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  • Minister of Youth and Culture, the Honourable Lisa Hanna has established the Strategic Repositioning of the Child Protection and Residential Sector (SRCPRS) task force.
  • This task force is chaired by Mrs. Grace Ann Stewart McFarlane, Senior Director in the Children's Affairs Division of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.
  • The task force is charged with responsibility to conduct a detailed analysis of existing system of both the public and private children homes with a view to moving more children out of institutional care and placing them with families.

Minister of Youth and Culture, the Honourable Lisa Hanna has established the Strategic Repositioning of the Child Protection and Residential Sector (SRCPRS) task force, to oversee the strategic review of residential care in Jamaica for children. This task force is chaired by Mrs. Grace Ann Stewart McFarlane, Senior Director in the Children’s Affairs Division of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

According to Minister Hanna, the task force is charged with responsibility to conduct a detailed analysis of existing system of both the public and private children homes with a view to moving more children out of institutional care and placing them with families.

“Over the past two years we have seen significant benefits to those wards of the state who we have placed with foster care families, they do better in school and with their general development.” Hanna said.

Adding that the Ministry had moved the number of children who qualified for tertiary institutions from two in 2012 to 48 in 2014, the Minister said of that number, 90% of them were those that were placed with families.

The Ministry recognizes that these families need an increase in the stipend currently being provided to them by the Child Development Agency (CDA) and in an effort to assist many of them the CDA coordinated discounts at MegaMart outlets for groceries as well as assistance with books and other educational supplies.

However, Minister Hanna indicated that in an effort to be more strategic with the annual budgetary subventions and their own policy to treat and care for every child as they would their own, the Ministry’s ultimate objective is to place more Jamaican children in caring family environments for long term.

Currently, there are just under 5000 children in state care with 875 of them living with families. The Minster applauded the many Jamaicans who have opened their homes to these wards and encouraged more Jamaicans to do the same.

The timeline for the task force to conduct its analysis and report to the Minister is three months.