OCA opens therapeutic room downtown KingstonFriday, October 27, 2017
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Adorned with a beautiful hand-painted mural, and outfitted with age-appropriate toys and furnishings, the new therapeutic playroom at the Office of the Children’s Advocate’s downtown Kingston offices will provide a safe and comfortable space for youngsters who have suffered traumatic experiences.
The playroom will be used by the OCA’s Investigations Unit to treat and counsel children aged two to 18.
The soft tone of the room, in shades of blue, pink, grey, purple and green, is highlighted by the mural, which depicts a nature scene with trees, flowers and butterflies. There are beanbags instead of chairs, and books, dolls and other toys.
Such rooms encourage healing through play and provide an environment of physical and emotional safety for children.
Transformed through partnership with the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), the room was officially handed over on October 18.
The initiative was in fulfilment of the community outreach component of a Group Dynamics and Leadership course being pursued by four NCU students – Kemar Daswell, Acoya Rademari, Chandrika Campbell and Leon Ffrench.
Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, said she is grateful for the assistance from the students, who converted an empty room into a calm and relaxing space where children can be interviewed.
She said with this room, children being catered to by the OCA “will be able to open up as best as possible about the very difficult circumstances to which they would have been exposed”.
Gordon Harrison noted that the play area is extremely important in advancing the work of the OCA, which was relocated to the 11th floor of the Air Jamaica Building in 2016.
The project was carried out with support from Berger Paints, Food For The Poor and Do Good Jamaica/Crayons Count.
The OCA is mandated to enforce and protect the rights and best interests of children. The office was established in 2006 under the Child Care and Protection Act (2004).