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  • The Hanbury Children’s Home in Manchester has emerged the winner of the Child Development Agency’s (CDA) ‘Safe Homes Disaster Readiness Competition’.
  • Stating that the safety of children is of “paramount importance,” Mrs. Gage Grey informed that there is currently a Disaster Management and Contingency Plan of Action, which is adhered to in emergency situations.
  • The top institutions were presented with attractive prizes including desktop computers, DVD players and gift vouchers, among other things.

The Hanbury Children’s Home in Manchester has emerged the winner of the Child Development Agency’s (CDA) ‘Safe Homes Disaster Readiness Competition’.

Held under the theme: ‘Emergency Preparedness…Our Priority’, the competition was geared at engaging residential childcare facilities in establishing their own Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans in keeping with the standards developed for schools and childcare institutions.

The aim is to ensure the protection of children in State care during emergencies and disasters.

Approximately 16 facilities submitted plans for the competition held in July 2015.

Chief Executive Officer, CDA, Rosalee Gage Grey, in her remarks at the awards ceremony held at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management’s (ODPEM) New Kingston offices on March 4, commended the homes that participated in the competition.

“I am very pleased that our children, with the supervision of the hard-working staff at the homes and with assistance from their communities, were all involved in this competition,” she said, noting that emergency preparedness is “everybody’s business.”

She said that while not all the island’s 54 facilities participated, the CDA will be ensuring that “all the other facilities do come on board and have their plans up and running.”

“It is very important and we have had issues with disasters.  All the homes must be prepared and possibly, we will link it  (having a disaster plan) to the application or renewal of their licences, so if you don’t have a plan, then you won’t get the licence and I think we really have to hold them to that,” she said.

Stating that the safety of children is of “paramount importance,” Mrs. Gage Grey informed that there is currently a Disaster Management and Contingency Plan of Action, which is adhered to in emergency situations.

“I am confident that along with our plans and what you have learnt from this competition, we are in a better position to respond to the emergencies that may occur,” she said.

The competition involved collaboration with ODPEM with funding provided by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Second place went to Strathmore Gardens Children Home, St. Catherine, while Granville Childcare Facility in Trelawny placed third.

The top institutions were presented with attractive prizes including desktop computers, DVD players and gift vouchers, among other things.

A similar competition was launched in schools approximately two years ago.