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CPFSA’s Transitional Living Week July 18-22

The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) will observe its annual Transitional Living Week from July 18-22 under the theme: ‘Preparing now for a Better Tomorrow’.

Director of Children and Family Programmes at the CPFSA, Warren Thompson, told JIS News that the objective of the week is to give youngsters in State care the opportunity to be exposed to the various services that are available to them, including the Transitional Living Programme, which facilitates their shift to independent living.

The week will begin with a resume workshop sponsored by Massy Group on Monday (July18), which will include sessions on resume writing, personal branding, dressing for work and mock interviews.

Mr. Thompson said that the activity is targeted at young people in the Transitional Living Programme.

This means that they are enrolled in an educational programme, are getting some support from the CPFSA in terms of subsistence allowance and are being assisted with housing where necessary.

“They are out of the care system, but we are helping them to transition into independent living,” Mr. Thompson noted.

On Tuesday (July 19) the first of two transitional living symposia will be held at the St. Johns Methodist Church Hall in Montego Bay.

This will take the form of an expo with several entities on hand such the HEART/ NSTA Trust, the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), National Housing Trust (NHT), educational institutions, business operators and financial institutions. This event targets youngsters in State care, between ages 16 and 18, who are preparing to exit childcare facilities.

Children’s officers assigned to the Transitional Living Programme will participate in an internal workshop on Wednesday, July 20.

“This is to ensure that everybody is clear on the components of the programme and the procedures,” Mr. Thompson pointed out.

The second symposium, covering the southern and south-east regions, will be held at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium, Jamaica College on Thursday (July 21). Representatives from several entities will be on hand to engage the youngsters.

The week will culminate with a virtual information session on Friday (July 22), which will provide an opportunity for those in care to ask questions about the Transitional Living Programme.

Also on the day, youngsters who have successfully transitioned over the years, will be hosted at a luncheon.

“They would have completed a programme of education, are employed or about to start working, no longer receiving a stipend from the CPFSA, no longer receiving housing support, but are successfully living independently without support from the State,” Mr. Thompson noted.

The Transitional Living Programme aims to ensure the independent living of Jamaican youth leaving residential State care at 18 years, and reduce risk factors such as unemployment, involvement in crime, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy.