Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr Vindhya Persaud has disclosed that there are 118 girls, 104 boys and 128 parents currently in foster care in Guyana.
These figures reflect the period January 2021 to May 2021. Additionally, she disclosed that 79 children have been placed in non-biological families and 143 are in kinship care.
She made these revelations in her message on the occasion of Foster Care Month which is being observed under the theme “Foster Care as a Support for Families, not a Substitute for Parents.”
“While these figures are reasonably good so far as Georgetown and a few other places are concerned, what we are really interested in promoting this month is having the buy-in of persons from outlying regions, such as those far-flung and riverain communities,” Minister Persaud explained.
She explained that at the moment, in order to work with the families and make things right for the children, government has to bring them to Georgetown.
“We are pleased to say that we are working to change this. During this month, officers of the Childcare and Protection Agency are heavily promoting foster care across the Regions, explaining how our programme work and how individuals could be part of this rewarding and positive experience of being a foster parent.”
Minister Persaud expressed hope that by the end of this month, there would be increased awareness of the programme and families in the hinterland regions would sign on to be foster parents.
“We plan to do our best to continue raising the level of awareness of our Foster Care Programme and to recognize the important role and dedication of foster parents. We wish to honour you for your time and commitment in being there for our children.”
“Even as you continue to care for our young ones, we urge you to be willing to work towards helping the children to be reunited with their biological families. We want to remind you that while foster care offers continued family-based care, support, guidance and love to a child who has to be separated from his/her biological family, it is only a temporary arrangement until the child can safely be returned home.”