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  • Minister Hanna has appointed a committee to review the operations of children’s homes in light of the unauthorised implementation of sexual education programmes
  • The Review Committee will be led by Chair of the Child Development Agency Advisory Board, Mrs Maxine Henry-Wilson.
  • Minister Hanna said the Committee will examine “terms and conditions of the operational activities of the six homes involved, as well as the reports, documentation and opinions submitted”.

The Minister of Youth and Culture, the Honourable Lisa Hanna, MP has appointed a committee to review the operations of children’s homes in light of the unauthorised implementation of sexual education programmes in six privately-operated residential care facilities by the group Jamaicans for Justice.

The Review Committee will be led by Chair of the Child Development Agency Advisory Board, Mrs Maxine Henry-Wilson.  The other members are:

Mrs Sadie Keating, Advisor to the Minister on Children’s Affairs

Mr Newton Douglas, Director of Policy Planning & Evaluation at the Child Development Agency

Ms Annaliesa Lindsay, Attorney-At-Law

Minister Hanna said the Committee will examine “terms and conditions of the operational activities of the six homes involved, as well as the reports, documentation and opinions submitted”.

On Minister Hanna’s instructions, the CDA conducted an investigation into the circumstances which led to the programme being implemented without the  knowledge of the Agency or the Ministry as well as the suitability of the material presented to the children. The CDA found several breaches and concluded that parts of the training material were inappropriate for the age cohort.

Minister Hanna sought and received written responses to the CDA’s report from the administrators of the six homes.

The report of the Review Committee will not only inform Minister Hanna’s treatment of the apparent breaches at the six homes, but will also provide input for the review of the licensing regime for privately-operated Children’s Homes and Places of Safety, which the Minister announced in Parliament during the Sectoral Debate in May.

Minister Hanna told the House:

“The aim of this exercise is to ensure that all entities licensed to operate as Children’s Homes and Places of Safety not only have the physical facilities, but also fit and proper staff with the requisite training and experience to offer the new standards of care that we will be insisting upon… This is also part of our programme to improve the management of the facilities and enhance services to children. We cannot and must not leave it to chance!”

Minister Hanna is to receive a report from the Review Committee within three weeks.

 

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