New Child Protection System Launched in Trinidad and Tobago

Information management system expected to safeguard children

UNICEF
Children in Trinidad play during a school break
Shari John
27 June 2022

TRINIDAD – 27 June 2022 -  Trinidad and Tobago’s child protection system has received a boost with the launch of an innovative, globally recognised case management system. This intervention will allow case workers to act more effectively to safeguard children who have faced abuse and neglect.

The Primero Child Protection Information Management System (CPIMS) is a web-based platform that will streamline the processing of cases, including registration, assessments and referrals. This development will help to ensure that fewer young people in crisis fall through the cracks of the child protection system.

The programme brings together UNICEF and the Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago under the UN Spotlight Initiative, a global programme with generous support from the European Union, which seeks to reduce gender-based and family violence. The Authority will now be able to offer better quality support to children who need it most, linking with key national systems to facilitate coordination with other partners such as the police, judiciary and social service agencies.  Confidentiality, data protection and knowledge sharing will also improve. 

Dr Aloys Kamuragiye, UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean area welcomes the initiative.

“Making case management more efficient and streamlined is critical, foundational. It really will help to keep children better protected in its breadth and scope. Case workers will have a more holistic picture of each child they serve and how best they can be helped.”

Primero has been rolled out in some 40 countries. It is profoundly needed in Trinidad and Tobago as many children are subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse, a situation exacerbated by the rise in poverty and socio-economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.   

In a recent Spotlight survey on violence against children, respondents reported that such violence is widespread and generally accepted (especially for physical and emotional abuse). 70-75 per cent said they had seen a child hit or shoved. 72 per cent were aware of cases of sexual abuse against girls and 36 per cent said the same concerning boys.

Mrs Sharon Morris-Cummings, Director (Ag.) of the Children’s Authority hopes that Primero will be a step in the right direction to change this. “We believe in a collaborative approach to ensure that all children are cared for and protected and we were very pleased to partner with UNICEF and Spotlight to establish this global case management system.”