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Story Highlights

  • The Child Development Agency (CDA) is encouraging citizens to become more involved in the lives of children who are in state care.
  • The agency is providing care for children at nine residential facilities, while regulating and monitoring another 50.
  • The CDA is also expanding family-based care through its Living in Family Environment (LIFE) programme.

The Child Development Agency (CDA) is encouraging citizens to become more involved in the lives of children who are in state care.

“Expand your mentorship programme to include wards and former wards of the state, support parents in their child-rearing; open your hearts and home to children through our foster care programme and reject child abuse by reporting any known or suspected cases to the Office of the Children’s Registry,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CDA, Rosalee Gage Grey implores.
She was speaking at the CDA’s 10th Anniversary church service held on Sunday, June 1, at the Church of the Open Bible, on Washington Boulevard in Kingston.

Meanwhile, she informed that the agency is providing care for children at nine residential facilities, while regulating and monitoring another 50.

The CDA is also expanding family-based care through its Living in Family Environment (LIFE) programme.

Mrs. Gage-Grey argued however, that the CDA by itself cannot win the battle for the nation’s children and called on society “to get back to a place where the village raises the child and the community takes personal responsibility for each and every child”.

She noted that “in many cases the church is playing a role in helping vulnerable families, but we encourage you to get more deeply involved in the lives of our children in state care”.

The CEO said the CDA has stepped up its intervention to vulnerable children through the establishment of Children and Family Support Units, which serve vulnerable children and family, through counselling, parenting training, and economic support through partnerships with social welfare agencies.

Additionally, she informed that the agency has expanded its first respondents programme to offer counselling to children and communities that have experienced trauma.

Despite these successes, the CEO said that the agency is still concerned about the high levels of violence being committed against children, and the increasing reports of child abuse and neglect.

Minister of Youth and Culture Hon. Lisa Hanna said the Ministry will continue to champion the cause for better parenting and safer homes.

She said the CDA is transforming itself through the parenting workshops, having completed 121 such forums last year.

The Minister stressed that, “Children need input. Children need time. They need dedication and extracurricular activities, they need to be loved and feel loved, they need to be nurtured to develop self worth and self esteem,” she said, while imploring everyone to get “all hands on deck in the care and protection of children.”