Some $50 million has been spent by the Child Development Agency (CDA) to refurbish the Summerfield Child Facility in Clarendon, which houses 31 teenage girls.
Speaking at the official reopening on April 18, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, said the work had been put in to make sure that the staff and the facility have a positive impact on the girls.
“This is a difficult job that requires a lot of sacrifice. The members of the CDA team who work in this area are in it because they love it and they have a genuine passion. What we are doing here is creating a home,” Mr. Green said.
“The children do not choose to interact with us, but because of their very difficult circumstances they are forced to, so we must ensure that their interaction is pleasurable and adds positivity to their lives and helps to take away some of the difficulties,” the State Minister added.
Mr. Green said the Government is looking at all the island’s childcare facilities to make them more comfortable for the wards of the State.
He called on members of neighbouring communities to look out for the homes, reach out and protect them.
“If you have a CDA facility in your area, see how you can help to make it better. The reality is that the Government will always need help to find resources to raise the level of these facilities. Adopt a home for Labour Day on behalf of the children and go out and make them better,” Mr. Green encouraged.
Meanwhile, the State Minister said the Government is working to make adoption easier in Jamaica.
“One of the first things we did was to look at the steps people had to take to adopt a child and where it was possible to remove bureaucracy without sacrificing the need to ensure the homes are safe for the children,” he noted.
“Last year, we placed more than 160 children in homes locally and abroad. Once there is a home and we have verified that the people will give them full support, we will place the children in them,” Mr. Green said.
The State Minister emphasised that the society should play a greater role in protecting girls and give them the opportunity to do well by creating the right environment for them to blossom and grow.
Article by: Barbara Ellinton
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm