The Child Care Board is a Statutory Organization established by the Child Care Board Act, Cap 381 in 1969. This Act was amended in 1981. In addition to this Act there are other Acts which facilitate the Board’s work with children such as the Adoption Act, Cap 212 and the Adoption Regulations 1986.
As a result of the above, the Board’s functions are to:
(1) provide and maintain Child Care Centres for children in need of care and protection (such as Day Care Centres and
(2) provide counselling and other services for:
children in need of care and protection
the parents and guardians of those children
(3) place children in Foster Care and supervise those placements
(4) register and regulate Private Day Care Services
(5) assess applicants for adoption, place children for adoption with approved adoptive parents and to monitor those children
who are placed for adoption.
To protect and care for every child through advocacy, counselling and empowering the family, and where necessary provide alternative families and support, in an environment of trust with loyalty and competency.
To have a comprehensive Social Service that responds to the Care and Protection needs of the child and family
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE CHILD CARE BOARD’S PROGRAMMES
A. RESIDENTIAL CARE
To place children who are in need of care and protection in a residential facility, in which there exists affection and personal interest, stability, respect for his/her personality and regard for his/her self esteem.
Children are taken into care or placed into residential facilities because of the following reasons:-
1. They have no parents or guardians
3. Illness and incapacity (whether short or long-term) of parent or guardian
5. Child Abuse and Neglect
6 For the purpose of Adoption.
B. VOLUNTARY AND MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME
This Programme provides a very important link between the children in residential care and the community. Individuals and organizations participate in this meaningful programme by visiting the children in the various residences, befriending them and being a mentor to them.
This programme provides financial support to children who are clients of the Board and reside in the community or to children who are residents within the various Children’s Homes. This assistance can be on a short term or long term basis. An organisation or an individual may sponsor a single child or siblings within a family. Participating organizations and individuals decide on the monetary contributions they wish to make.
D. AFTER CARE
After Care involves the supervision of children who have been discharged from Residential Care to family members or to other caring persons within the community. This supervision is for a period not exceeding one (1) year. The minimum supervisory period is for six (6) months. In addition, the Board works with young people (over the age of 18 years) who are old enough to leave Residential Care but have no relatives to provide the necessary support. These working young people have a more independent way of life and may need assistance in resettling into the community.
E. DAY CARE
The term Day Care denotes more than a child minding oriented service. It means providing a safe and stimulating environment which fosters the growth and development of children between the ages of three (3) months and five (5) years. Day Care provides children with a "head start" to formal school programmes.
The daily programmes and routines within these Day Nurseries are of a consistently high standard.
The Board operates fifteen (15) Day Care Centres across the island.
F. PRIVATE DAY CARE
The Board is responsible for the registration of Private Child Care Centres and the monitoring of these approved centres. It also advises and assists Private Day Care Operators on matters relating to child care. The Board provides assistance to Private Day Care Centres in the area of staff training.
G. COUNSELLING SERVICES
The Board provides counselling services to children and their parents or guardians who are in need of such services. These services are provided by trained Officers of the Board including the Board’s Psychologist. The Board also facilitates referrals to other Social Service Agencies in order that children and their families can obtain the most appropriate and holistic assistance that is required. These services are acquired through the Board’s Intake System.
H. FOSTER CARE (Click here for more on Foster Care)
Foster Care is an alternative to Residential Care. It is a form of family based care for children who cannot stay in their homes, because they have been harmed or they are at risk if they remain in the care of their families or caregivers. Foster Care is a partnership between the Child Care Board and an approved individual or couple. These individuals are approved after a thorough investigation by an Officer of the Child Care Board. The Board provides ongoing support to the child/children placed with the approved foster parent(s). Support is also given to the foster parent(s).
There are two (2) types of foster Care namely: Short -Term and Long-Term. Short–Term Foster Care involves foster parents providing on-going, day-to-day care to children and young people for a period not exceeded six (6) months, while the Board works towards reuniting the child/children with their families. Short-Term Foster Care may involve Emergency Care where foster parents provide short-term care at short notice, within twenty-four (24) hours, for children who are affected by emergency situations.
Long-Term Foster Care involves foster parents providing children with safe and stable homes until they reach the age of eighteen (18) years because they cannot live with their families.
I. ADOPTION (Click here for more on Adoption)
Adoption is a legal process whereby persons assume the role of parents for a child who is not their biological child.
The Child Care Board facilitates the process through: the assessment and approval of the prospective adoptive parents; placement of children with the approved parents; statutory supervision of the child/children in the adoptive placements and provision of Court Reports.
J. CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
The Board embarked on a programme several years ago to integrate children with developmental delays into the Day Care and Residential Centres. All preschool children are screened in order to detect any developmental delays. Training sessions are held periodically to equip staff with the necessary skills to detect early delays and work with the children. Referrals are also made to other Agencies.