Hedge Funds Care Cayman Assists the NCVO's Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home
Cayman Islands - 5/19/2011
George Town, Grand Cayman - In May 2010 the Cayman Chapter of Hedge Funds Care (HFC) announced that the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home was to be awarded a grant to fund their ongoing commitment to foster children who have been victims of neglect and abuse, and specifically to enhance the home's programme aimed at reunifying children with a family member or suitable guardian. The NCVO was awarded US$60,000 and was one of six grantees to receive funding to assist with their ongoing efforts to eradicate and treat child abuse in the Cayman Islands. This was a renewal grant for the home, having received more than US$192,000 over the previous four years. On March 31st, HFC representatives visited the home to learn about the progress that has been made since the grant was awarded.
The NCVO is an independent non-profit, charitable organisation that participates in projects to meet the ever-increasing social needs of the community with a focus on Children's Services. The foster home is currently at capacity, housing nine children full time, both boys and girls, ranging in age from five to sixteen years; who have been placed in care by the Department of Children and Family Services and the Courts for care and protection. Emergency short-term placements of children are also accommodated as needed. It is the only residential facility on the Island for younger children and placements are short or long term, according to needs, expressed Janice Wilson, the NCVO's CEO, who met with HFC representatives to discuss the progress of the reunification programme over the last year. The NCVO's aim is to create a "family type" home and to provide a stable and secure environment for the children in their care.
The HFC grant has in part made it possible to recruit a qualified and dedicated Care Manager, Mr. John Alban, who has worked with the NCVO since June 2007. Mr. Alban holds a joint Bachelor's degree in Education and Marine Biology (Hons) and boasts more than 30 years experience of working with children, both in residential care and educational settings. Of this, Ms. Wilson shared, "In addition to supervising the staff and implementing policies and procedures, John has also focused on family reunification and multi-agency cooperation. This in turn has enabled the NCVO to provide a more comprehensive service to the children in our care, and has promoted a reduction in the length of time that residents stay in a group home setting before reuniting with a suitable family member or guardian."
HFC Chair Lauren Nelson commented, "We have supported this excellent facility for several years and, as children generally do best when they live in safe, loving family environments - it has been our mission to help the home to enhance its services directed at reunifying children with their parents or next of kin. We cannot stress enough the importance of the work done by Mr. Alban who works alongside families, to help their children overcome problems as well as assisting them with making changes, both personally and to the home environment. Mr. Alban helps to bring family members back together in safer and more stable homes, and we recognize his contributions to be invaluable."
Mr. Alban said, "Working with the HFC group has given us access to professionals whose expertise have benefitted our programme immensely. It has also allowed us to meet with various members of the community and representatives from local companies who may not have known about the NCVO's foster home prior to our involvement with HFC."
The greater exposure will in turn hopefully lead to more support from the private sector to ensure that the NCVO can continue to offer the high quality of service that it provides to those less fortunate. The NCVO's Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home relies heavily on donations from the community, and in addition to the operational costs of the home, they also offer various programmes and activities for the children which all require additional funding. An example offered by Ms. Wilson was extra tuition costs, being that some of the children, due to family circumstances, are not performing academically at the level of their peer group. Accordingly, tutors are hired for two to three hours several nights a week; in addition to the estimated $300,000 it costs to operate the home annually.
"HFC is in a privileged position to be able to provide financial assistance to local organisations whose focus is on improving the lives of children here in Cayman. We hope that the business community at large will continue to show their support, for it is important that we come together as a community to ensure the well being and safety of Cayman's children," added Ms. Nelson.
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