Government working to resolve issues in foster care system
November 8, 2013
Government working to resolve issues in foster care system

There are approximately 138 children living in the Government assisted foster care system.{{more}}

This fact was revealed by Frederick Stephenson, Minister of National Mobilization, Social Development, the Family, Persons with Disabilities and Youth, when he answered a question posed by Opposition senator Vynnette Frederick in Parliament on October 29.

Stephenson noted that there is a list of requirements that must be met in order for an individual to be eligible to become a foster caregiver.

“Foster guardians must have no history of spousal, child or drug abuse. The home environment must be conducive to the child’s development. Foster guardians must have no criminal record. Foster guardians must have genuine love and concern for children,” the minister stated.

Additionally, Stephenson noted that officers from the Social Welfare Division visit homes from time to time in order to ensure that the child or children are receiving the necessary care and protection that ought to be provided by their caregivers.

Although admitting that the Ministry encounters some problems, the minister gave the assurance that they work diligently to resolve them.

“There are some challenges that persons have not been receiving their [financial assistance]. That has been taken care of,” he said.

“We have children who are in foster care and the parents come back to the Ministry and say that they feel they can now take care of their own children. Foster guardians refuse to give them up… and we’re working to resolve those issues”.

Foster caregivers receive monthly financial assistance of $275 from the Government. The Government also provides children in foster care with school uniforms, school books, medical attention, clothing and other basic amenities.(BK)