ABU DHABI, Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), the Authority on Sunday organised a virtual graduation ceremony of 104 specialists of the Child Protection Specialist Training Programme (CPSTP).

Held in partnership with Georgetown University, the programme aimed at enabling a number of Emirati practitioners within the social support sectors, to develop their skills in child protection and early detection of child abuse cases according to the best international practices, thus promoting the development and well-being of Abu Dhabi’s children.

The ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chair of ECA’s Higher Committee and Member of Board of Trustees, H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of ECA’s Board of Trustee, Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of Department of Community Development (DCD), Chancellor Ali Mohammed Al Balooshi, Attorney General of Abu Dhabi, Sana Mohamad Suhail, Head of ECA Transition Office, Dr. Toby Long, Training Director of the Centre for Child and Human Development at Georgetown University, and the programme graduates.

On this occasion, H.H. Sheikh Theyab expressed happiness for the graduation of a group of Emirati practitioners who have successfully completed CPSTP, the first-of-its-kind in the UAE. He added the programme reflects the wise leadership’s keenness on promoting the development and well-being of Abu Dhabi’s children, as well as giving them the best care they need.

“The programme is part of ECA’s efforts to develop a standardised child protection system in the emirate, to prevent child abuse and enrich knowledge and skills of Abu Dhabi’s social support center workers,” said Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed.

Sheikh Theyab affirmed that protecting children and creating a supportive environment for their development is one of the most precious duties to build a better future and pave the way for tomorrow’s leaders.

“The preparation for the next 50 years starts by empowering, supporting and developing today’s children, that’s why ECA’s vision that every young child is healthy, confident, curious, able to learn and develop strong values in a safe, family-friendly Abu Dhabi was developed. We have to double and join efforts to always keep children at the heart of all we do and plan for, to achieve that vision,” Sheikh Theyab clarified.

“In Abu Dhabi, we are investing in empowering early childhood practitioners and fostering public engagement in advancing this important sector, as a vital sector on which the comprehensive and sustainable development of various sectors is based.

“Today you are responsible for creating a safe and stable environment for our young children. Through your efforts, we are aspiring to firmly root the culture of safeguarding, supporting and respecting all children in our community,” Sheikh Theyab further said.

“I do emphasise your significant role in localizing and delivering this program in the future, to prepare the needed Emirati cadres to lead this sector and thereby providing the best services for children,” he concluded.

In her speech, Hessa Buhumaid hailed the wise leadership’s steps towards promoting child protection and community development. Addressed the graduates, she said, “Now you are able to implement this program in reality. You are equipped with the necessary information and skills to handle various child protection cases, after discussing thoughts, experiences, practices and interventions with social workers, psychologists and legal experts during the program.”

Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili congratulated graduates for completing CPSTP, praising their willingness to enrich their skills and knowledge in child protection-related areas. He expressed pride in the programme, which aims to qualify national cadres to lead this vital sector in the future.

“Investing in childhood development is one of our priorities in the social sector, as we are looking forward to building a generation of young people empowered with the necessary knowledge and skills to overcome challenges and changes,” Al Khaili said.

Chancellor Ali Mohammed Al Balooshi, said, “The concerted efforts of local entities, led by ECA, in implementing one of the most prominent programs, will allow the implementation of “Wadeema” law by child protection specialists. This helps safeguard children and provide them with the necessary legal and psychological support.”

In the same vein, Salem Al Hosani, a child protection specialist at Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO), said, “We are proud of trust placed in us to protect Abu Dhabi’s children. The professors at Abu Dhabi Judicial Academy and Georgetown University equipped us with knowledge and practical training in safeguarding child’s rights. This will help us with maintaining our beloved emirate as a secure place for children.”

“In light of our wise leadership support and directives, we all realize the significance and great impact of early years on our life and in the future of our community,” Al Hosani added, stressing the program highlighted the importance of introducing the community that child protection is everyone’s responsibility.

Al Hosani noted that CPSTP resulted in enabling a group of Emiratis able to fulfill their duties as child protection specialists, bearing the responsibility for tasks assigned to them by their leadership and community to safeguard children.

The programme brought together 104 Emirati participants representing 12 government entities at the local and federal levels, including 51 specialists from Abu Dhabi Police, 23 specialists from ZHO, six specialists from Dar Zayed For Family Care, five specialists from Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), four specialists from Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation, and three specialists from each of the Department of Education and Knowledge and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

In addition, graduates included two specialists from each of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, Ewa’a, Family Development Foundation, and ECA, and one specialist from the Ministry of Community Development.

Through the 10-week programme, which consisted of five major phases, trainees received intensive training on law enforcement capacity and child protection system. In addition to highlighting the conditions of the executive by-laws of “Wadeema” Law by ADJD and a number of experts from Georgetown University, trainees took part in practical training to identify child abuse and ways to address it properly.

ECA is working on strengthening the child protection system from prevention to rehabilitation, developing capacities of parents and community members to support children’s needs and ensure their well-being, encouraging the adoption of proper behaviors contribute to children development, developing ECD-related policies and legislation, and implementing a proactive, evidence-based and workable strategy to advance early childhood sector.

 

Source: Emirates News Agency