Foster parents recruited on Brac

| 15/02/2017
CNS Local Life

Ministry of Community Affairs and DCFS representatives with those attending information session on foster parenting

(CNS Local Life): The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) launched its drive to recruit foster parents in Cayman Brac at a meeting held Thursday, 9 February at the District Administration Building. The two-and-a-half hour information session attracted nine people from across the island. Themed, “Open Your Heart, Open Your Home”, the session was led by adoption and foster care co-ordinator Nicole Carter and social workers Juliette Garricks and Lois Webb. The trio outlined the different types of care, including respite, emergency and short- and long-term care.

Pastor of Hillside Church on the bluff, Audley Scott, a former Deputy District Commissioner for Cayman Brac, attended the session. “I was there principally to hear all about the foster care process and what qualities the department is looking for in potential foster parents,” he said. Scott left with several foster parent application forms and pamphlets to keep in his office for members of his congregation.

Another participant was Jacquline Chantiloupe, who said, “I’ve always been interested in becoming a foster parent and was very interested in what the presenters had to say about my eligibility.”

She said she welcomed the session as a chance to talk face-to-face with foster care experts, adding, “I am certain I could give a loving foster home to a child in need…and will work towards becoming a foster parent in the future.”

The session gave practical details of what the local foster care process involved and invited those ready to sign on to take the initial application steps. There was also a question-and-answer session with several participants seeking further advice.

Attendees were also told about:

  • The reasons some children need foster care
  • What it takes to be an effective foster parent
  • The challenges foster parents may face
  • Access, contact and visits between the foster child, siblings and their birth parents
  • The preference when making placements to keep siblings together whenever possible, and
  • What help, financial and otherwise foster parents receive.

The initiative is an important aspect of the protective service interventions, which are provided by the DCFS, explained director Felicia Robinson, who said, “Having identified the need for this service in Cayman Brac, we are seeking to develop, grow and expand on our ability to care for children using families from within your community to assist children who require care and protection away from their home.

“Rather than take a child or siblings from the Brac, we would much rather keep them here with supportive foster parents in the same community, where they can remain in the same school and be with their friends.”

For further information about fostering, or for an initial consultation, call the foster care and adoption team at 949-0290 or the Cayman Brac office at 948-2331 or email DCFS

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