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Children in care who 'age out' to receive financial support

Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

More than half a million dollars will be dedicated to support those who age out of child care, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors announced yesterday.

The allocation was one of several funds listed by Tinée Furbert, the social development minister, as she broke down her ministry’s budget for the financial year.

Ms Furbert said that $600,000 will go towards independent living coordinators, who will assist young people transitioning out of the Government’s care.

She said: "We are happy to announce that children in our care will no longer 'age out' of our support once they turn 18 years old.

“In fact, $600,000 has been allocated to support children in our care that may still require our assistance with housing, post-secondary education, career guidance, and physical and mental healthcare.”

Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, set the social development and seniors ministry at $23.7 million in last Friday’s blueprint for the new financial year.

Ms Furbert said residential treatment services for vulnerable children will receive a total of $7.6 million, with $2.3 million going towards care homes that give “residential care and intervention” to children aged 12 to 18.

She added that $216,000 would be put towards meeting the requirements of the Child Safeguarding Act 2019 to provide “physical and psychological assistance to a child victim of a sexual offence and a child who is the perpetrator of a sexual offence”.

The budget for the Department of Child and Family Services, which was once under the control of the Ministry of Legal Affairs but transferred to the social development ministry when it was created last year, was also increased from $16.4 million to $17.6 million.

Ms Furbert also announced that the Child Placement Board would be replaced with a Children’s Commission to focus on promoting programmes and services for children in care.

She added that Government-run rest homes will receive $1.35 million, while the advocacy group Age Concern will get a grant of $15,000.

Ms Furbert said that Ageing and Disability Services would also receive a grant of more than $1 million to help those with physical and mental disabilities.

She stressed the ministry was still developing a National Seniors Strategy, which was announced in last year’s Throne Speech, to focus on dementia care and prevent senior abuse.

The Women’s Resource Centre will receive $100,000 for their “transformational support services programme” for disadvantaged women and families.

The Salvation Army received a $550,000 grant towards their emergency shelter on North Street in Pembroke, while $48,000 was dedicated towards food charity Meals on Wheels.

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Published March 04, 2021 at 8:25 am (Updated March 04, 2021 at 8:56 am)

Children in care who 'age out' to receive financial support

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