Sun | Jul 12, 2020

Therapeutic centre for children coming soon

Published:Friday | February 21, 2020 | 12:26 AM
Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) Chief Executive Officer Rosalee Gage-Grey (left) converses with (from second left): P. Audrey Budhi, director of programmes, CPFSA; Sassah-Gaye McPherson, children’s officer, Psychology Unit, CPFSA; and Jean Duhaney, team leader, Children and Family Support Unit, CPFSA, at the Mobile Mental Health Lecture, held at the Medallion Hall Hotel in St Andrew on February 19.
Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) Chief Executive Officer Rosalee Gage-Grey (left) converses with (from second left): P. Audrey Budhi, director of programmes, CPFSA; Sassah-Gaye McPherson, children’s officer, Psychology Unit, CPFSA; and Jean Duhaney, team leader, Children and Family Support Unit, CPFSA, at the Mobile Mental Health Lecture, held at the Medallion Hall Hotel in St Andrew on February 19.

A therapeutic centre that will offer psychological support to children who have undergone severe emotional trauma and are in need of therapeutic intervention is to come on stream soon.

This was disclosed by Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) chief executive officer (CEO), Rosalee Gage-Grey, at the Mobile Mental Health Lecture, held at the Medallion Hall Hotel in St Andrew on Wednesday.

Lands located at the Maxfield Park Children’s Home in Kingston have been earmarked for the construction of the state-of-the-art therapeutic centre.

“We have, over time, seen an increase in the number of children who have suffered traumatic circumstances and who require medium to long-term therapeutic intervention,” Gage-Grey said.

“The session highlighted the need for ongoing therapeutic treatment of our children. We do not have specialised facilities within government for this, and so we believe that creating this centre would go a long way in providing some of those therapy that the children need,” she said.

“We are nearing the point of getting the plans approved by the parish council and we are hoping that within a short time, we can break ground,” she noted.

Gage-Grey said the lecture is aimed at building the capacity of children’s officers, psychologists and childcare practitioners in screening, assessing and treating children with behavioural issues.

“From our standpoint, children who enter state care are psychologically screened to give us a general picture of their psychological well-being. Our general effort is that every child who comes into state care must get some basic level of screening. We can’t treat them unless we know what’s happening with them,” she pointed out.

Gage-Grey further said that a clinical social work certification programme, which will boost the capacity of more than 30 field officers to respond effectively to the needs of children, is currently in the pipeline.

She added that the undertaking will be carried out in collaboration with JSIF and The Mico University College.

“Our behaviour modification programme and trauma-informed care programme will also aid in the same regard, equipping our officers to deal with traumatic experiences affecting our children,” she added.

The CEO reminded the members of the child protection sector that “we cannot be daunted in our mission to provide quality services to children and the wider society, because we have many Jamaican children with very big dreams to achieve. Their success is dependent on us”.