Wed | Aug 16, 2017

A home for children in state care this Christmas

Published:Monday | December 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

For many children, Christmas is a most wonderful time of the year. It's a time for sharing and caring when families and friends come together to embrace the season of merriment and gift giving.

To spread the joy, the Child Development Agency (CDA), through its Take a Child Home for Christmas Programme, seeks to provide children in state care with the opportunity to experience the joy that this time of year brings.

The programme has been around for a while and allows qualified persons to take a child in State care home for the Christmas season, where they are feted and accommodated in a family setting for as long as the family is able to afford.

Giving details of the programme, Regional Director for CDA's South East Region, Robert Williams, said persons who are interested in taking a child home from State care, are required to complete an application form, after which a detailed assessment is done of the individual and each member of such household to ensure that they are eligible.

"Applicants are also required to get two recommendations from two notaries public, a police record, one passport-size photograph, after which a home visit is done. The visit takes into consideration the safety of the home, where we look at the number of persons living in the household, the amount of rooms and beds to ensure that the child will be placed in a safe and nurturing environment," he said.

He added that, so far, the agency is in possession of a few applications, which are currently being processed. He is, however, appealing to persons who are in the position to extend themselves to a child/children this festive season to be a part of this worthwhile initiative.

Currently, most of the applications the agency receives are from relatives and extended family members of the wards. "I am appealing to the good citizens of Jamaica who are able to make a positive difference in a child's life this Christmas to reach out and be a part of that circle of care. Help to bring joy to their lives this Christmas, because some of these children have no families outside of the care protection system," he said.

Persons are advised to submit applications at least two weeks before Christmas to facilitate proper assessment. For more information, persons can contact the CDA at 948-2841-2. Application forms are available at all parish offices islandwide and a capable children's officer is ready and waiting to serve you.