- Parenting workshops, community walk-throughs and recreational excursions for parents are among the many activities scheduled for the annual Foster Care Week, from February 7 to 13.
- Miss Dixon said that activities will be carried out in the various CDA regions across the island.
- The Communications Manager said that parenting workshops and appreciation functions will also be held for foster parents.
Parenting workshops, community walk-throughs and recreational excursions for parents are among the many activities scheduled for the annual Foster Care Week, from February 7 to 13.
The week-long activities are being organised by the Child Development Agency (CDA), an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, under the theme: ‘Share your Home… Foster a Child’.
The week will commence on Sunday, February 7, with a church service at the Calvary Baptist Church, Corinaldi Avenue, in St James, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Similar church services will be held at Hopewell Deliverance Centre, Hanover, at 9:00 a.m; Central Tabernacle Deliverance Centre, Westmoreland, at 8:30 a.m. and Falmouth New Testament Church, Trelawny at 10:30 a.m.
Public Relations and Communications Manager of the CDA, Rochelle Dixon, said this year’s focus is to encourage more citizens to be involved in the Foster Care programme and to highlight the important contributions of foster parents.
She said that there are an estimated 800 foster families under the Living in Family Environment (LIFE) Programme.
“It is a more desirable alternative to placing a child in a residential child care facility,” she said, stating that some 4,500 children are in State care, while a total of 872 children are being fostered.
“There is a wide gap, so we want to close that gap and encourage more persons to come on board,” she added.
Miss Dixon said that activities will be carried out in the various CDA regions across the island.
On February 8, there will be a community walk-through in Downtown, Kingston, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and another in Port Antonio, Portland from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Similar events will take place in Darliston, Westmoreland; Bogue Village, St James and Falmouth Town Square, in Trelawny, between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
“This initiative will see our CDA officers interfacing with community members and encouraging them to become part of the CDA’s foster care programme,” she said.
Additionally, she said that ‘pop-up booth’ displays will be mounted at several libraries across the island and business places, such as the Fontana Pharmacy in St James; Registrar General’s Department in Duke Street, Downtown, Kingston, and at a Scotia Bank location in Kingston.
The Communications Manager said that parenting workshops and appreciation functions will also be held for foster parents.
“We want to use this opportunity to give them a refresher course on parenting and the importance of caring for a child. We want to let them know, too, that we appreciate what they are doing,” she said.
Miss Dixon said that parenting workshops will be held on Thursday, February 11, at the Jamaica Library Service, 2 Tom Redcam Drive, Kingston 5, and at the Calvary Baptist Church in St James.