Background checks for child care workers

Persons seeking jobs at state-run and private children’s homes will now face intense screening before they are hired.
This is one of several measures implemented under the new licensing regime for children’s homes.
In the wake of recent reports that wards of the state being abused,
Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency (CDA) Allison Anderson said a detailed background check will be done on all potential employees.
“With the police clearance certificate, we should be able to find out who has criminal records and also in terms of the qualification of the staff and so on, that will also come on as part of the licensing regime and we’re just going to have to keep on with the monitoring,” she said.
Regular checks were carried out
Ms Anderson is also defending the CDA’s monitoring of children’s homes.
The Agency has been under fire from human rights group Jamaicans for Justice which has accused the agency of being lax in supervising state-run homes.
The criticism followed an alleged case of buggery at a residential child care facility.
A Pastor in St. Mary, who is also a supervisor at a boys’ home, was charged with 30 counts of buggery when he appeared in court last week.
Miss Anderson said while there are shortcomings in the system, the CDA has been carrying out regular checks at facilities.
“In every way, unannounced, announced, in executive management teams including myself going out making visits to the homes and indicating to them what is wrong and what is right.
Our compliance rate was low … up to 85% in terms of our monitoring … we got it up to 99%. We did 175 visits each month out of 176 … we’ve had the Office of the Children’s Advocate doing their visits and making those reports,” said Ms Anderson.
She added that the agency will be lobbying for additional staff to effectively carry out its operations.
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Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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