More Jamaicans Urged to Become Foster Parents
CEO of the Child Development Agency Mrs. Carla Francis-Edie yesterday encouraged more Jamaicans to get involve in the foster care programme.
“It is our goal to get more children placed in families, because our research indicates that children do best when they live in nurturing families that can support their development,” Mrs. Edie said.
The CEO was delivering her message at the church service held at the Jamaica Evangelistic Association (86 Waltham Road) to launch the annual National Foster Care Recognition Week. The agency marked the start of the week with church services across the island.
In making her appeal for persons to become foster parents, Mrs. Edie called on church members to get involved in the programme, “It is crucial that men and women of God become more active in the lives of our own children and those in our communities.
“When we get involved we have the chance to impart Godly values and righteousness to our children. In so doing, we counteract the darkness that has engulfed too many areas of our society,” Mrs. Edie said.
Of the over 5000 children in State care, over 3000 are in Living in Family Environment programmes, of which some 900 are in foster care. LIFE programmes are an initiative of the CDA which seeks to place children in families.
Mrs. Edie also thanked existing foster parents for continuing “to give selflessly of their love, time and resources to children who have no one to care for them.”
While recognizing the CDA social workers and staff all across Jamaica, many of whom continue to work tirelessly with the foster families, the CEO urged them to strive for excellence and the highest level of efficiency in serving the needs of children and families.
In a message read by Acting Permanent Secretary Sidney Bartley, Minister of Youth and Culture, the Hon. Lisa Hanna lauded foster parents, noting, “foster parents around the world take on a commitment that is spurred by love, care, sacrifice, kindness and generosity of spirit.
“It is a commitment that extends beyond any formal arrangement or consideration of financial reimbursement or subvention. Foster Parents are invaluable partners with the State in the provision of care and protection for our children,” Minister Hanna said.
The Minister also congratulated the CDA for the initiative to honour foster parents, adding: “As the government seeks, through the CDA, to honour our firm resolve to provide nurturing family environments for children in our care, foster parenting is taking on even more importance in the various living accommodation arrangements for wards of the State.”
The Minister further expressed Government’s commitment to periodic reviews of all arrangements for the care and protection of the nation’s children including the system of foster care.
Pastor Courtney Anderson, in his sermon used the book of Esther to underscore the point that persons needed to stand in the gap for those children who are not their biological relatives, and to provide guidance to enable them to impact society.
Both the Minister’s and Mrs. Edie’s message were read at church services around the island.
In St. James the church service was held at the Calvary Baptist Church while other services were held at the William Knibb Baptist Church in Trelawny; the St. Ann Baptist Church in St. Ann; the Emmanuel Apostolic Church in Port Maria, St. Mary; the Buff Bay Roman Catholic Church in Portland and the Central Tabernacle Deliverance Centre in Westmoreland.
Contact: Prudence N. Barnes