Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The recommendations were based on findings of several sessions held with children, and their care givers at four residential state homes under the Panel’s ‘Plant a Tree’ scheme.
  • CAP panel member Kinshasia Johnson spoke of a brief report that was created, which outlined some of the educational and psychological needs of the children and what was observed at the homes.
  • He said the Panel has recommended the refurbishing of some of the homes, a tighter security system, and improvement of the level of education offered to the children.

The Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP) has submitted a report outlining recommendations to improve the lives of children in state care to the Child Development Agency (CDA).

The Panel, developed by the CDA in collaboration with the Children’s Council of Jamaica, was established to foster child participation, and to consult children on issues affecting them.

Chairman of CAP and Campion College student, Charles Young made the announcement while meeting with United Nations Children Fund Representative (UNICEF), Mark Connelly, on Friday, March 14, at the UNICEF’s offices in Kingston.  He was accompanied by five of the 15-member Panel including: Rushay Ximines, Shamar Millwood, Meca-Gaye Francis, Kinshasia Johnson and Suzecka Swaby of Meadowbrook High School, Jamaica College, Campion College, Merl Grove High and Glenmuir High Schools, respectively.

Mr. Young said the report, which was presented to the Chief Executive Officer and management team of the CDA, was based on findings of several sessions held with children, and their care givers at four residential state homes under the Panel’s ‘Plant a Tree’ scheme.

“The main idea behind the name is that we would go to state homes and we would plant a tree and the tree would be symbolic of our relationship and just as the tree grows so our relationship will grow as well,” he said.

Panel member Kinshasia Johnson said the brief report outlined some of the educational and psychological needs of the children and what was observed at the homes.

“We told them about the problems we found at the homes and some possible solutions. Some of the problems they are aware of and some they weren’t aware of, but, nevertheless we told them about it,” she added. Miss Johnson said the varied from one home to another,” she explained.

Mr. Young said the CDA was encouraged to work on the recommendations and to share the report with other children’s care organisations.

He said the Panel has recommended the refurbishing of some of the homes, a tighter security system, and improvement of the level of education offered to the children.

The young Chairman said the Panel also recommended public consultations in order to remove the stigma that all children in state care are “bad.”