The home that Cayman built

Premier Alden McLaughlin, Community Affiars Minister Osbourne Bodden, Governor Helen Kilpatrick and Dorine Whittaker, chief officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, officially open the new home. - PHOTO: JEWEL LEVY

A new cottage for boys is opening on the site of the Frances Bodden Home in Lower Valley, filling an “urgent need” for youngsters in care.

The home is the culmination of a massive community effort, with all the labor, equipment and expertise on the $500,000 project donated.

The cottage will provide accommodation to boys who are taken into care because of abuse or neglect.

Garth Arch, chairman of the CAYS Foundation board, which runs the home, said it would fill a “void in the continuum of care for our youth.”

Mr. Arch said the need for the facility was evident.

The Bonaventure Boys Home in West Bay is designed for boys on Youth Rehabilitation Orders, taken into care because of their offending or behavior. The Frances Bodden Home is intended for girls, and the Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home is for children under 12.
Until now there has been no facility for older boys in care for their own protection.

Some are currently housed in the girls home on the same site at Lower Valley. Five other boys are in temporary situations on a waiting list to go to the new home.

Dorine Whittaker, chief officer in the Ministry of Community Affairs, said the aim in most cases is for children taken into care to be returned to their parents after a few months. In more serious cases of neglect or abuse, she said, social workers look to find family members or foster parents to look after the children.

“We try to work with parents as much as possible. This facility should be our last resort,” she said. “We don’t want this to be full all the time.”

She said the aim is for children to spend just a few months in the home and then move on to more permanent accommodation.

Garth Arch, chairman on the CAYS Foundation board, surveys the new boys home. - PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER
Garth Arch, chairman on the CAYS Foundation board, surveys the new boys home. – PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER

Mr. Arch said the CAYS Foundation had gone out to the community to raise money for the home.

“It was quite evident that there was a gap where there was a need for a facility for boys in care for their own protection. At the time we started this, the government was in the midst of the financial crisis and the decision the board made was that we couldn’t wait. We reached out to the private sector and the response was amazing. Nobody said no,” he told the Cayman Compass.

John Doak Architecture designed the home, Arch and Godfrey managed the build and a host of other companies provided materials and technical support. A variety of charities and community groups provided financial support.

Speaking to donors and dignitaries at the opening ceremony, Mr. Arch added, “This new building, while it is modest in size, is significant in what it represents – a community coming together for the youth of these islands.

“As you pass by this home in the years to come, know that within these walls children are growing up with love and protection, hope is being given and lives are being changed for the better, all because of the contributions that you made.”

Premier Alden McLaughlin said the opening of the home was an important step and “gives us capacity we didn’t previously have.”


  1. I support and believe this is a very good thing with the home for boys; however I must always have to reflect on my own district of Bodden Town.
    All we are getting is nothing for everybody. Not saying that we need a boys home but to point a finger at recent squander of tax payers moneys spent in the high thousands, to repair an already good roof of the Ashford home in Gun Square , along side the Nurse Josie Centre was just taking it to the political limit.
    Over 75,000.00 on the roof and separate thousands to Central Air-condition all day long running while the building is not in use, and is only used once or twice a year . The building is housing peoples personal antique collection because they have no space to keep them at home.
    This building was to be an Old people’s home, but politicians has swept it out the door.
    If this building was being used every day by the residents of this district, I would feel no way about the money spent, but it is only used two or three times a year. Many may not want to here this being pointed out but someone has to do it.

  2. Go one step further. Many boys are probably having difficulty with reading, writing and mathematics, comprehension, logical reasoning, problem solving, visual and auditory memory, non-verbal learning, attention, processing speed and dyslexia.
    Involve a Toronto Arrowsmith school certified practitioner to asses each boy to identify his individual learning profile and then design and implement a program of cognitive exercises for each boy.
    This country boys need some serious attention! They need therapies that work. They are your future.
    Kudos to all participants for making this happen.

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