Any parent or guardian who knowingly contributes to or intentionally allows their child to be abused should face the brunt of the law since this is a crime.Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) Director, Ann GreeneThis is according to Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) Director, Ann Greene, who told Guyana Times that welfare officers at the agency are not targeting parents/guardians or “gunning” for them to be imprisoned, however, this is in keeping with a child’s rights as well as an opportunity to change the behaviours of those guilty.“Some of the police are reluctant to charge parents and then there is the whole public approach saying we are locking up parents but they don’t understand that it is not we are locking up parents but that we want to hold parents accountable. To hold parents accountable, we might have to get them charged. How would we hold parents accountable if they do all these things to children and we don’t get them charged?”She explained that charging parents/guardians does not necessarily result in imprisonment because in many cases, there are guilty parties who suffer from mental health issues which are the causes of them harming a child. By charging persons, they will be able to get the help and treatment they need, if necessary.“We are not locking up the parents, we get you charged, you might go to a Magistrate, the Magistrate will ask for some guidance and we could put forward what we do…it is not easy to get parents to go to parenting you know. Those who really need it, it is difficult to get them in, it is not easy and then some are mentally challenged.”The CCPA reiterated that the majority of vulnerability to children are as a result of parental mental health issues.“So even if we carry you [charged by the police] we have got to get help for you but we got to get the court backing to get you help and to get you to stay one place so we can help you. The law says it clearly; we have to hold parents accountable. We keep trying to engage with the community, because they are saying how we keep locking up the parents.”She further explained that there are many cases where a parent whose child has been taken into custody by the CCPA visits the location with hopes of simply making appeals and claims so that the child could be returned to their care.Greene made reference to a current case that officers at the CCPA are investigating where a nine-year-old boy was discovered locked up inside of a house and was allegedly abused by a male who once shared relations with the boy’s mother.“The police should charge her because she is part of what happened to this child but they [parents] tend to get away with saying it is poverty and they went to look for betterment. No, you have to first get the child properly cared for and then go and look for betterment so parents have got to understand this too. This child, he is traumatised with what happened to him and so he has to get proper care.”According to the CCPA Director, although the mother is appealing for her son’s return in her care, at this point she is being considered an accessory to whatever abuse and trauma the boy experienced in her absence.She further explained that once a child has been removed from a home for child abuse in any form, even if the parent was not the one who inflicted the abuse then that parent would have to work with the CCPA to show that he/she is capable of providing a safe environment for that child.