$5.6M in auxiliary support for children in State care

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud has said some $5.6 million will be used to enhance the mental health and wellness of children homed at state-run facilities.

The money will be used to provide support services from trained psychologists, teachers, sport professionals, and others.

Speaking during debates in the National Assembly on Thursday, the Minister said hundreds of children suffering from trauma and other conditions, are living in State facilities.

They include those at the Children and Family Care Centre, the Mahaica Children’s Home and at the Joshua House Children’s Centre. Dr. Persaud said the support services are to ensure they are not left behind, but become productive members of the society.

“We want these children to have teachers come in and work with them, whatever areas they are lacking in, whether in subjects like, English or Mathematics, they must be given that time to understand and grow. For those who are athletic, we are bringing in professionals to help them develop that skill,” Minister Persaud said.

The Minister explained that the professionals being sought for the children will not be contracted employees, but will be called in and paid based on the service needed at the time.

“I recently visited the Children and Family Care Centre and met with children who are very talented and love dancing, football, playing chess. It is very important that we support them to develop their [talents]. Once this is done, we will be producing well-rounded individuals back into society,” Dr. Persaud said.

She added that they need extra-curricular activities for recreation as well as to learn and enhance their social skills, and the Ministry will ensure that those in State care have these opportunities.   

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