OCA, CPFSA investigations do not overlap, insists Children's Advocate

Diahann Gordon Harrison and Rosalee Gage Grey
Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison has insisted that there is no duplication of duties by the her office and the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA). 
The matter has come up following the handling of the placement of the child who is seen in a video being beaten by her mother.
There was some confusion on Monday on the whereabouts of the four year old. One report said the child had been placed in the care of her grandmother, while the other said she was with her aunt.
But speaking with RJR News Tueday morning, Mrs. Gordon Harrison outlined that the issue was not necessarily one of mixed roles between the Office of the Children's Advocate (OCA) and the CPFSA, but a matter of the OCA acting when there seemed to be a lag on the part of other agencies. 
"There isn't a bumbling of who has what role and people doing the same investigation - that's not it. But, certainly, that the typical entities that were to deal with placement were not acting as quickly as we thought and that the OCA, being true to its responsibility to ensure that quality services are offered in good time, had to step in," she explained. 
Floyd Green, State Minister for Youth, has requested an explanation  following the conflicting reports.
He said there are plans to prevent future overlaps between the agencies while investigating cases of child abuse.
In the meantime, Mrs. Gordon Harrison said she has additional information from her officers in Westmoreland on what transpired on Monday.
She said her office had to take charge of the situation after the child had to wait three hours with her mother at a police station, while the decision was made about her supervision.
"With our intervention and the assistance of the Police High Command, we got the police in the parish to place the child with her aunt and the aunt took control of them and went to her mother's house... and so the decision was taken that the aunt would have immediate and interim responsibility for (the child), and that she would sleep along with (the aunt) at the grandmother's house," Gordon Harrison asserted. 
The matter of the placement of the child will be heard in the Children's Court in Westmoreland on Wednesday.
Abuse by family members 
The Child Protection and Family Services Agency, in the meantime, has reported a steady stream of reports of children being abused by family members.
Rosalee Gage Grey, CEO of the agency, said that based on the gravity of some of the reports, the issue is of serious concern.
"We get reports of a lot of neglect and physical abuse and when we go, some of the situations are really horendous... really terrible thing(s) to happen to children," she highlighted. 
She did not provide statistics.
She added that these incidents, specifically the current matter being investigated, have put into sharp focus the need to, once again, discuss the issue of corporal punishment.
Mrs Gage Grey was speaking Monday on RJR's Beyond The Headlines.

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