The Human Development Department (HDD) in San Pedro is recruiting foster families to assist in caring for distressed children. Currently there are only four foster families on the island who care for a growing number of children that need to be relocated from their families. HHD’s aim is to create a large network of foster families so that more children can be cared for in a timelier manner. HHD is tasked with solving issues involving child protection, domestic violence and community rehabilitation.
According to HHD officer in San Pedro Adan Kay, child protection is one of the main focuses for the island as there are several children being mistreated. Removing children from their homes is difficult as there is no institution to care for them on the island. Foster families can alleviate this problem since they can be housed while permanent arrangements are made. “When there is a child living under a situation that is no healthy for their growth and development, HHD steps in. If the situation is drastic we remove the child from the home while we try to work with the parent in resolving the issue. The problem in both San Pedro and Caye Caulker is that there isn’t a government facility to house these children and we don’t have sufficient foster families to assist us. What we want to achieve is to have a list of foster families that are available when emergencies present themselves,” said Kay.
Residents are encouraged to become foster families and assist in the protection of our minors. To become a foster family visit the Human Development Office located in Four Sisters Plaza on Pescador Drive to pick up an application form. For more details on fostering a child contact Adan Kay at phone number 631-0718.
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