– 19 reunited with birth families

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud

The Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) has facilitated the placement of 66 children in foster families this year, in line with its aim to reduce the number of children in institutional care.
This brings the total to 220 children – 109 girls and 111 boys with 131 foster parents.
In addition, 19 children were reunited with their birth families and three were adopted by their foster parents, the CC&PA noted in its annual review.
Eight children were successfully placed with foster parents in Regions One and Nine; nine managed to live independently, while 39 formally left the foster care system. Some 35 screened cases were also reviewed and 43 foster care applicants approved.
The Minister for Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud, who recently laid the Adoption Board, said the Board had begun to clear the backlog of adoption cases.
“They do it in batches of six to eight cases each time they meet so it’s an ongoing process and I think they’ve had two to three meetings since they were installed,” he told the Department of Public Information.
CC & PA’s mentoring program also received six new applications. This program recruits mature adults to mentor children over the age of 16, who are aging out of State care.
However, in 2021, the CC&PA intends to continue its efforts to reduce children’s institutionalization. The CC&PA aims to place at least 40 children in non-biological and biological care during the first quarter.
Foster families will also be recruited, and the foster care and mentorship programs will be promoted through awareness sessions and partnerships with faith organizations to increase the core list in each region.
In addition, the CC&PA intends to network with non-governmental organizations to assist with the necessary psychosocial support for children in the foster care system, particularly those in the outer areas of Regions One, Seven, Eight, and Nine.
More importantly, the agency will continue to secure permanent placements for children in foster care through reintegration with birth family and adoption or legal guardianship.
With regard to international adoption, Dr Persaud said that these were suspended as Guyana had to fulfill the obligations of the Hague Adoption Convention to which it is a signatory. That Convention seeks to protect children from exploitation, trafficking and abuse.
“We try to be in line with the Hague Convention. The legislation has been amended; the Attorney General’s office has been working very closely with us. So, that will go to Parliament and so, until that legislation is passed by Parliament, international adoption will be suspended. ”
The Ministry, through the CC&PA, is obliged to actively monitor the nation’s adoption, custody, guardianship and child support policies.

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