SJIS launches ‘Be The Village, Foster A Child’ recruitment campaign
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SJIS launches ‘Be The Village, Foster A Child’ recruitment campaign

Foster Parent of the Year 2022 Veronica Benjamin receiving from Minister of Youth Affairs Hon. Rodolphe Samuel her certificate of recognition. Foster Parent of the Year 2022 Veronica Benjamin receiving from Minister of Youth Affairs Hon. Rodolphe Samuel her certificate of recognition.

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The need for foster parents and for awareness about the needs of foster children and foster parents will be highlighted in a month-long campaign titled “Be The Village, Foster A Child”. This initiative of Stichting Justitiële Inrichtingen St. Maarten (SJIS) will run throughout May, Foster Care Awareness Month.

People interested in learning more about foster parenting or who are willing to open their home and hearts to a child or children in need of a stable and caring environment can do so at the month-long recruitment drive. The recruitment drive will he held outside of supermarkets every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday starting at Carrefour.

The connecting thread through all planned activities will be raising awareness about foster parents and recruitment of people who are willing to train to become much-needed foster parents and mentors for the country’s most vulnerable – its children.

Activities started off with the opening and launch of the campaign together with a recognition ceremony of foster parents on May 3 in the Government Administration Building.  The ceremony concentrated on the impact foster parenting has on the lives of children, the importance of foster parents, and the role family members, volunteers, mentors, child welfare professionals, policymakers and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. Foster parents, mentors and a former foster child shared their experiences, and the dedication of foster parents were recognized in the ceremony, with the foster parent of the year being bestowed on Mrs. Veronica Benjamin of New Start Foundation.

Activities for children in connection with the theme of the month will be held throughout the month. These include a Cultural Carousel on May 7, during which the children will learn to make a variety of local dishes, dance, and storytelling, a Family Fun Day planned for Emilio Wilson Cultural and Historical Park on May 26, and a walk-a-thon on May 28 throughout Philipsburg.

A movie night and a fun day at Kid zone.

SJIS noted that May is a time to recognize that everyone in the community can each play a part in raising awareness about the need for foster parents and help enhance the lives of children and youth in foster care.   

It is important to increase the number of foster families and as such address the growing need for safe and nurturing homes for our children in which to live and develop, said SIJS.

SIJS is an independent foundation that forms part of the judicial chain. It is subsidized by the Ministry of Justice. The foundation is the umbrella for the Probation Office (responsible for assessing and management of persons who are in conflict with the law) and Family Guardianship Department (responsible for overseeing minors under court-appointed supervision). The Unit Foster Family Central is an important part of the family guardianship department. It is responsible for the recruitment, selection, and matching of foster parents, mentors and minors.

Foster Launch Photo Recognized Foster Parents

Foster Launch Photo Recognized Foster Parents.

 

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