Families to Host Children in State Care for Christmas

Story Highlights

  • Several children in State homes across the island will be spending Christmas Day or weekends during the holidays with families, as part of the Child Development Agency’s (CDA) ‘Take a Child Home for Christmas’ Programme.
  • The programme allows persons, both internally and externally, to take a child home for the Christmas season, where they are feted and accommodated in a family setting.
  • Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Rosalee Gage Grey, told JIS News that the agency has been promoting the programme to provide children with the opportunity to experience the love of families.

Several children in State homes across the island will be spending Christmas Day or weekends during the holidays with families, as part of the Child Development Agency’s (CDA) ‘Take a Child Home for Christmas’ Programme.

The programme allows persons, both internally and externally, to take a child home for the Christmas season, where they are feted and accommodated in a family setting.

Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Rosalee Gage Grey, told JIS News that the agency has been promoting the programme to provide children with the opportunity to experience the love of families, as children in State care do feel the need to bond with families, especially during the holidays, which is “a time for love and family.”

“Our children in State care don’t always have families outside of the care protection system that they can go to … so our officers in the respective parish offices are quite prepared to process persons who are interested in this programme,” she added.

Mrs. Gage Grey said that CDA officers will be interviewing persons who submit requests.

“This will require them to have a home visit to see who is there. All the members of the household will have to be interviewed. We have to do some amount of screening to ensure that the placements are successful,” she added.

The CEO said that all requests should be sent in at least two weeks before Christmas, to ensure that the process of receiving the children is completed before placements.

“We need a two-week window to be able to do the placements, because we have to do the home visits to ensure that everything is in place,” she pointed out.

The CEO said persons can visit any CDA office to submit their requests, noting that the agency will not rule out anyone before doing the assessments.

Mrs. Gage Grey said that applicants are required to complete an application form, which should be submitted with recommendations from two Notaries Public, a police record and one photograph.

She explained that the home visit takes into consideration the safety of the home, the number of persons living in the household as well as the number of rooms and beds, to ensure that the child will be placed in a safe and nurturing environment.

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