The Full Story
The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) will be expanding the number of State childcare facilities that are equipped with sensory spaces, to better cater to wards who have special needs.
These new sensory spaces will be added to the Blossom Gardens Nursery and the Robins Nest Children’s Homes in St, James, Glen Hope Nursery in Kingston, and Gift of Hope Children’s Home in Manchester.
The spaces will be used for early stimulation and for delivery of occupational therapy for children with behavioural disorders or developmental disabilities.
Two homes have already been outfitted with sensory spaces – Maxfield Park Children’s Home in Kingston and Muirton Boys’ Home in Portland.
Speaking at the recent opening of the sensory room at the Muirton Boys’ Home, Chief Executive Officer, CPFSA, Laurette Adams-Thomas, said that “the spaces will provide children with a sanctuary where they can explore and express themselves, free from judgement and external pressures”.
She noted that the rooms are essential for the children to develop critical coping skills and to enhance their self-esteem and overall well-being.
“They also serve as a valuable resource for the dedicated staff who can better understand the unique needs of each child under their care,” Mrs. Adams-Thomas added.
Meanwhile, Manager at the Muirton Boys’ Home, Shanae Walsh Webber, said that the room will greatly enhance the quality of support provided at the home.
She highlighted that through the provision of specialist support, many of the wards “flourish upon their transitioning from the home, even participating in programmes such as the HEART/NSTA Trust employment programme for special needs and eventually receiving permanent employment in the construction, culinary, art and craft, upholstering, tiling, sewing and plumbing industries.”
The sensory spaces are being provided at selected State care facilities through a partnership with the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU) as part of the public sector transformation programme.