New Assessment Tools to benefit young people in the Child Diversion Programme
For every child and adolescent to benefit from individualised intervention plans
KINGSTON, 23 August 2023 – Children and adolescents in the Child Diversion Programme of the Ministry of Justice will benefit from new assessment tools which were handed over today by UNICEF.
The assessment tools are designed to help the Child Diversion team to formulate individualised intervention plans for each child.
Expressing appreciation for UNICEF’s support, Minister of Justice, Hon Delroy Chuck said that after a period of counselling and mentorship, this programme assists in the recovery of children who have fallen by the wayside and thanked UNICEF for continuing its campaign for the welfare of children.
“The assessment tools will help in ascertaining the key areas that need to be addressed,” Olga Isaza, UNICEF Country Representative explained, “and will help to determine the type of support that each child needs.”
The tools consist of four tests, and child diversion psychologists and diagnosticians were trained to use them last month. A good clinical assessment provides a window of opportunity for family and care givers to better support children. The cognitive strengths and weaknesses of children in the programme will be determined. Coordinators will have valuable information to help them better understand the behaviours and emotions of the children.
Also adding her appreciation, Principal Director for the Social Justice Division, Ms Jamie-Ann Chevannes said the new tools will go a far way in the care of young persons and to get their individualised treatment plans. She also thanked UNICEF for developing the technical capacity of the staff.
The Child Diversion Programme redirects a child, between 12 and 17 years old, from the criminal justice system. It is the process of implementing measures for dealing with children who are alleged, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law, without resorting to formal judicial proceedings.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Jamaica, visit www.unicef.org/jamaica.