KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) - Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Child Development Agency (CDA), Carla Francis Edie, says the agency will continue to enhance the lives of children in State care, through the continuous training of personnel who interact with them.
She emphasised that this will also ensure that they (staff) are aware of the guidelines and stipulations which govern their interaction.
Francis Edie was speaking at a seminar, held at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) on April 24, by the Association of Dynamic Administrative Professionals (ADAP), under the theme: ‘Children in State Care: Are They in a State of Care?’
“The agency has undertaken to train its staff, primarily those who work in the residential facilities and others who have direct influence on the children in a number of areas, such as nursing care, alternative methods to discipline, health and sexuality, confidentiality and ethics, conflict resolution and values and attitude, among others,” the CEO said.
Francis Edie stressed that staff members are not allowed to administer corporal punishment on wards.
“It is against our regulations and also the Child Care and Protection Act; therefore if a staff hits a child, it is grounds for disciplinary action to be taken,” she added.
The CDA head informed that consequent to the training received, personnel have been employing modern techniques, such as the use of behaviour modification programmes as well as play and art therapy as ways to reach children who exhibit maladaptive behaviours.
Created in 2004 out of a merger of the Child Support Unit, the Child Services Division and the Adoption Division, the CDA provides child protection services such as case management and planning for the children’s court, the intake of children in need of care and protection, foster care and adoption, the investigation of reports referred by the Children’s Registry, and counselling.
It caters for children and their parents, particularly children who have been neglected, abused or abandoned, and provides care and protection through advocacy, education, rehabilitation and family support.