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Gov't to undertake strategic review of children's homes management

Published:Sunday | April 10, 2016 | 4:34 PM
Floyd Green

The government is to carry out a strategic review on the management of children's homes across the country.

State minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, said he was aware of recommendations contained in several reports and audits that have already been done, but this review would be undertaken to determine the inefficiencies and deficiencies in the management of each home in order to determine a "direction" for the facilities. 

Responding to whether a strategic review was necessary at this time given the country's constraints, Green insisted that the review had to be done  to identify the needs of the homes. He indicated that the review would help with identifying some of the resources needed to manage children with special needs in childcare facilities, among other things.  

However, former Youth Minister Lisa Hanna has said the review is "absolutely unnecessary".

In an emailed response to questions from The Gleaner, she said she had discussed the issue with Green and indicated that all the recommendations in the Keating Report, except one, had already been implemented.

She says he should focus on implementing the recommendations of the various reports, including the latest one submitted to the ministry in May last year on the Sunshine Children’s Home in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

Green acknowledged that he met with the former minister who had told him that the Keating report had been implemented, but he said he would have to do his own checks and to see what other recommendations from other reports and audits have, in fact, been implemented.

The Keating Report, which had made some 40 recommendations to improve the operation of children's homes, was completed in 2003 by a PJ Patterson-commissioned assessment team. The four-member team was led by retired civil servant, Sadie Keating.