The Government has reopened the $40-million renovated Muirton Child Care Facility in Portland, to serve boys with learning challenges.
Located in the community of Manchioneal, the home is equipped to care for boys with intellectual disabilities, and to develop their social and entrepreneurial capabilities in agriculture, computer science and the arts.
Speaking at the official ceremony for the reopening of the facility on February 21, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green said the home provides “tremendous hope”, and represents the reorganising of “our structures”, appropriately staffed to cater to specific needs.
“This facility serves as one of the first that we are embarking on in this new phase to treat specifically with our boys with mild disabilities,” the State Minister said, stressing that it is to ensure that when the “boys come here they will be able to have their holistic development met”.
The State Minister explained that specific emphasis is now placed on the type of environment in which children with learning challenges are enrolled, as State care facilities must facilitate them to reach their potential.
“We want to ensure that when they come into our care, we have them recognise that they can fulfil their greatest potential,” Mr. Green said, adding that community members must play their part in the security of children, while corporate Jamaica needs to develop long-term partnerships with the homes.
The project was completed over a six-year period and involved the installation of a new kitchen, roof replacement, drainage installation, electrical rewiring, painting of the interior and exterior walls, replacement of doors and windows, repairs to dormitories and staff quarters, perimeter fencing and other works.
For her part, Chief Executive Officer of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage-Grey, said persons in the area should be “instrumental” in the lives of the children, as “our children with special needs require the same love, care and dedication as any other child”.