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Jan 31, 2006

N.C.F.C. publishes guide to child abuse issues

Story PictureA Parent’s Guide to the Child Protection System is the latest publication by the National Committee for Families and Children. And according to N.C.F.C programme coordinator Starla Acosta, the booklet seeks to promote awareness of child abuse and neglect.

Starla Acosta, Programme Coordinator, N.C.F.C.
?A lot of times we realise that a lot of reports are not being made because sometimes people fear the system that they have to come in contact with. So this book is already being used by the Department of Human Services, to guide parents in working with their cases and we hope that it will help to empower parents and other persons to become empowered with information, to learn about the system that they might need to come in contact with, and feel less fear. And they will be able to advocate for themselves because they know what…the procedure should be.?

?The book is targeting parents, but it?s a rights-based, user friendly publication that really gives a step by step overview of the entire child protection system. It starts out by talking about what child abuse and neglect is and what are some of the signs and symptoms, what parents should look for if they suspect that their child is being abused. There are also tips to preventing child abuse and what should happen if a report needs to be made, what the proper procedures are, and step by step process of who the other agencies are, who the parents need to come in contact….with throughout the process.?

Other publications by N.C.F.C. include “Going to Court”, a booklet for children to help prepare young survivors of abuse to testify. “The Penal Reform Alternative Sentencing Act of 2000″, is a guide for young offenders that gives an overview of the system and what support mechanisms are in place to help with their rehabilitation. The other title, “Rights, Responsibilities and Respect”, is a book on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Adolescents. Finally, there is a simplified version for young readers on the Families and Children’s Act. Copies of all these publications are available free of charge at the N.C.F.C. office on Cleghorn Street in Belize City.

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