Ministry seeking mentors for Foster Care children
The Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) of the Ministry of Social Protection is seeking mature adults to mentor children above the age of 16 who are now “aging-out” of state care. As such, it has launched its Mentorship Programme, as part of its 2017 National Foster Care Month activities.
During a workshop hosted on Saturday, November 5 at the Mirage Banquet Hall, Albert Street, Alberttown, the Director of the CCPA, Ann Greene explained that there are currently 87 children who will soon meet the age of maturity and will be required to venture out on their own. While she pointed out that support systems are in place for such persons, she said there is need to establish a path since some of them end up in bad company, as she referred to a case of a young man who was shot and killed.
“It is just to get the linkages for the youths who are aging-out of the system. They should not be leaving without this attachment to be responsible adults,” she said.
Greene explained that those who will be hired as mentors will be screened to ensure that they are capable of being a good example.
“We have to screen you, we have to go through what we go through for the foster care, we got to be sure that you are responsible adults, we must ensure that you’re responsible and we also got to work with the youths and…empower them so that they can know when something is not right,” the Director pointed out.
Persons are being urged to visit the CCPA office if they are interested in the programs.
The agency currently provides a ‘halfway home’ where persons beyond 18 years are afforded the opportunity to cook and prepare for themselves. There are currently nine persons in the halfway home with the oldest being 21 years old.
According to the CCPA, there are currently 600 children either institutionalized or in foster care, out of that number, 167 are in state care.
Foster Care Month is being observed under the theme “Invest in the life of a Child, become a mentor or foster parent today.”