Established to fulfil the research and professional training needs of the Caribbean, The UWI has a long history of undertaking research about children, their health and development. Studies continue to cover multiple research trajectories and disciplines ranging from child malnutrition and infant development (dating back to the 1960s) and the importance of various interventions in communities to counter the negative impact of poverty on children’s behaviour and performance. Community interventions required trained practitioners not only to carry out the research and solutions but to intercede on the behalf of those most at risk and in need of support. Training social workers was integral to dealing with psychosocial needs and through the Social Welfare Training Centre – now the Social Work Training and Research Centre – The UWI set the foundation for the professionalization of social work, as it trained practitioners to do work in the field and conduct research in the areas of youth work and development, and community development and advocate those in need of care and support.
Context matters in understanding how systems operate and the possible interventions that are made to transform Caribbean society. Identifying institutionalization of Caribbean Children as a subset of The UWI’s commitment to research and support of children, The UWI Museum is hosting a three part seminar that provides snapshots exploring the diverse contexts that have shaped the experiences of Caribbean Children in state care, the policy responses of Caribbean governments and the interventions of practitioners and researchers use to understand the changing relationship between Caribbean children and Caribbean state.
Panel 1, which will be held on April 21, 2022, at 1 pm, provides the context for the development of institutionalization as a response to Caribbean children in need of care and protection and in conflict with the law as well as The UWI’s research response to this area of research. This is being held in partnership with Women and Development Unit (WAND) and the Social Work Training and Research Centre, UWI Open Campus. Our partners engage in extensive programming to provide a space for engagement and awareness building with our public, including development practitioners who serve children, parents; and adults who grew up in state care.