Wards of the State Take Part in Five-Day Camp

Story Highlights

  • Sixty young persons between 16 and 18 years old who are living in State care participated in a five-day camp hosted by the Dunwoody Baptist Church (DBC) of Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America (USA), in partnership with the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).
  • The participants benefited from several sessions on financial, anger and emotional management, as well as conflict resolution and communication skills. Themed ‘Born Gifted’, the camp was held in Moreland, Manchester, and was sponsored by the DBC.
  • In an interview with JIS News, one of the Camp’s coordinators, Regional Director of the CPFSA Western Region, Eunice Scott-Shaw, said the purpose of the camp was to assist in preparing the 30 males and 30 females who will leave State care soon, to learn valuable skills that will aid in their transition to adulthood.

Sixty young persons between 16 and 18 years old who are living in State care participated in a five-day camp hosted by the Dunwoody Baptist Church (DBC) of Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America (USA), in partnership with the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).

The camp, held April 2-7, was in keeping with the CPFSA’s commitment to equip children in State care with survival skills as they prepare to transition into independent living.

The participants benefited from several sessions on financial, anger and emotional management, as well as conflict resolution and communication skills. Themed ‘Born Gifted’, the camp was held in Moreland, Manchester, and was sponsored by the DBC.

In an interview with JIS News, one of the Camp’s coordinators, Regional Director of the CPFSA Western Region, Eunice Scott-Shaw, said the purpose of the camp was to assist in preparing the 30 males and 30 females who will leave State care soon, to learn valuable skills that will aid in their transition to adulthood.

She added that although the sessions formed the core of the camp, the youngsters also participated in fun activities such as swimming and rock wall climbing, craft making and competitive sports. “We believe that every child is a gift and has a gift, so we help them to unearth the talent within and provide them with the necessary tools to grow,” she said.

The participants were selected from the CPFSA foster care programme, childcare facilities and family reunification and supervision programmes. The camp is in its 25th year, and the DBC provides all the materials as well as 90 per cent of the counsellors who are psychologists, social workers, teachers, accountants, pastors and youth workers.

Over the years, the DBC has also awarded several scholarships to wards of the State who do well academically. The scholarships cover full tuition, boarding and school supplies. To date, 27 wards of the State have graduated from tertiary and skills training programmes. Wards have to be 18 years of age to qualify for these scholarships. Beneficiaries of scholarships have also given back to the camp every year as junior counsellors and mentors.

The programme is managed here in Jamaica by Mrs. Scott-Shaw and CPFSA Adoption Coordinator, Maxine Bagalue.

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