Men needed as mentors for National Child Diversion Programme

3 years ago

Share Story

The Ministry of Justice is calling for more persons, particularly men, to volunteer as mentors for the National Child Diversion Programme.

Generally, mentors provide support through guidance and supervision to children in the programme, to help them curb their behaviour and address the issues that have been identified. This is a critical part of the rehabilitation aspect of the programme.

National Child Diversion Consultant, Ruth Carey, said that there are just over 420 mentors in the programme, which amounts to 30 per parish. She noted, however, that more persons are needed.

“I still have to put a call out for mentors, especially for males. This is because our largest group of children, which we would receive into the offices, are males between the ages of 15 to 17 years. We do have males in the programme, who are 18 to 19, 18 to 20 in some cases,”

 Carey said.     

She explained that the level of support provided by the mentor is based on a risk assessment. 

“So, when we complete a risk assessment form, our children can be either low, medium or high risk. So, we look at that mentor, the interest that the mentor has, the profession of that mentor and we assign the child accordingly,” 

she noted.     

“For those who have medium to high-risk children, there is a little bit more of a responsibility to supervise that child. So, we do have an expectation that our mentor will contact the child via telephone now that we have COVID-19 since it is a challenge to do face-to-face meetings. But if they are willing and able to do face-to-face, we do still welcome that. Otherwise, they can telephone the mentees, follow up with the parents and guardians and provide support to them through their treatment plan,” 

Carey noted further. 

She is also encouraging psychologists, counsellors, guidance counsellors, social workers across the island to volunteer their services to the National Child Diversion Prorgamme   

“You can get information in order to apply from the Ministry of Justice website, You can download the application form and find the contact information for all of our Justice Centres, where we have our Child Diversion Offices and the addresses and contact information for the officer in that parish and volunteer,”  

Carey advised.