Senators given details of new independent living programme
Senators were have been given details of a new independent living programme for young adults ageing out of the care system.
The Department of Child and Family services has an operational budget of $1.1 million with almost $300,000 going towards the funding of a St George’s centre to offer support to up to 12 people.
Speaking during a budget debate in the Senate, Lindsay Simmons, the Junior Minister for Social Development and Seniors, added that the budget for her ministry had increased by 8 per cent for 2023-24, with a total allocation of $26.4 million.
The ministry budgeted an additional $165,000 to support Ageing and Disability Services in the purchase of a system which will provide protective services to Bermuda’s adults, aged 18 years and older who are at risk.
The first phase of establishing this system will be implemented during this budget year.
During the question period, Ms Simmons said that an increase in funds for cross-ministry initiatives from $75,000 to $171,000 was attributed to the formation of a multi-agency risk assessment committee – a Throne Speech initiative.
In partnership with Safelives UK, a UK charity dedicated to ending domestic violence abuse, the Government introduced a model in which all necessary agencies are engaged in a more co-ordinated plan of action to manage perpetrator conduct and provide victim protection.
Ben Smith, a One Bermuda Alliance senator, asked about the planned hiring of a domestic violence specialist and whether they would be hired locally or from overseas.
Ms Simmons said Safelives UK would be responsible for the recruitment and training of a local specialist to carry out the role of supporting victims of domestic violence who go through the system.
Senators approved the budget with no objection.