JIS: Fifty-eight female wards of the Granville Child Care Facility in Trelawny and their families participated in a family reintegration intervention session at the home on Wednesday (May 16), in observance of International Day for Families.
The event, dubbed ‘Family Reintegration Day’, was hosted by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), under the theme ‘Stronger Families, Stronger Society’.
Family reintegration is the process of a separated child making what is anticipated to be a permanent transition back to his or her family and community, in order to receive protection and care.
In an interview with JIS News, Acting Manager at the Granville Child Care Facility, Marcia McGibbon, said the event was aimed at building a positive relationship between the families and the female wards as well as enhancing parent/child bonding.
“Given that it is Child Month, we have a family day, and the whole objective is to have both family members and the girls in one space where some form of intervention can take place, so that at the end of it, we can look towards family reintegration,” she noted.
She further explained that the day marked part of the CPFSA’S reintegration process for the female wards, which seeks to help accelerate the progression of girls being reunited with their families.
“The programme was structured so that we have a number of partners. It’s not always CPFSA; we also point them to different stakeholders. So, we have booths that are set up with these persons. We have presenters who come in to encourage the parents, and do a little counselling with the parents, as well, and the child,” Mrs. McGibbon said.
“For some, this is the beginning of the process, and for some it is ongoing. So, hopefully, in two weeks or even tomorrow, the girls may be able to go home,” she added.
In the meantime, Counselling Psychologist at the CPFSA, Marvette Sterling, encouraged the female wards, as well as their families, to seek to develop good mental and emotional health, which are vital to building stronger family bonds and, by extension, a stronger society.
“Do you have a generally positive outlook on life? Do you say to yourself when you are faced with challenges, ‘yes, today is bad, but I can get through this’? The key to maintaining good mental health is accepting yourself – the good, the bad and the in-between; accepting other persons who you have to interact with, and dealing with life as it comes,” Mrs. Sterling said.
“So, let us look at children who are here at this facility and their parents. A child who is sent here would demonstrate positive self-esteem by saying, this is not what I wanted, but I can make the best of a bad situation,” she added.
The day also featured a presentation from a representative of HEART Trust/NTA, geared at empowering families to get skilled so that they can become employable, and an address from the National Council on Drug Abuse on the impact of drugs on the family.
The wards and their families also engaged in various breakout groups to help chart the way of getting help, and being ready for reintegration.
CAPTION: Counselling Psychologist at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Marvette Sterling (right), in discussion with parent, Mavis Patterson, during the CPFSA’s ‘Family Reintegration Day’, at the Granville Child Care Facility, at Garrick Foyle, Trelawny, on Wednesday (May 15).