State wards receive training
Hundreds of wards of the State are receiving skills and vocational training through a project sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development.
The training forms part of a transitional programme that will provide the wards with basic yet essential skills for functioning well in society, particularly after they exit state care at the age of 18.
The initiative is being undertaken by the Caribbean Child Development Centre and the HEART Trust/NTA.
Director of Children and Family Programmes at the Child Development Agency (CDA) Audrey Budhi said the wards who are participating in the training are doing well.
Budhi, who was addressing the second staging of the National Exiting Care Exposition at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Wednesday, said the training would provide the wards with a wealth of practical tools to help them successfully transition to the next phase of their lives.
"These waves of change will create oceans of opportunities for you as you prepare for independent living," she said.
Budhi said that the CDA would continue to provide support to wards exiting state care in order to promote their growth and development.
"We firmly believe in the concept of transitional support to you our young people who are preparing to exit the state care system and [are aiming to] reach your highest potential. Transformational changes are happening," she noted.
In addition to the training, Budhi informed that an apartment complex is being built in Kingston to accommodate young women leaving state care.
"In November last year, we broke ground on Lady Musgrave Road for the construction of the Caribbean's first transitional apartment complex to benefit 40 female wards of the State," she said.
The exposition, which was held under the theme: 'Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity', saw participation from several stakeholders such as government entities, educational institutions, and other key partners.