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Children Advocacy Project – Care in Jamaica

Children Advocacy Project

The Children Advocacy Project is offered through the Community Counselling and Restorative Justice Centre and the Morris Entrepreneurship Centre – MEC of the Northern Caribbean University (NCU). These programmes are built on a partnership established with the Ministries of Justice and National Security, HEART Trust/NTA (NVQ) and other local entities with a view to empower individuals, families, and communities towards the reduction of crime and violence.

The project incorporates components such as psycho-social and psycho-educational assessment and treatment for at least 200 children, twelve self empowerment workshops, two parental education workshops/seminars, training for sixty peer-counsellors and sixty paraprofessional counsellors, the establishment of adolescent and parent support groups, and the strengthening of the networking structures for sustainability of a safe environment for children.

Working with the children

Where applicable, the team of professionals will make appropriate referrals for additional services to improve the quality of life and the environment of children in challenging circumstances and/or in need of care and protection. Referrals include skills training and capacity building for the sustainable economic development of individuals, families and communities.

Volunteers who would like to do their internship in social work, psychology, sociology, family life education, guidance and counselling can sign up for these projects. All other volunteers who have an interest in these areas can also sign up. The department has clinical, social and counselling psychologists, sociologists and trained social workers on faculty who will be assisting in this project.

Volunteers work at the Counselling and Psychological Services Centre, the Community Counselling and Restorative Justice Centre or the Department of Behavioural Sciences. Volunteers help with needs assessments, preparing documents for workshops and seminars, designing brochures and assisting in psycho-educational assessments. Volunteers can also work with children in play therapy, scoring and evaluating their progress under the supervision of a faculty member. There is also homework and a variety of after school activities that volunteers can get involved in.

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