Children department introduce tracking, monitoring system of cases involving minors

Children department in Taita-Taveta County has developed case-tracking and monitoring system to enhance sharing of data on children cases and boost timely interventions by stakeholders.

The system is comprised of customized referral forms and is aimed at strengthening interventions and other forms of assistance for vulnerable minors in the region after it emerged that data by various department was not harmonized. The monitoring and case management system will focus on feedback from stakeholders to track the progress of a minor’s case.

Speaking on Saturday in Voi during a meeting with stakeholders, the County Children Coordinator, Juma Boga said the system would help in sharing of information on cases, suggest interventions needed and highlight action taken, noting that disconnect caused by inadequate information flow amongst key players might hamper effective interventions thereby placing a minor in need of help in jeopardy.

This system is tailored to offer a seamless information flow for any child’s case being handled by a stakeholder and shows the whole process from where the matter was reported to how it was resolved, he said.

He further noted that such a system provided a solid reference for other officers in future who might need to trace how a case was handled from its inception to conclusion.

Juma added it was difficult to track the progress of a case without coordinated communication. The system will targets officials in children department, probation, the police, chiefs, their assistants, human right groups and primary school heads. They were identified as the primary stakeholders to receive all cases involving vulnerable children for interventions.

The system comes at a time when concerns have been raised about the lack of unified data from various agencies handling children matters in the County. Data on cases involving minors from police station, probation office, hospital facilities and children department had disparities. This was attributed to lack of case officers due to acute understaffing in most departments.

Kennedy Maina, children’s officers for Voi sub-county, said the system will overcome that challenge and allow reporting back on action taken to the office that referred a case.

He urged members to adopt the system for timely interventions. Children cases largely revolve around the department of children, police, courts, probation, education office and office managed by human right activities because that is where crimes against minors are reported and handled.

Information on minors’ cases handled at the police station, hospital and courts will be shared to stakeholders, he said.

The verdict of cases handled by courts and referred back to probation office was rarely reported to children department. Similarly, hospital facilities also didn’t share data with other department unless asked to.

Jimmy Manga, an official of a local Non-Governmental Organization called upon the officials in the said departments to share their data as a way of highlighting areas that needed action, saying the vices like Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM), incest, defilement and drug usage were high yet the data available didn’t reflect that reality.

He added government and donor organization acted on data provided to invest in programs that empowered communities to take better care of their children.

If we lack data on such cases that need intervention, people think we have no problems and all help will be channeled towards other regions, he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency