News

Gov't to embark on pilot foster care project

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


A pilot foster care project will be undertaken over the next year as the Government moves to place more children under State care in stable family settings.

The pilot is part of a three-year programme between the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and Family Life Ministries (FLM).

Under the initiative, dubbed 'For the Child Foster Care Programme', the FLM will identify, recruit, assess, engage and notify the CPFSA of prospective foster families for processing.

Both entities signed a Service Agreement to solidify the partnership during a ceremony at FLM's Cecelio Avenue offices in St Andrew on Tuesday.

State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Alando Terrelonge welcomed the partnership noting that it is “a key step forward in the progress being implemented in Jamaica for the care and protection of our children”.

“This collaboration, I believe, will be the beginning of a significant move of children from State care facilities into homes with loving parents, who will not just care for them emotionally, physically but [also] ensure that their psychological needs are met; in particular to build their self-confidence and their self-esteem, their self-worth and their sense of value,” he said.

Chief executive officer of the FLM Dr Barry Davidson explained that under the arrangement, the entity will be seeking “devoted, Christian families to help us show love, care [and] compassion for children who are in State care”.

“FLM would like to bridge the gap between the challenges that we are facing in our society with so many children who are neglected, who are not cared for and who need our help. Our solution is to provide therapeutic family homes for these children,” he said.

Dr Davidson said the FLM will be recruiting parents from churches, who will then be screened to ensure that they are suitable in all aspects of parenting. The selected parents will then be trained “to become the kind of parents who would be very effective in caring for these children,” he noted.

“We will be engaging in a matching programme where we will be matching these parents to children from CPFSA. Once a child has been properly matched, we will assist the parent to provide ongoing care for these children by providing them with ongoing supervision, counselling, and support for the family,” he added.

For CEO of the CPFSA Rosalee Gage-Grey, the agreement is historic, as it marks Jamaica's first model public-private partnership in foster care.

“This concept has been very effective in first-world countries such as Canada, in particular Nairn Family Homes, a premier foster care institution with over 45 years of experience,” she said.

Gage-Grey noted that there are close to 4,500 children in the care of the State. More than 900 of these children are in foster care placement with over 800 foster parents.

“Our aim is to recruit more families to open their homes and hearts. This is what will be achieved through this public-private partnership to drive the recruitment, service delivery, management and treatment programmes for children,” she said.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT