Valini Leitch


Achievements  –

  • The protocol for the functioning of the multidisciplinary team was drafted and circulated among the collaborating agencies, the Guyana Police Force and Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Minister of Human Services. This draft has been pending at the Minister’s office for months. Past learning from the CAC has led to the recommendation of the single interview process stead of several interviews, where one statement is used so child does not need to give separate statement to CPA and police and forensic interview.
  • Training conducted in January 2014 by the NCAC from the USA built the capacity of members of the MDT to undertake forensic interviews of children referred to the CAC which commenced in February 2014. The current MDT consists of Police Officers from Criminal Investigation Department and Police Officers in the Divisional Sexual Offences Unit, Forensic Interviews from Forward Guyana and ChildLinK, Counsellors and Case Workers from ChildLinK and CPA respectively. In each forensic interview the Police Officer must be present and this has been adhered to by the Police Department.
  • Chris Newlin and Linda Steele from NCAC from the USA were the overseas consultants contracted to conduct the initial training for this initiative. Chris Newlin focused his training on the MDT and Linda Steele who has been conducting Forensic Interviews for the past 5 years trained the Forensic Interviewers. Both consultants held meetings with all the stakeholders of this initiative including the Minister of Human Services, the Director of CPA and the Directors of ChildLinK and Forward Guyana.   Their training aimed to strengthen a pool of forensic interviewers from the CPA, Police Department, ChildLinK and Forward Guyana.
  • To date the 3 Children’s Advocacy Centres were established in regions 3, 4, & 5 for forensic interviews with children sexually abused.
  • To date, 58 of the total 150 child abuse survivors accessed the services provided within the centres including psychosocial support to address and cope with the abuse.
  • 50 parents of the 200 non-offending parents were trained to develop the skills to take decisions in the best interest of their children and to address issues pertaining to the child/ren abused.
  • Teachers from102 of the 125 primary schools within regions 1, 5 & 6 are trained and implement the Tell Campaign in the PTAs and Grades 3 and 6 classes.
  • 10 Regional Groups of 7 members each established to monitor and improve response to child abuse complaints, particularly sexual abuse will be implemented in the second year.
  • The development and dissemination of posters in Region 4 East Coast and East Bank schools as well as Region 1 and 6, advertisements on 4 radio stations and television advertisements have been running on 5 different television stations in all regions. These activities led to greater awareness nationally on the Tell Campaign, Sexual Offences legislation and issues relating to child sexual abuse.
  • The two workshops in October and December where the legal advisor from the CCPA assessed the Sexual Offences Act and self-awareness activities were conducted respectively. These activities contributed to Human Rights Workers becoming competent and fully trained to address issues of abuse and deliver services to children and their families.