JIS: The Homestead Place of Safety, in Stony Hill, St. Andrew, has been renovated, making life more comfortable for the 44 young girls who reside there.
The facility, which was refurbished at a cost of $23. 5 million, was re-opened on June 21 by Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge.
In his address, the State Minister said the project was aimed at improving the living conditions of the young girls.
“Our children, our youth, they are at the heart of what we do. We care about the empowerment, protection and education of our children and it is important that we provide them with the requisite materials, resources and facilities to encourage their growth and development,” he said.
“This is what this facility stands for. The Homestead Place of Safety has been refurbished to ensure our young ladies get the requisite care, love and protection that they need to become wonderful young ladies of Jamaica, who will contribute to our growth, development and ultimate prosperity,” the State Minister added.
In addition to the refurbishing work, Mr. Terrelonge noted there has been a restructuring of roles and responsibilities at the facility with the appointment of a manager, an assistant manager, a social worker, two cooks, three attendants, an administrator, four maintenance officers, four social work aid supervisors and 12 health and social aid workers.
The State Minister also said that the ratio of staff to girls has been adjusted, in keeping with international standards.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer, Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage-Grey, said the refurbished facility is a more comfortable home, providing greater privacy, while fostering the development of the young residents.
“A place of safety is a crucial facility when the agency rescues children who are in need of care and protection. Homestead is the only such place of safety that caters to girls in the South East Region, which is Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas,” she noted.
For her part, Member of Parliament, West Rural St. Andrew, Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, said other work will be done at the neighbouring community centre, eight computers will be procured for a homework centre, and lights will be installed at the football field, as was done at the netball court. This, she said, is in an effort to nurture the sporting talents of the girls at the home.
“I am pleased to see the refurbishing of this home for our young girls. It is incumbent on us to make sure we provide a safe and secure environment for our children,” she said.
The facility is one of four places of safety owned and operated by the Government of Jamaica. It provides short term living arrangement for children in need of care and protection. The facility houses girls aged 12 to 18.
CAPTION ONE: Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge (second left); Chief Executive Officer, Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage- Grey (left) and Senior Director, Children’s Affairs Policy, in the Ministry, Hyacinth Blair (right), tour the renovated Homestead Place of Safety, in Stony Hill, St. Andrew, on June 1, when the facility was re-opened.