The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has given approval for the establishment of a 211 helpline for children at risk or for anyone who wishes to report child abuse.
The announcement was made on Wednesday by the Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams, as she made her contribution to the 2021-2022 Sectoral presentation in the House of Representatives.
“This helpline will be manned 24 hours (per day) by child care professionals and will be a significant addition to the child protection ecosystem. We will be launching 211 during this year’s Child Month (in May), and a further announcement will be made on the technical aspects of this important initiative,” Williams revealed.
In stating the need for the dedicated helpline, Williams pointed to the latest annual report of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), which contained 12,604 cases of child abuse, representing one in every 40 children.
“Looked at another way, the figures are telling us that one child in every class across Jamaica is in need of the services of CPFSA,” said Williams.