JIS News

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says the audit of the Maxfield Park Children’s Home, which commenced last year, has already resulted in improvements in financial operations at the facility.

“There have been some financial systems that have been put in place, not only in terms of purchases but also in terms of how money is spent. There is a lot more effective use of the funds that come centrally from government and (otherwise),” she said.

Ms. Hanna was speaking to JIS News on Wednesday (January 16) following a tour of the institution located on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston.

The ongoing audit commenced under the new board of management chaired by Minna Israel, which was appointed by Cabinet in May 2012. There had been no board in place since 2005.

“Last year, I had put a board in, led by Minna Israel. What the board decided last year was that there needed to be a full audit and they have kept me abreast of some of the things they were doing and one of the things they recommended was a managerial shift,” she said.

She said that the audit, when completed, will give a proper understanding of the operations of the facility.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Youth and Culture, in collaboration with the Child Development Agency (CDA) is also undertaking audits of children’s homes island wide. “There are a number of things that have been picked up and a number of these things have been fixed,” she said.

The board of directors of the Maxfield Park Children’s Home will serve for a period of three years. The other members are Vice Chairman, Professor Maureen Samms Vaughan; Dr. Renee Rattray; Father Donald Chambers; Brenda Wong; Norician Anderson; Carol Fernandez; Donnette Chin Loy; Adam Stewart; Sonia Gray; Seya Wilson; Delrose Campbell, and Marvin Fisher.

The Maxfield Park Children’s Home, established in 1918, is the oldest co-ed child care facility in Jamaica. It serves as a permanent dwelling for many children who have been abandoned or otherwise made homeless.

The home currently caters for 82 children ranging from zero to 18 years of age and has a staff complement of 71 individuals.