WITH the whispers growing increasingly louder of a looming change in the leadership of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), the Association of Christian Communicators and Media (ACCM) is calling for a deeper probe into the operations of that State entity.
Since Saturday, Jamaica Observer sources have claimed that the Public Services Commission has recommended to Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, that Rosalee Gage-Grey be fired as the head of the CPFSA.
“It is up to the GG to sign the letter dismissing her and that was expected today [Tuesday] or tomorrow [Wednesday],” said the source.
“We are surprised that that was not done from Monday but it is up to the discretion of the GG as to when he acts,” added the source.
But president of the ACCM, Jenni Campbell, is adamant that there needs to be a specially appointed independent investigator to probe what went wrong to allow a man who had lost his teaching certificate in the United States to be allowed access to Jamaican children in a transition facility in St James.
“The responsible agencies and minister or ministry must be scrutinised to determine whether they discharged their obligations to our children,” Campbell told the Observer.
“The society is in free fall. The high incidents of corruption, bank fraud, the breakdown of family life at every level, domestic violence and other crimes, the practice of witchcraft and other forms of demonism, all of this have become second nature. So the problems at the childcare facility are part and parcel of the general breakdown,” added Campbell.
She said that those who have been entrusted with leadership must take responsibility and be held accountable.
“All around, there is a betrayal of trust. But for those who betray the children, it is better they tie a millstone around their necks, the scriptures warn.
“Any society that does not take care of the elderly and orphaned is a failed society. Jamaica must recalibrate and rebuild its moral fibre. This can only happen through a deliberate decision to turn away from wickedness, repent and refocus on godliness,” said Campbell.
Gage-Grey has been the subject of much public discussion since the release of the findings of an investigation conducted by the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA).
The OCA reported that despite the concerns surrounding the American educator Carl Robanske, he was allowed access to wards of the State at the St James-based The Father’s House, which was established and heavily funded by the charity Embracing Orphans, which he led.
In addition the OCA further reported that even after 2018 when the CPFSA became aware of his inappropriate contact with a minor in 2018, Robankse was allowed full access to the girls, some of whom were minors.
The CPFSA did not end the relationship with Robankse until after Nationwide News Network in 2021 reported on the role of this controversial educator with some the most vulnerable members of the Jamaican society.
At least three of the girls who were house at The Father’s House told the OCA of lewd sexual comments which Robanske made to them.
The OCA recommended disciplinary action against Gage-Grey for what it described as her, “Gross breach of the duty of care to the wards of the State and the former wards who were housed in facilities run by it”.
Education Minister Fayval Williams, in tabling the OCA’s report in Parliament, called on Gage-Grey to step aside while a full investigation is conducted, but up to the start of this week that call had not been responded to.