Centres licensed to help children

Highlands

THE St Mary’s and St Francis’ Out of Home care centres in Western and Southern highlands provinces are the first to receive care centre licences from the Office of Child and Family Services.
Mt Hagen dioceses Archbishop Douglas Young and Bishop Donald Lippert of Mendi received the licences for the care centres under the Lukautim Pikinini Act.
“We have children that need homes,” said acting chief executive of the National Office of Child and Family Services Simon Yanis.
Section 65 of the Lukautim Pikinini Act defines ‘Out of Home Care’ as when a child is removed from a family and lives with some other persons or organisations or a person for a short or longer term for their protection and safety.
Yanis said: “The reason for the out of home care is in the urgency and accommodations that protects children in need of protection.”
Children in special care come in many forms – children who have been traumatised by natural disasters and sorcery-related killings, children with disabilities and neglected because of parents divorcing.
According to the bishops, it is quite difficult to relocate children to their families and homes, most of which come from sorcery-related violence in the area.
“If we feel from the children’s families or relatives that they will love and keep them safe then we will let them go back,” Young said.
The bishops thanked Community Development Secretary Anna Solomon and Yanis for facilitating the issuing of licences.
Meanwhile, Solomon also made a commitment of K30,000 each for the two Out of Home care centres.
She said, Lippert and Young will be in Port Moresby for a weeklong conference and she will ensure they receive the funds this week.

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