prussia was found in bushes in Arcadia while Barrett was found in heavy foliage outside Spring Bank, a neighbouring community to Bath.
In response, the CPFSA is conducting a series of trauma counselling sessions for the children impacted by the recent abductions and violent incidents, geared at alleviating the stress, anxiety and fear of the children residing in the community.
Regional Director for the Southeast region of the CPFSA, Robert Williams, said a team consisting of social workers and psychologists, along with guidance counsellors from schools within St Thomas, provided counselling for children and their families at the Bath Methodist Church.
Williams noted that what happened in Bath was very traumatic and will cause the children to be fearful — some to the point where they are not eating and sleeping.
Noting that the CPFSA will remain in the community, Williams said the feedback has been very good.
“We want the children to at least return to some semblance of normalcy, it won't happen overnight, but we are trying to equip them with some coping strategies,” he said.
He also appealed to parents and guardians islandwide to ensure that they know where their children are at all times and to make sure that they are also properly supervised.
“Do not allow them to walk in dark lonely places or on lonely roadways. We want the parents to be mindful that the perpetrator is still out there, but we want the children to feel safe,” he cautioned.
The CPFSA falls under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and works collaboratively with the Office of the Children's Advocate, Jamaica Constabulary Force, and other government agencies.