Camp Cornwall to expand in 2019
Colleen Wint-Bond, Project Coordinator of Camp Cornwall.
The Child Abuse Mitigation Project (CAMP) Cornwall, a hospital-based intervention at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay, St. James geared at reducing the effects of violence on children and youth in the parish will be expanded in the New Year.
Colleen Wint-Bond, Project Coordinator of the initiative, which is being administered through the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA), said that the alliance was able to secure funding from international organisation, Open Society Foundation, to restart the initiative in 2019.
“The project will now not only focus on children presenting with violence-related injuries at the hospital but will be expanded to include adults up to age 24 years who are more at risk of reprisals. This restart is positive as we have another year to move this project forward,” she disclosed at a recent VPA Meeting at the University of the West Indies.
After registering with the Accident & Emergency Department and being medically examined, children are screened for levels of risk of violence or abuse. A small team of dedicated CAMP Cornwall Social Workers provide support through home and school visits. The Social Workers will now also work with the older cohort of patients.
Wint-Bond said the project will collaborate with the Mona GeoInformatics Institute by providing data from the hospital in order to map where incidents of violence occur. This, she said, will help inform services with psychosocial programmes in the community to address these social issues
“We are happy that the mapping will contribute to identifying areas that need the psychosocial interventions for the families and children and how the police and other stakeholders can utilize the information in terms of providing supports moving forward,” she said.
In July 2017, with support from the Citizen Security and Justice Programme in the Ministry of National Security, the VPA organised and began implementation of the CAMP Cornwall to reduce the effects of violence on children and youth in the parish.
The project was based on the model used at the UNICEF-supported CAMP Bustamante at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in the mid-2000s and involved identifying children with violence-related injuries at the hospital’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) using the Jamaica Injury Surveillance System.
In addition, all cases involving children are reported to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency for investigation and further intervention.
Wint-Bond said over the one-year period, CAMP Cornwall was considered successful with 77 per cent of children (birth to 18 years), receiving home and school visits conducted within 72 hours after visiting the CRH.
Eighty–five per cent of all cases were closed after full investigations were completed. Parents appreciate the social workers showing interest after a child has been discharged and linking them with needed resources,” Wint-Bond informed.
Dr Garfield Badal, a paediatric surgeon at the Cornwall Regional Hospital also commended the programme. “The CAMP Cornwall programme has benefitted many children and families. It is very timely and convenient because cases that we treat can be referred immediately for intervention by the programme,” he said.
“We have noticed that potential reprisals have been reduced as the injured persons are educated on alternative methods to resolve conflicts in a non-violent manner.”
With such hospital-based interventions have proven to be cost-effective, Wint-Bond said that the VPA was in discussion with other funders to come on board to finance the project as the intervention should be considered in any hospital or health facility that cares for patients with violence-related injuries.