Established in 2004, out of a merger of the Child Support Unit, the Child Services Division, and the Adoption Division, the Child Development Agency (CDA) is an Executive Agency under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

The Mission of the CDA is to be an extraordinary organization providing quality services for children, families and team members while transforming lives in a safe, secure and nurturing environment.

The CDA is governed by the Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA) and provides care to children deemed in need of care and protection by the Courts, and those who are awaiting the outcome of court proceedings. This entails investigation of cases, assessment of children brought into care, and the administration of programmes designed to provide a stable and nurturing living environment for the children.

The Agency in its structure and use of resources is guided by the following core responsibilities for the child protection sector:

1. Provision of quality care for and promoting the welfare of children in the care of the State

2. Safeguarding children from abuse through advocacy and public education

3. Maintaining children within their families wherever possible and supporting families in meeting their essential social care needs

4. Investigating reports of child abuse, and

5. Providing regulatory oversight of Residential Child Care Facilities

There are 58 Child Care Facilities islandwide, eight (8) of which are managed and operated by the Government of Jamaica. Over the last several years, the agency has placed greater emphasis on Living in Family Environment (L.I.F.E) Programmes as an alternative to residential care. LIFE Programmes enable children to live in family situations, even as they are in the care of the State.

The Agency’s staff members are spread across our Corporate Office located in Kingston, four (4) regional offices and 13 parish offices as well as our child care facilities. Initiatives such as the Children and Family Support Unit established in CDA’s regional offices and the Multi-Agency partnership with agencies such as the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (C.I.S.O.C.A), Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) and the Ministry of Justice’s Victim Support Unit, are helping to keep children out of State care, through counseling and other interventions to families and abuse victims. The Multi-Agency partnership also enables child victims to be interviewed and counseling in a sensitive atmosphere.

CDA remains committed to the mission of empowering children to achieve their highest potential and supporting families as part of nation building.
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Foster a child today, family is love


In Carrying out its mandate, the agency:

Provides support to children in need of care and protection (those who have been, abused, abandoned, neglected or vulnerable due to disability)

Carries out advocacy/public education programmes to prevent child abuse

Investigates reports of child abuse, abandonment and neglect to determine the best interest of the child which supports the Courts and the Police

Provides quality care for children who are brought into the care of the State (those who live in children’s homes and places of safety).

Advises government on policy and legal issues relating to children.

The Cliff: Hours

  • MondayCLOSED
  • Tuesday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Thursday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Friday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Saturday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Sunday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM

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