Take a child home this Christmas

Take a child home this Christmas

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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THE Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) is now accepting applications from Jamaicans for its 'Take a Child Home for the Holiday' initiative.

The annual programme provides an opportunity for families to open their homes to wards of the State during the festive season. It caters to children three to 18 years old who do not have parents or guardians to take them home during the holiday period.

Speaking with JIS News, public relations and communications manager at the CPFSA, Rochelle Dixon, said the agency recognises that children placed in a family environment produce better outcomes.

Initially, the 'Take a Child Home for the Holiday' programme was created for parents who have children in State care to take them home for the festive season.

However, over time, the programme was extended to individuals with good moral standing.

For the 2018 festive season, parents/guardians or other family members taking children home for the holidays totalled 182, while 154 applications from members of the public were approved.

Some 355 children were placed and from this amount 19 were foster- care prospects.

Dixon explained that people who qualify for the programme have the option of hosting a child for a day or during a holiday period.

Individuaols who are interested in participating in the programme are required to fill out an application form.

They are also required to provide two references from a police officer, a justice of the peace or a school principal; provide two passport-sized photographs, a valid identification card and must be 25 years or older.

The approval is granted based on the applicant's ability to fulfil the criteria outlined, and in some cases approval is at the discretion of the children's officer. The application may take up to 20 days to be processed.

For further information, interested individuals may visit any of the CPFSA regional offices, formerly the Child Development Agency (CDA), across the island.

The deadline for submission of application is Friday, November 29.

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