Fostering is the legal process of temporarily placing a child, who would otherwise be a ward of the state, into an approved family environment under the guardianship relatives or other adults.
In Jamaica, children placed in foster care are usually between the ages of zero and 18. Any adult of good character and legal standing who fits the Government’s pre-established criteria can become a foster parent.
Criteria for Fostering a Child
The criteria to foster a child are:
• Be a single female or couple. Placement with a single male will be done only if he is related to the child or in other exceptional circumstances.
• Be between the ages of 25 and 65. Exceptions may be made if the applicant is older than 65 years and is a relative with strong family support.
• Be able to provide suitable accommodation for the child.
• Live in a stable community.
• Be gainfully employed or have a steady income.
• Be willing to submit to a medical.
• Be willing to participate in training offered by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency.
Foster parents will be given a monthly allowance to defray the expenses of clothing, education and medical care of the child. However, it is expected that the foster parents will supplement the expenses of the child.
A social worker will conduct follow up visits to the home to monitor the well-being of the child. Contact will also be maintained with the child’s relatives.
Applications can be made through the Children’s Officer at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency in each parish.
For additional information contact:
Child Protection and Family Services Agency
48 Duke Street
Tel: (876) 948-6678/948-2841-2