3-month extension for unlicensed children’s homes

Home*Cover Story*News

3-month extension for unlicensed children’s homes

Government has provided unlicensed children’s homes with a three-month extension in order to put their houses in order.

The facilities were initially told to have their license in hand by March 31st or face closure as the Government looked to proclaim sections 3(1), 2 and 17 of the Children’s Community Residences, Foster Care and Nurseries Act.

These sections make it illegal for homes to care for children in unlicensed institutions.

Minister with responsibility for Gender and Child Affairs, Ayanna Webster-Roy said there’s now a new date which she said is in the best interest of the children.

“The new time frame for proclamation barring any unforeseen circumstances is July 1, 2023.”

The Minister said 13 homes could not make the March 31st deadline, however, they are very near to getting their licences, and she believes they will get it done by July.

The Minister said the Government realised it would be very difficult to find alternative accommodations for the 214 children in those facilities as the law, once proclaimed, will mandate that no child be left in an unlicensed home.

“It is the view of the Government that it may not be in the best interest of the children at this time to seek to separate them from their familiar environments, which will inevitably result in a level of disruption which will be detrimental to their well-being, in addition, there are some homes which are for special groups of children such as children with disabilities and identification of alternative accommodations for these children will pose a challenge.”