Wednesday, July 2, 2018:

Over 50 youngsters in State care pursuing tertiary studies benefited from a recently held life skills and empowerment seminar, staged by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) at the Chinese Benevolent Association in Kingston.

Dubbed ‘Confidence Aloud-Putting Your Best Self Forward’, the event was the first of its kind, was aimed at building the youngsters’ confidence and equipping them with the requisite skills to aid in their transition from State care to independent living.

Commenting on the event, CEO of CPFSA, Rosalee Gage-Grey said that the Agency places strong emphasis on education, and as such, will continue to provide support for youngsters continuing their studies in the protection system, while equipping them with the necessary skills for adulthood.

“We continue to provide our youngsters with unlimited opportunities to reach their highest potential, because we believe that with a skill and a clear path to self-development, they will be better prepared for adulthood. Even though they have aged out of State care, and are no longer considered children, we know that at age 18 and even beyond, they still require our guidance. So we commit to providing them with the necessary assistance in order to be successful,” Mrs Gage-Grey said.

The day’s proceedings saw the youngsters benefiting from sessions on meal preparation, facilitated by Kendel Group Limited; Social Graces and Etiquette by Speaking Coach, Fae Ellington; and a group sitting called ‘Express Yourself’ which was piloted by Children’s Officers and Psychologists from the CPFSA.

Life Skills Coach, Fae Ellington talks about social graces and etiquette with the participants

Other presentations tilted Marketing Me; Money matters; creating opportunities and human sexuality were done by Human Resource Practitioner, Maurice Lewin; Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs; Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (J-TEC) and National Family Planning Board respectively.

During the “Express Yourself” session, the participants were given the opportunity to speak openly about their individual experiences, in an effort to address some of their fears and concerns.

Second year Social Work student at Northern Caribbean University, Tameka Thomas, said that her experience while being a part of the Transitional Living Programme has been rewarding and challenging at the same time.

“When I started college, the courses were more manageable, but since I entered second year, they seem to have gotten more difficult. I do not have everything that I need personally, but I am thankful for the opportunity being afforded to me by the CPFSA to achieve my dream. I am making the best of it, because I am destined to succeed,” Thomas said.

A group of participants listen keenly to each other during the ‘Express Yourself’ session.

Providing feedback about the seminar and her overall experience, Final year Accounting Student, Kimberly Clarke who attends the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, said that she is doing what she loves, and is grateful to the Agency for investing in her, so that she can have brighter future.

“I have encountered many struggles which have made me stronger. I feel so grateful, because I see myself progressing as an individual. I also feel more confident about the life skills training received, and must say that I feel more confident stepping out into adulthood.

Currently over 70 youngsters in State care are pursuing tertiary studies, funded by the government of Jamaica.  


Contact: Miss Jeneva Gordon

Public Relations Officer


Tele: 876-967-1614 or 876-558-7134


Life Skills Coach, Fae Ellington talks about social graces and etiquette with the participants