Symposium targets young people

The Ministry of Health and Human Services plans to host a national symposium next month to review the points at which young people enter the criminal justice system.

According to the ministry’s Deputy Chief Officer of Policy and Planning, Leonard Dilbert, the forum stems from the perceived need to better integrate service provision for children and young people.

Such steps will better ensure that those at risk are protected and provided with opportunities to take full advantage of all that is available in the community, he said.

Although a venue has not been confirmed yet, the symposium is scheduled to take place over two or three days at the end of February, and will address a number of key areas.

Firstly, it will review current provision and new initiatives and study recommendations to determine significant areas of overlap and duplication. All of which Mr. Dilbert said are recognised as having ‘serious implications for the successful integration of all young persons into Caymanian society and securing the welfare of children.’

The symposium will try to lay the groundwork for establishing a national framework that takes account of the potential for government and the private sector to partner in responding these matters, he added.

Delegates will be drawn from a number of local entities responsible for policy and practice in children’s welfare, crime and education.

These will likely include representation from various sectors of government, Cayman’s voluntary organisations, education officials, church representatives, law enforcement officers and members of the justice system.

Mr. Dilbert said that the symposium would attempt to ‘deal with matters within its purview in a constructive and non-judgmental manner.’