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JIS News

The Child Development Agency (CDA) will be placing special focus on Portland during the month of February, in an effort to encourage more persons in the parish to become foster parents.
In an interview with JIS News, Esther Gooden, Children’s Officer for Portland said that in addition to events to be held in the parish in observance of National Foster Care Week (February 11 to February 17), there would be an appreciation function on February 15 for persons currently serving as foster parents.
Mrs. Gooden also noted that a public discussion on the role of the CDA would be held on February 26 at the Anglican Church hall in Port Antonio.
She noted that the Foster Care Week activities would be held at the Portland Parish Library in Port Antonio, and would include a week-long display of reading material on foster care and the parading of the skills and talents of foster care children in the parish.
Mrs. Gooden pointed out that the appreciation function for foster parents would involve the presentation of certificates, adding that the public discussion is aimed at sensitising Portlanders about the role of the CDA, so as to encourage them to support the organisation and to participate in the foster care programme.
She also noted that a special effort would be made throughout the month to distribute reading material on the CDA and the Foster Care Programme in the communities.
Turning to the general state of the Foster Care Programme in Portland, Mrs. Gooden said it has been progressing successfully since it was implemented in the parish in 2005.
She said there were 36 foster children assigned to 28 families across the parish, adding that the integration of the foster children with families has been instrumental in bringing about the desired rehabilitation of these children.