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  • Starting next year, staff at residential childcare facilities will receive training and counselling services that will better enable them to address the needs of wards in their care.
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, in making the disclosure on Wednesday (September 20), informed that the Child Development Agency (CDA) is developing the modules for the training and counselling, which will be undertaken in private and State-run residential care facilities.
  • He noted that the CDA has a responsibility to provide consistent training for workers employed to the facilities.

Starting next year, staff at residential childcare facilities will receive training and counselling services that will better enable them to address the needs of wards in their care.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, in making the disclosure on Wednesday (September 20), informed that the Child Development Agency (CDA) is developing the modules for the training and counselling, which will be undertaken in private and State-run residential care facilities.

He said that the services are crucial for the caregivers and will place them in a better position to take care of the wards.

“We always speak about the welfare of our children, but we often don’t speak about the welfare of the staff in the homes and we have to start dealing with that… . We speak about the mental well-being of our children, (but) we don’t often speak about when a staff member needs some counselling,” Mr. Green argued.

He noted that the CDA has a responsibility to provide consistent training for workers employed to the facilities.

“Not only do we have to ensure that the people are well vetted but that they get continuous training,” he added.

The State Minister was speaking at a licensing sensitisation workshop for residential childcare facilities held on the grounds of the Alpha Institute in Kingston.

The event sought to provide guidance on the requirements to be met.

Every three years, private and State-run residential childcare facilities are required to undergo a relicensing process as part of measures to improve the standards of the child protection sector.

“We have to realise that we have a fundamental role to play in ensuring that those of you who are dedicated to serving our children will have an easier pathway in ensuring that you get your licences and have the necessary information [so] that you can effectively serve our children,” Mr. Green said.

The session included presentations from representatives of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF); Fire Prevention Division, Jamaica Fire Brigade; Dezign Diva; J. Tyson Limited; the National Education Inspectorate, among others.

The CDA has direct responsibility for nine childcare facilities and provides oversight for more than 50 private ones, as well as expanding family-based care through its Living in Family Environments programme.

The CDA aims to provide services to children in need of care and protection, specifically those children who are abused, abandoned, neglected or experiencing behavioural challenges.

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