Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Gov’t to establish therapeutic centre for troubled children

Published:Wednesday | September 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
Floyd Green (left), minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Dr. Luz Longsworth, pro-vice chancellor and principal of the University of the West Indies open campus; and Eric Khant, charge' d'affaires, United States Embassy, examine a new mattress during a tour of the Lady Musgrave Complex in St Andrew yesterday.

State minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, has announced that plans are underway for the construction of a therapeutic centre for wards of the state who have been assessed to have severe behavioural problems.

"What we found is that we have a lot of children entering state care who have severe behavioural issues and a lot of them require psychological and psychosocial intervention," Green said.

Already there exists a child guidance clinic, and a programme called 'Smile Mobile', which has psychologists who visit the various state homes, assess the children and carry out interventions.

But Green told The Gleaner that guidance clinics are often times overburdened because some children need more dedicated support. He said the therapeutic centre will provide strategic, long term intervention plans for these children.

In the meantime, Green, who was a tour of the Lady Musgrave Complex in St Andrew yesterday, said that land on which to build the proposed facility has already been identified and funding for the project is being sought.

"We have already identified lands as a part of the Maxfield Park Children's Home property. We've worked with the UDC (Urban Development Corporation) to give us a preliminary design for our therapeutic centre and now we are in the phase of sourcing partner funding. We've already approach JSIF (Jamaica Social Investment Fund) and the response is good," Green said.

The state minister said he is looking to start preliminary work on the facility next year.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com