Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler????

Government is committed to facilitating the development of a more caring environment, while striving to meet the needs of the various segments of the population.

This was stressed by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler, as he addressed the official opening of the Autism Association of Barbados’ Respite Care Centre, last Friday.

Commending the Autism Association for implementing this project, which will provide care for children with autism, Mr. Sinckler noted that his Ministry was also "actively seeking to discover new and creative ways to facilitate provisioning as it relates to Persons with Disabilities."??

"It is government’s intention to oversee a social development environment that fosters enablement, advancement and empowerment…We, however, recognise while government can meet certain basic elements of society’s requirements, there will always be areas which call for pioneering work by the non-governmental sector," he stated.

Mr. Sinckler lauded this initiative, which will offer parents and caregivers of children with autism "a much needed break from the stresses of this special parenting situation." He asserted that the need for respite care for persons with autism, and any other disabilities, had not gone unnoticed by Government, and confirmed that plans were underway to tackle this issue.

Mr. Sinckler affirmed: "…since 2005, the National Disabilities Unit has been developing a policy document that specifically speaks to the issue of respite care and provides a framework within which government can make a greater contribution toward servicing this sector in more meaningful ways."

The Social Care Minister maintained Government’s support to meeting the needs of the special sectors of society, citing the need to bring them together, in order "to provide a more targeted and efficient approach to the delivery and allocation of scarce resources."

"In recognition of this, my Ministry is examining the concept of community living, where members of communities with similar specialty needs come together and seek to share their time, energy and resources…with government providing some level of social and financial support," he asserted.

Minister Sinckler deemed the opening of the Centre, at Durants House, Christ Church, as a pilot for the development of other respite care centres. He pointed out the need for this type of care for the elderly, as well as for the tourism sector.

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