Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Social Development
Release Date:
Monday, 22 April 2024 - 4:11pm

The Social Development Department hosted a conscious co-parenting seminar to highlight the correlation between positive co-parenting and child protection as part of activities to observe Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.

Programme Director for Children and Family Support Services in the Social Development Department, Miss Laurel Freeman said hosting the co-parenting seminar demonstrated a proactive commitment to promoting healthy family dynamics and safeguarding children’s well-being. 

Miss Freeman said providing parents with the platform to learn and engage in effective co-parenting strategies will only contribute to a safer and more supportive environment for children to grow and thrive.

 “It does not lend well for healthy and positive child development for children to see their parents not having healthy communication,” Miss Freeman said, adding, “Abuse is not only physical but it can be psychological. It is also neglect. When a parent separates from the other parent and does not have a healthy emotional outlook or relationship, the child falls in the middle and tends to receive the harsher end of the fallout.”

The Programme Director said the message that was stressed by the panelists was that proper and healthy communication must be maintained regardless of the relationship between both parents.

Miss Freeman said, “The main focus should be the child and the seminar also highlighted several other coping mechanisms such as family support and therapy to overcome challenges and become better co-parents.”

The panel featured Therapist at Therapy Works Ms. Sasha Stoutt, Grade Nine Guidance Counsellor at the Elmore Stoutt High School Mrs. Chonda Jeffers-George, Woman Detective Constable in the Family and Juvenile Unit in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Miss Kejahana Stephens, Attorney-at-law with focus on Family Law Ms. Stacy Abel and featured guests Ms. Jermaine Baltimore and Mr. Paul Thomas who are co-parents.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development remains committed to promoting initiatives that safeguard the health and social well-being of children of the Virgin Islands.




Fitsroy Randall

Information Officer I
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Vornicia's House of Commerce, Long Bush
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
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