MINSTER of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna is urging Jamaican families to consider opening their homes to children in need.
Speaking at the Jamaica House Press Briefing this morning, Hanna insisted that children in state care need structured families.
"We can't take all the children, and we want to encourage Jamaicans to foster," Hanna said, "What we recommend is that children need families...and from the data we actually see coming out is that the life services we offer the children they thrive better".
"We have set a target of 70 per cent from the 53 per cent for children in need of care to be living with suitable families. We are now at 60 per cent," she said.
She said since the Government approved the recommendation for foster care, her ministry along with the Child Development Agency (CDA) have been auditing suitable families to ensure they meet the required standard.
"I asked the CDA to audit all the children's homes to find a mechanism for parents or families who could take children to incorporate them in their homes," she added.
Hanna said the Government has approved funding for her ministry and the CDA to implement a national campaign to encourage Jamaican families to foster children in need of care.
"If Jamaican families opened their homes to children it could take a load off the other elements," she said.
She said Town Hall meetings will be held across the island to educate and sensitise families to the possibility of fostering children in need.