CPFSA looking to recruit 150 foster parents

CPFSA looking to recruit 150 foster parents

Thursday, February 18, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) is looking to recruit 150 foster parents this year under its foster care programme.

As part of the recruitment drive, the agency said it will be staging promotional walk-throughs in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth; Mandeville, Manchester; and May Pen, Clarendon today and at Fairview, St James; and Ocho Rios and Belle Air in St Ann tomorrow.

The drive will take place over a six-week period, as the agency seeks to place as many children as possible in loving, healthy, family environments.

It is part of activities for Foster Care Week, which is being observed from February 14 to 20 under the theme: 'Every Child Needs a Family'.

In addition to the promotional walk-throughs, the CPFSA announced that it will be setting up information booths, conducting media interviews, staging appreciation and training sessions for foster parents, among other things.

Foster Care Officer at the CPFSA's Morant Bay branch, Judine Webb Brown, said that this year's Foster Care Week reiterates the CPFSA's mandate to provide healthy, family environments for children in State care.

“We try to pair them with loving families through foster care. Our aim is always to place children with families so that they can experience what it is to be part of a heathy family life. You would be giving a child the opportunity to become a productive citizen by sharing your resources with them and welcoming them into your family,” she noted.

She said that while activities for Foster Care Week have been scaled back due to COVID-19 restrictions, the agency continues its engagements remotely.

“COVID has put a damper on some of our activities in that we can't do as many physical, face-to-face activities as we normally would but the agency is resilient. We try to maintain contact over the Internet and we have a lot of activities being done online to engage our present and potential foster parents,” she noted.

The foster care programme is a component of the CPFSA's Living in Family Environment (LIFE) Programme. It is a legal process that allows non-biological parents to care for children in State care, providing them with a stable, nurturing environment, which contributes positively to their overall development.

Children placed in foster care are usually those who have been abused, orphaned, abandoned, neglected or are unable to be cared for by their parents or relatives.

There are currently 1,126 children in foster care, comprising 522 males and 604 females.

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