Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Over 1,900 children diverted from state care

Published:Thursday | October 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Child and Family Support Unit (CFSU) of the Child Development Agency (CDA) has implemented strategies to successfully divert 1,901 children from becoming wards of the State.

Team leader at the CDA and overseer in the Child Support Unit Jean Duhaney indicated that since the start of the year, there have been 1,924 cases where interventions took place.

Of that number, she noted that 23 children ended up in State care.

"One of the major reasons why some children end up in state-care facilities is the lack of information, especially as it relates to alternative disciplinary measures," said Duhaney.

She noted that the main thrust of the diversion programme, which began in 2009, is to keep these children who are at risk of being abused from ending up in State-care facilities.

The preferred alternative, she said, is to keep them within their family setting while providing the necessary training support to caregivers.

underlying factors

Duhaney also pointed out that there is need for parents and caregivers to unearth the underlying factors influencing deviant behaviour in children in an effort to properly address the issues.

She indicated that there have been cases where frustrated parents have come into the CFSU to complain about children displaying maladaptive behaviours, and insisted on leaving the children in their offices because they are uncertain of what to do.

Great improvement

She informed that the unit has been able to empower such parents through exposure to alternative behavior-modification strategies, and the situations have greatly improved.

Individuals who are in need of intervention or support from the CFSU may visit the office at 40 Duke Street, Kingston, or call 948-1145.

Duhaney also made an appeal for persons wanting to lend their support to the programme through volunteerism, or in any other way, to make contact with the CFSU.