No need to shut down home for children

THE EDITOR: The burning issue facing our country at this moment is the Judith Jones Committee Report on abuse at childcare facilities. One of the many recommendations was the closure of specified facilities deemed to be not child friendly.

One such home identified was the Margaret Kistow Children's Home.

Many of the problems at the home for the period 2017-2021 upon review are fixable. My question is, instead of shutting down its operations why can't the ministry responsible, through a memorandum of understanding, take over the management of these facilities and hire contract staff to run them appropriately?

As the old adage goes, “Why throw the baby out with the bathwater?”

In shutting down the facility the ministry will be putting additional strain on the other homes that are already over-subscribed and under-staffed. This knee-jerk reaction to issues such as cleaning, bed arrangement and overall management issues can be rectified with people who actually care about these children and know what to do, love what they do and aspire to make a difference. I implore the ministry to:

1. Review the various recommendations ascribed to each individual facility.

2. Draft an MOU between the ministry and the current owners where this is possible.

3. Overhaul the management structure, polices and procedures governing these homes by hiring contract staff, utilising the existing facilities and making changes where necessary.

We are in an economic downturn globally and so the Government isn't putting up any new facilities in any hurry to care for these children, who have already lost their families. It would be wise to use what we have and make it better. This is the basic alchemy of turning lead into gold.


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"No need to shut down home for children"

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