See full statement from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security:
One of the top priorities for newly constituted Adoption Board is to assist the Childcare Protection Agency (CPA) in the process of ensuring children are in stable and safe environments, inter alia, adoptive care.
The Board members met with Dr Vindhya Persaud, Minister of Human Services and Social Security during a virtual meeting last Thursday to discuss their expectations, which include raising the public’s awareness of the needs and rights of children.
“Every child should have a caring and loving family. Unfortunately, some of the socio-economic issues affecting family life have resulted in numerous cases of neglect and more worrying issues affecting our children. Conscious of the very urgent attention required to address these matters, the Board will work assiduously in helping to bring relief to the boys and girls enduring these sad circumstances,” Anya Rahaman-Persaud, the Board’s Chairperson pledged.
The Board members are: Subhadra Sukhai; Anuradha Persaud; Vanessa Benn; Sarah Ibrahim; Dwayne Adams; Sylvia Conway and Anne Greene, Director of CPA, an ex-Officio member/Secretary.
During meeting Ms. Greene disclosed that there were 500 children in institutional care, and it is the CPA’s vision to have the children placed in caring and nurturing homes.
“Persons who are desirous of adopting children should do so for the right reasons, you have to be a caregiver and not adopt a child for companionship,” the CPA Director stated.
Meanwhile, Minister Persaud declared that the Board should adhere to The Hague Adoption Convention when reviewing applications for international adoptions.
“The existing legislation will be amended to incorporate the child protection principles and rights from the Hague Convention,” the Minister stated. The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption is an international convention dealing with international adoption, child laundering, and child trafficking in an effort to protect those involved from the corruption, abuses, and exploitation which sometimes accompanies international adoption.
Additionally, the institutionalisation of children should ideally be a transition point for them to receive counseling and immediate safety, the Minister advised. She is therefore encouraging persons to adopt children who are older, giving them good, safe and stable homes where they have opportunities to explore their potential and grow in a healthy environment.
“The ideal situation would be for these children to be reunited with their families or with loving families who adopt them. Foster care is an alternative care mechanism to reduce institutionalising children and the Ministry has a foster care program which it will be improving and expanding,” divulged Hon Persaud.
From a human resources standpoint, Minister Persaud will be lobbying for more persons be trained in social work, counseling and psychology.
“We will over the next four years will be looking to add trained persons to the Ministry’s staff complement to adequately fulfill the needs of the children in our homes and across the country,” she added.