The Dorothy Menzies Child Care Centre (DMCCC) is an approved children’s home and classified as a 24-hour residential care facility maintained by the Department of Human Services. The purpose of approved children’s home is to provide time limited substitute family care for children until they may be reunited with the biological family or relatives or placed in accordance with the permanency plan (FACA 173/2000, s 124).
To provide a temporary safe and caring environment where children can seek refuge during a difficult period in their lives.
All the children in our care should be given the opportunity to enrich their lives in a safe and nurturing environment.
- On the 15th April 1975 the Child Care Centre was opened for 12 children under the supervision of the then Department of Social Development.
- In 1995 the center was expanded enabling up to 25 children between the ages of 1 year to 18 years to be housed comfortably.
- In 1999 the center was renamed the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Centre in honor of Mrs. Dorothy Menzies who is currently the Chairperson of the Board and who has dedicated countless hours of her time and energies to enhancing the experience of the children at the Center.
- The Centre has seen a gradual increase in the number of children needing protective care over the years. This has led to the opening of other similar centers across the country. The average population presently at the Center ranges between 30 and 60.
The children represent the many different cultural backgrounds found in Belize. The children come to the Center for many reasons. Most of the children at the center have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. These children need a loving and caring environment in which to grow and develop.
A Board of Governors, made up of caring individuals from the community, is appointed by the Ministry of Human Development, Women and Civil Society to assist with the smooth running of the Center. The Board consists of ten members and has representation from the Ministry in the form of the Director of the Human Services Department, the Coordinator of the Family Services Division and the Foster Mother of the Center. The other members represent the public, private, and business community.
The Board of Governors identifies and develops projects to enhance the quality of service offered to the children at the centre. The board is authorized and actively solicits funds for the financing of these projects.
The board is currently looking at enhancing the counseling and guidance offered to the center by providing a full time counselor resident at the Centre to provide ongoing counseling and support to the children at the Centre.
Aims and Objectives
- To ensure the health, safety and well being of the children placed in care through the provision of educational, spiritual and social activities.
- To identify a permanent family placement for each child either with their own family or a new family.
- To provide individualized care programs to satisfy the needs of each child.
- To promote and encourage community participation in the provision of services to the children in care.
- To provide opportunities where the child can have positive experiences.
- To provide a caring and loving cadre of people that will provide for the day-to-day needs of the children.
- Counseling services
- Life skills training
- Community service projects
- Educational services at a neighborhood school
- Respite care on weekends in a family setting
- Educational and recreational trips to different parts of the country
Reference: http://www.karlmenzies.com/belize-child-care-dorothy-menzies Retrieved March 1, 2015.