CSJP Seeking 90 Parent Mentors

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(Contributed by the Jamaica Information Service)

The Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) is seeking to identify 90 parent mentors across its 50 communities in eight parishes to begin working with parents this September.

The parishes are Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Westmoreland, St. James, St. Ann, Clarendon and St. Mary. Parents of children ages 6 to 15 will be targeted under the initiative.

The mentors will work one-on-one with 450 parents in their homes over a six-month period, providing support and behaviour modification interventions that will aid persons in improving their parenting skills.

The objective is to reduce crime and violence in the communities.

Case Management Coordinator for the CSJP’s Central Region, Alva Marie Graham, told JIS News that the CSJP will be collaborating with the National Parenting Support Commission to identify the appropriate mentors.

To qualify, persons must be literate, professionally trained, confidential, understanding, respectful, live in CSJP communities and interact well with residents, and have a good police record.

Ms. Graham said the mentors will be provided with a manual and workbook, which will help them to train, guide and coach the participants to exhibit better parenting techniques.

“The selected parents will be engaged in monthly workshops where facilitators will reinforce what they are taught in their homes and we hope it will impact the kind of parenting that they are engaged in with their children,” she informed.

Ms. Graham also told JIS News that the curriculum will explore self-awareness, acceptance and respect, as well as the development stages of children.

“It will also look at family roles and responsibilities, building family relationships, raising emotionally intelligent children, how to manage anger and conflicts in the home and behaviour change strategies. We want parents to have quality time with their children and to get the family working as a unit,” she noted further.

Ms. Graham informed JIS News that an assessment will be conducted at the end of the programme and another six months thereafter, in order to measure its impact.

“After this intensive training, parents would have recognised that they need to change how they relate to their children, how they are raising them, and to realise that there is a direct correlation between how they treat their children and how the children behave. So, we are expecting that after this intervention there will be changes within families,” she explained.

Ms. Graham noted that parents will be able to call on the mentors for support even after the programme has ended.

Persons living in the targeted communities, who are interested in becoming parent mentors, may contact CSJP at 906-9644.

CSJP is a crime and violence-prevention initiative under the Ministry of National Security that focuses on building community safety and security, and provides violence-prevention services to vulnerable and volatile communities.

It is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, United Kingdom Department for International Development and Global Affairs, Canada.