New foster care programme coming
Private foster care in Jamaica is set to improve following an announcement by Dr Barry Davidson, director of Family Life Ministries (FLM). He stated that FLM is to start a foster care programme early next year.
"We saw the need to develop a programme to help our children who quite often are in need of protection, care, and nurturing. So we, together with Nairn Family Homes, consulted with the Child Development Agency (CDA) to develop a foster care programme," Davidson told The Gleaner.
"We believe that this foster care programme is going to make a big difference in the life of this country based on what we are seeing," he added.
Davidson noted that FLM will be recruiting parents from the Church to participate in the programme.
"We are going to challenge church members to become foster parents, but of course, we are going to be screening them first. We are going to do a psychological assessment to see if they are the right persons. Then, we are going to train them and make sure that we match the right child with the right parent," he said.
"We are also going to be starting small, simply because we want to make sure that what we do works well. For instance, in the first year, if we succeed in getting 50 foster homes then we are going to make sure that the 50 are working well before we try to get 100," Davidson continued.
Philip Bruce, executive director of Nairn Family Homes, also noted that he was elated to be taking part in such an initiative.
"I have been involved with foster care in Canada for nearly 40 years and I would like to share my knowledge with fellow Jamaicans. I thought about Family Life Ministries because they have such a stable quality of care and interest when it comes to families," he stated.
"Really, what we want to do is introduce the model here so that they can replicate it. First, we are planning to do this pilot project and then we are hoping to do it all over the country," Bruce added.