As an increasing number of parents enter the workforce to obtain the financial means to support their families, Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Stephen Lashley, is expressing concern that this move may be affecting some of our children.

"Workplace demands and poor work-life balance are leading to time spent with children, in many instances, becoming increasingly less.?? As a consequence, children appear not to be receiving adequate parenting and socialisation; [and] this can have detrimental effects on them, on their families and society," Mr. Lashley suggested.

He made the comments while delivering the feature address last Saturday at a memorial dinner to honour Founder Director, Marjorie Blackman; and Founder President, Dr. Cecil "Bertie" Graham, of Parent Education For Development in Barbados (PAREDOSs).????

The Minister told his audience that today’s society had changed tremendously, and there were many diverse challenges, including the current economic crisis, unemployment and under employment. He added that several different family structures had emerged, and the traditional extended family support was now being eroded, particularly in the Barbadian society.

According to him, some young people had resorted to negative behaviours because they felt alienated and he stressed that his Ministry was "pursuing the path of collaboration" with the relevant stakeholders in tackling issues of youth deviance and crime.

"To this end, I recently chaired a meeting with the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Child Care Board, the Ministry of Social Care, the Ministry of Culture, the Task Force on Crime Prevention and other organisations, to review this issue and start on the course of ensuring that there is a focused and proactive approach to solving this issue," Mr. Lashley stated.

He said his Ministry’s mission was to make the family unit more resilient, while providing for the physical, social, emotional, economic and spiritual well-being of every family member.???????????? ????

The Minister praised the work of Ms. Blackman and Dr. Graham, stating that they dedicated their lives to the cause of PAREDOS in their distinct ways, and urged others to imitate their untiring efforts.

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