JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) has strengthened its sexual and reproductive health support services provided to teen mothers through the opening of an Adolescent Resource Centre (ARC).
  • The German Embassy provided $1.8 million for the refurbishing and equipping of existing space at the WCJF Kingston campus to house the facility.
  • The WCFJ is a government agency mandated to provide adolescent mothers with continuing education and to have them reintegrated into the formal school system after the birth of their babies. Some 46,000 young women have been assisted since its inception in 1978.

The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) has strengthened its sexual and reproductive health support services provided to teen mothers through the opening of an Adolescent Resource Centre (ARC).

The German Embassy provided $1.8 million for the refurbishing and equipping of existing space at the WCJF Kingston campus to house the facility.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony on Wednesday (October 19), Executive Director of the WCJF, Dr. Zoe Simpson, said ARC will enable teens to have access to services in a confidential and hospitable environment.

These include individual and group counselling on contraceptive methods, screening and referrals for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), mental health services to screen and treat for post-partum depression, counselling for victims of gender-based violence, and access to gynaecologists and midwives.

The WCJF Director noted that the centre will also offer support to adolescent males, providing individual and group counselling on sexual and reproductive health as well as psychotherapy to prepare them for fatherhood.

The Ministry of Health, Jamaica Family Planning Association (FAMPLAN), National Family Planning Board, and non-government entity Eve for Life, are among partners in the operation of the centre.

The WCFJ is a government agency mandated to provide adolescent mothers with continuing education and to have them reintegrated into the formal school system after the birth of their babies.

Some 46,000 young women have been assisted since its inception in 1978.

The WCJF first operated an adolescent clinic called Knowledge and Education for Youth (KEY) in 1994, providing individual and group counselling, limited medical services, contraceptive counselling, contraceptive methods for adolescents and training in peer counselling.

In 1998, the activities of KEY were reduced and the name of the centre changed to the Kingston Centre Counselling Clinic (KCCC). In 2014, the facility was closed down and its activities placed under the general programmes of the WCJF.