The Child Development Agency (CDA) will be undertaking a comprehensive review of its programmes and operations, to accommodate strategic planning over the next 3-5 years.
Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Carla Francis-Edie,made the disclosure at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank Session on Wednesday (January 25), at the JIS head office in Kingston.
“We will have to re-work our strategic vision and make them align to socio-economic factors, as well as emerging issues affecting children in this nation, “she said, adding that the CDA will continue to build on certain critical programmes.
Mrs. Francis-Edie mentioned the importance of providing adequate psycho-social care for children in state care, while highlighting the need for a Child Assessment and Treatment Centre.
Additionally, she said the CDA will focus on the “rehabilitation, renovation and reconfiguration” of the Glenhope Place of Safety in Kingston. The facility was gutted by fire last November. Another matter to be addressed will be the establishment of a remand centre for girls in trouble with the law.
“Right now, a number of the girls have to be housed with children who are in need of care and protection, and that is not a healthy situation,” she said.
She stated that the agency will be pursuing the review of two laws, the Child Care and Protection Act and the Adoption of the Children Act, to strengthen the care and protection of young Jamaicans.
The CDA, which falls under the Ministry of Youth and Culture, has responsibility for providing a stable and nurturing living environment for children, zero to 18 years, in need of care and protection