CPFSA seeking job placement for 50 wards under transition programme
The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) is seeking to have 50 wards of the state engaged in meaningful work by March 2020 under its Transition to Work Programme for children in state care.
This was noted by Chief Executive Officer of the CPFSA, Rosalee Gage-Grey, at the agency’s eighth annual Educational Achievement Awards Ceremony held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew recently.
“We are encouraging as many of our corporate partners and sponsors to help us in exceeding this target, so that together we can help our children prepare for their exit out of the child-protection system,” Gage-Grey said.
A component of the agency’s Transitional Living Programme for Children in State Care is to equip children in State care with requisite employability and socialisation skills.
It is designed to equip youth in state care with life and vocational skills, training and mentorship in a safe environment.
Since implementation in 2015, some 780 youngsters have enrolled in vocation skills training, of which 451 have completed the course, while in the life skills category, 192 caregivers and 260 children have completed training.
“Under the programme, children are provided with skills training, life skills coaching and mentorship for children transitioning out of State care,” Mrs Gage-Grey explained.
“When we reflect on the lives of the children who have come into State care and the outcomes we are seeing, it proves even more that it is essential to give young people opportunities to connect with the world, and help them to seek out the oceans of opportunities that are available,” she added.
Gage-Grey reiterated the agency’s commitment to providing an atmosphere within which transformation can occur in preparation for independent living.
The transition programme aims to improve the transition to independent living for Jamaican youth leaving residential state care at 18 years, and reduce risk factors such as unemployment, involvement in crime, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy, often associated with low education or job skills, inadequate life skills, and poor self-esteem.
The project is being implemented by the University of the West Indies Open Campus Caribbean Child Development Centre, in partnership with the CPFSA, with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development.