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JIS News

Forty-two foster care parents will be honoured by the Child Development Agency (CDA) tomorrow (February 18), at a special banquet to be held at the Hilton Kingston Jamaica Hotel, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The function will be the culmination of National Foster Care Recognition Week, which will end on that day.
A breakdown of the awards show that 23 persons will receive awards for fostering children in excess of 20 years, while 16 persons will be honoured for fostering children with special needs. Three persons will receive special recognition for fostering more than five children.
“We are very excited because we are going to say thank you to all those people who have worked so hard to make the foster care programme what it is,” Alison Anderson, Chief Executive Officer at the CDA told JIS News.
Guest speaker at the banquet will be William Bell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Casey Family Programmes, a Seattle based national operating Foundation in Canada, that has served children and families since 1966. It is also the largest non-profit Foundation for children in foster care in the USA.
According to Miss Anderson, the guest speaker has a close relationship with the CDA, dating back to the late nineties when he assisted in the early childhood protection reform in Jamaica, while he was Commissioner of New York City’s Administration for Children Services.
“He helped us clarify what we wanted our child protection system to be and have continued to be of great assistance to us,” Miss Anderson informed.In the meantime, Miss Anderson said that the Agency wanted to turn National Foster Care Recognition Week into an annual event and “make it a truly national event” on the health calendar.
“By next year, the Agency plans to have a steering committee that will run the week and it will comprise a wide cross section of stakeholders,” she disclosed.Currently, there are 1,200 children in the care of 815 foster families.