Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Lisa Rahming, Thursday (April 20) challenged Child Caregivers attending a one-day Department of Social Services Workshop to treat the residents of those childcare facilities “as if they were your own.”
She declared: “We want you to love, care for, and treat the residents in the childcare facilities as you would your own children. If you come to work with that mindset, you will not only view your job differently, but the children as well. Jim Rohn said, ‘One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.’”
Forty caregivers of the four residential childcare facilities (Children’s Homes) in New Providence that are either owned by the Government of The Bahamas, or to which the government provides annual subventions, participated in the workshop held in the Hearing Room, Dept. of Physical Planning, University Drive and Bethel Avenue. Hosted by the Child Care Facilities Unit, Department of Social Services, the training was designed to equip the Child Caregivers with new trends and national and international best practices, while also fulfilling a number of the mandates contained in the Residential Care (Establishments) Act.
Sessions included presentations/discussions on: Adverse Childhood Experiences — Who is the Traumatized Child, led by Dr. Valerie Knowles; the Caregiver as Surrogate Parents – led by Mrs. Sharon Farquharson; and Self- Care is not Selfish – led by Ms. Lisa Ingraham. State-Minister Rahming said a review of Standard 28 on Staff Training in the Professional Standards Manual for Child Care Institutions in The Bahamas, indicates that staff should be provided with training opportunities of a minimum of five days or 40 hours per year.
She said while it was the State’s duty to provide ongoing training for all Caregivers employed in its residential care facilities, Caregivers ought to pursue additional, individual training opportunities for self-improvement.
“If you were to look closely at the programme, you would notice that you will not only be given information on how to care for the children, but also how to care for yourselves, bearing in mind that if you are empty inside, then you have absolutely nothing to give anyone else. Self-care is vitally important,” State-Minister Rahming said.
“Having said that, I wish to indicate that ongoing training will be provided in the future. I wish to encourage all Caregivers to take advantage of opportunities for self- improvement. Not everything costs money. I am certain that everyone in this room has access to a cellular telephone and to the internet. Therefore, I recommend searching various sites that provide tips on how to become a better parent. Why a better parent? Because a good parent brings those same valuable parenting skills to the job, and the children benefit as a result.
“Thank you for the dedication and commitment you have demonstrated to the children. You are their substitute parents. They look to you for guidance, love, and protection. Make a difference; change their world. I leave with you the words of Anthropologist, Margaret Mead, who said:
“’Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.’”