Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Robert Morgan, says children’s homes that need to be licensed, now have three months to complete the process.
Morgan said the facilities must be updated with all the necessary requirements for them to be operational.
He pointed out that several homes are having challenges in getting their licences, and the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), has given them the time to meet the agency’s rules.
“What the CPFSA has decided to do is to work with them over the next three months to ensure that every single children’s facility in Jamaica fulfils the requirements to be licensed,”
He outlined that the requirements have to do with:
- fire safety
- police reports on persons who are working in the homes
- and inspection reports by the health authorities
- ensuring that the homes are in good condition, capable of housing our young citizens.
He added that after the three months, the agency hopes that it will not have to “go to the next step” of being forced to deal with non-compliant facilities.
“This is a commitment that I am making. Whatever I can do to prevent another child dying in a home, it is something that I am very committed to,”
He also reported that the Child Care and Protection Act will be amended, to prevent situations where the courts can designate children as uncontrollable, and thereafter they are placed in juvenile centres.
“We have homes that can provide psychosocial remedial help to assist these young people in resocialisation, and I am going to push, as hard as possible, that no child can be designated as uncontrollable and get a detention order to be locked in a juvenile facility,”
the State Minister emphasised.