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The Child Development Agency (CDA) wishes to advise that the residents of the Glenhope Child Care Facility are now being housed temporarily at various residential child care facilities within the South East Region.

The residents had to be relocated following the fire which affected Glenhope last night.

Glenhope is home to 73 girls who are in need of care and protection.  During the fire, some of the girls left the facility.  All but two have been located and returned and the police are continuing the search for the missing girls. 

The baby, who was missing, has been returned to the facility.

Currently, the children and members of staff are undergoing grief counselling being provided by the Agency’s team of children’s officers and clinical psychologists, personnel from the Ministry of Health, as well as a team dispatched by the Victim Support Unit. Emergency packages were distributed to the girls last night. 

The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olivia Grange, accompanied by the State Minister, Senator Warren Newby visited the facility last night to oversee the response to the fire and to ensure the care of the wards.  The Minister thanked the disaster response agencies, the administrators and the many volunteers who assisted in getting the girls to safety.

Minister Grange said:

“Everyone worked very hard to ensure that the girls were all safe.  It was a complete team effort including members of the community, firefighters who responded promptly, the police, caregivers and administrators, counsellors, the JUTC which provided transport, and several volunteers including the two doctors Jephtha Ford and Kurdel Espinosa who gave of their services last night and today.  Without such effort we would have had a bigger crisis.”

Minister Grange said her focus was now to see to the needs of the girls and to find a way to fix the damage and reopen Glenhope in the quickest possible time.

“We are appreciative of the support that we have received so far from individuals and businesses.  There is the immediate need for clothing, footwear, toiletries, school supplies and building material.  Along with what we will be able to provide from the Ministry, I have been in contact with the Ministry of Social Security and Food for the Poor seeking assistance for the girls.  I am also asking for the support of corporate Jamaica as we work to make a better environment for these girls.”

Persons who wish to make donations may arrange to do so by contacting Mrs. Deverline Waller at the CDA’s corporate office by telephone at 948-6678/7026/2841-2 or by email at wallerd@cda.gov.jm

The origin of the fire has not yet been determined.

The CDA has been contacting parents to apprise them fully of the situation.

 

Contact: Rashida St. Juste 469-4100