Ministry of Health and Social Development
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Telephone: 1(284)468-2272 or 2174
A series of recruitment campaigns have commenced to seek volunteers for the Foster Care and Big Brothers/Big Sisters Mentorship Programmes.
Head of Family, Children and Protective Services at the Social Development Department, Mrs. Stacie Stoutt-James said holding these campaigns will assist in raising the number of volunteers and also provide the public with awareness on matters related to foster care and mentorship.
Mrs. Stoutt-James said the department acknowledges mentoring relationships through Big Brothers/Big Sisters improves on educational measures; it improves a number of social and behavioral outcomes; and shows promise in helping young people develop healthy and safe behaviors. She said the goal of recruitment is to build visibility and sign up enthusiastic and appropriate adults as potential candidates for mentorship.
Mrs. Stoutt-James stated that some children come into Social Development’s care due to allegations of abuse, neglect and abandonment, and from parents who may lack the necessary parenting skills to nurture and discipline their children effectively. She added that the goal is to inform persons about the different types of foster care and recruit potential carers for the programme.
The first drive was held on February 15 and several banks in Road Town including the National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Scotia Bank BVI and Banco Popular BVI were targeted because of the high volume of traffic on a pay period.
Mrs. Stoutt-James said 15 persons have signed up and expressed an interest in the Foster Care programme while 80 persons have expressed interest in Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Mrs. Stoutt-James added, “For persons who signed up for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, an interest meeting will be held on March 9 at the Senior Citizens Building in John’s Hole to discuss details of the application and interview processes. Persons who expressed an interest in becoming foster carers will be invited on March 16 to speak with program managers about the requirements and what to expect in becoming a foster carer.”
The second recruitment drive is being planned for March 19, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at local supermarkets including Road Town Wholesale in Pasea/Rite Way Supermarket and One Mart Supermarket.
Persons who are desirous on becoming a foster parent or mentor in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, are asked to contact Mrs. Stacie Stoutt-James or Ms. Laurel Freeman at the Social Development Department at 468-9371 or 468-3636.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates human development and improves the quality of life in the Virgin Islands.