Retiring from the police force this year after almost 33 years of service, Hosking-Ellis said that her long experience helped her transition into her current role.
“I took this job because I believe I understand it. I know a lot of families and children at risk, and I want to help our children,” she said.
“Too many times our babies are being neglected, but nobody wants to talk about it.”
She has taken over a year into the national children’s policy, which will run until 2021, and aims to conduct wide campaigns and training sessions to help the public understand the goals.
Hosking-Ellis will report not only to the director and secretary, but also to UNICEF, who have taken a keen interest in the welfare of children in the Cook Islands. Another role that she will also take on is the Cook Islands National Advisory Committee for Children’s Rights secretary, which will include representatives from justice, internal affairs, health, education and police.
“These are the five core reps on the committee, who will provide a monthly report on our six goals and five outcomes,” Hosking-Ellis said.
The goals of the committee will be to provide support for parents and families, ensure quality service, earlier intervention and prevention, strengthen transitions, listen to and involve children, and cross-government collaboration and coordination.
These will hopefully lead to the five ‘better outcomes’, which are to be active and healthy, achieving in all areas of learning and development, safe and protected from harm, economic security and opportunity, and to be better connected and respected.
“We all want a happy family and children that are mentally and physically healthy, and we also want to provide a safe space for our children to be protected.”
Since Hosking-Ellis started on January 15 she has started collecting data from birth to age 12, to find out how many children are in the Cook Islands.
The next step is to collect the same information for youths aged 13 to 18.
“The reason why we want this is that we want to know their gender and analyse it, and assess their risk, and to gauge the percentage of children that are at risk.”