Participant at the workshop

A three-day training workshop in adolescent behavior and juvenile justice reform commenced on Monday at the Prevost Cinemall.

The workshop targeted individuals within the social services sector across the island.

This three-day training was organized by the Government of Dominica, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and OECS Commission.

Facilitator of the workshop Techar Cuffy-Charles said: “This workshop aims to inform the training sessions to be conducted for staff members of various social support institutions specifically the staff of the Operation Youth Quake, CHANCES, From Offending to Achieving (FOTA), CALLS and the Social Welfare Division.”

She said the staff within these institutions will be exposed to a better understanding of adolescent behavior, understanding the result and effects of maladaptive behavior in adolescent as well as adopting ways to respond.

Charles said these sessions will adopt various methodologies to keep participants engaged as well as encourage thinking of how particular content applies in practice.

“We will be utilizing different forms such as large and small group exercises, role plays, presentation and exercises which promote application of the content,” she stated.

Charles urged the participants to remain focus as the information may be overwhelming.

“To the participants I say you will be exposed to a lot of information and it may seem overwhelming at times but please try to remain focus for your participation is warranted,” Charles remarked.

Meantime, Consultant at the Social Welfare Division Martin Anthony said: “We want by Wednesday when you [participants] leave here that you would be better equipped to respond to the behaviors.”

He said he is aware that the participants are at times challenged with the various behaviors exhibited by the adolescents.

“I know you are often challenged with the various behaviours that you see exhibited and it is all about getting a better understanding of the individuals you deal with and how you as practitioners can go about protecting those in your care,” said Anthony.

He said children come from various backgrounds and experiences and what is often displayed should not be taken for granted.

“Sometimes we blame the child for what we see coming from the child but a number of issues a number of factors normally come into play the behavior you see is just what is being exhibited behind the behavior there is a whole set of issues leading to that type of behavior,” he said.