Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Junior youth minister seeks mentors for youth leaving state care

Published:Friday | April 27, 2018 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson/Staff Reporter
Norman Grindley/Chief Photo Editor Children from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency’s bow for prayer at the third National Exiting Care Expo held at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday.

State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green has urged universities and corporate entities to partner in a new mentorship programme for youngsters who are preparing to leave the care of the State.

Green made the call during yesterday's third staging of the National Exiting Care Expo for Wards of the State at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston. The event exposed child wards of the State to career planning and other lifestyle development skills.

"We are going to be introducing a mentorship scheme for our young people who are leaving state care, those who are transitioning. We are going to appoint and pair all of you with a mentor who can work with you and guide you and whom you can bounce ideas off," said Green, while emphasising the importance of mentorship for young at-risk youth in Jamaica.

"While we already have some mentors on board, I use this opportunity to appeal to corporate Jamaica," said Green. "Why don't you organise your staff members into mentorship groups and (assist us) to work with our children who are living in state care?"

Green continued: "I believe that it is also a great opportunity for our universities and our tertiary centres to also use their students to help us develop a mentorship core to work with our children who are transitioning."

Green noted the difficulties that many youngsters who were leaving state care at age 18 had in transitioning to regular life.

Yesterday, Green encouraged hundreds of students who turned out for the expo to speak confidently, remain humble, be respectful, and to exploit all positive opportunities that come before them. These, he said, are the formula for success.