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Friday, June 9, 2023
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More funds coming for foster families


There are plans to increase the financial assistance given to families who provide homes for children within the care of the State as the Child Care Board (CCB) seeks to recruit new foster parents.
Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Kirk Humphrey announced that given the rising cost of living, it is time for a raise in the $100 a week given for the fostering of a child who is in the care of the state.
Humphrey told Wednesday’s press conference to launch Child Month 2023 at the ministry’s office at Warrens, St Michael, that the $100 has been paid by Government for the past 20 years.
He is now awaiting a proposal from the Child Care Board and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Jehu Wiltshire on a raise of the weekly stipend.
Noting that the paper should be presented to Cabinet by next month, the minister said once the necessary approval has been granted, families should be getting more money in their hands to help take care of the needs of the children they foster.
“We had hoped to put it in the Estimates but to do that, we would have had to have had Cabinet’s approval. So hopefully, we would have that paper before Cabinet next month and not too long thereafter.
“But there is a process, and I also believe that beyond the fees increase, there has to be a whole kind of analysis and introspection and assessment of the entire programme to be able to say that we bring the best programme for the children.
“I also would like to think that we reflect on the children and their experiences to strengthen the parts where we have been good and to get rid of the parts where we have been not so good,” Humphrey said.
Meanwhile, Director of the Child Care Board RoseAnn Richards disclosed that 17 children were presently in foster care in 14 families.
However, she explained that because of the number of children being taken into state care, fostering is always seen as the best approach to allow them to be in a family setting instead of sending them to children’s homes.
“We are hoping to recruit more foster parents. And during Child Month, we are going to have a foster parent seminar. This is one of the recruiting drives that we use each year during Child Month.


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