Principal Executive Officer of Court Management Services, (CMS) Deborah Gardner, has described the family court as a “beacon of hope,” offering opportunities for growth and development.
She noted that not only does the court “execute the aspects of the law that relate to preventing family breakdown and ensuring that the welfare of children is protected, but also provides social services to assist clients in addressing social problems before legal action becomes necessary.”
Mrs. Gardener’s remarks were delivered in a speech read by Director of Client Services, Communication and Information at the CMS, Sydiann Brissett, at the Family Court Attendance Centre (FCAC) graduation ceremony held on July 4, at the St. Andrew Scots Kirk United Church, Duke Street, Kingston.
She added that through the FCAC, lives have been changed, persons rehabilitated and have become positive influences in society.
The centre, the Principal Executive Officer noted, has been a safe-haven since 1978, offering continuing education for young people between the ages of 12 and 17 years, who have been through the family court and are not able to fit into the normal school system due to social and behavioural problems.
The centre provides a multi-faceted array of academic, counselling and skills training programmes and has prepared students for entry into high schools; Heart Trust/ NTA academies; National Youth Service (NYS) and other institutions and programmes.
“Some of you will go on to continue your studies, some may start their own businesses, others of you will be a voice for the voiceless, advocating for change and for people, who may not have a voice to speak,” Mrs. Gardner asserted while charging the graduates to be agents of change by improving the lives of those around them and serving their communities and country.
A total of 30 students participated in the graduation exercise. They were referred through the Family Court; the Probation Office; Child Development Agency (CDA); St. Andrew Care Centre among others.
By Kadian Brown, JIS Reporter