Tue | May 18, 2021

Children’s homes and places of safety to be audited

Published:Thursday | April 22, 2021 | 9:39 AM
Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Robert Morgan, speaking at a press conference on April 21, 2021 – Contributed photo.

The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) is to begin an audit of children’s homes and places of safety soon to identify the needs of these institutions.

This was disclosed by Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Robert Morgan, during the agency’s virtual quarterly press briefing on Wednesday.

“This audit will be the platform on which we will base the new vision for the grading of homes, [creating] an objective system where we can make a determination as to the type of intervention that is needed for a particular home,” Morgan explained.

He said the audit will be conducted within State-run and private facilities.

There are 52 childcare facilities in total, nine of which are managed by the Government.

“We are going through the process of having the auditors going into the homes to look at how they are managing their finances, how they are taking care of their children in terms of nutrition and education, the environment the children live in and the human resource requirements of these homes,” Morgan said.

In addition, the State Minister said the agency is working closely with childcare facilities to improve the regulatory framework of these facilities.

“One of the important initiatives we are seeking to enact in our system is regulation of childcare facilities, both childcare facilities within the government system and childcare facilities which are run by members of the private sector,” he said, underscoring the importance of licensing of these facilities to strengthen regulations within the sector.

“The CPFSA has advised me that we have moved from about 40 per cent of homes fulfilling the licensing requirements to, about two months later, 70 per cent of homes fulfilling these requirements,” he said.

Morgan said the agency is working with these facilities to have 100 per cent of the homes fulfilling this requirement, emphasising that unlicensed homes will not be allowed to operate, as these systems are essential for the protection of children.

“While we are not being punitive at this time, we are encouraging all members of the childcare ecosystem to recognise that we are very serious about accountability,” he stressed.

“I gave the CPFSA the mandate to ensure we have a robust licensing regime to [make sure] all of our childcare facilities are fulfilling the requirements to be safe spaces for our children,” Morgan added.

- JIS News

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