Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler (FP)??

Parents of children with disabilities may soon be able to remain in the island’s work force, secure in the knowledge that that their charges are provided with adequate care.

Word of this has come from Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler, who said his Ministry was seeking to establish a modern Respite Care Centre, to assist those parents, in particular, who have to leave work in the prime of their lives to care for their children.

"We are hoping over the next 18 months that we can put together sufficient effort and resources, [that is] human and financial, to bring to Barbados a modern respite care facility. Children could be placed in this facility on a daily basis, so that their parents could continue to work to contribute to the development, not only of themselves personally, but to the society in general," the Minister announced.

Minister Sinckler told guests and students attending an Awards Ceremony for winners of a poster and logo competition for the ???Embrace Children with Disabilities – Let’s Show them Love’ Campaign, Government was seeking to do so through a joint

venture arrangement with members of the private sector, Non Governmental Organisations, as well as other associations working within this sphere.

He, therefore, urged students, parents and associations affiliated with the disabled community to join with the Ministry "as this becomes one of our national efforts…to advance the social care system of the country."

Minister Sinckler pledged that his Ministry of Social Care would "work assiduously to promote opportunities for integration and participation in the areas of education, employment, recreation, advocacy, transportation, housing and infrastructure, inclusive of the use of our Barbadian road network system."

To this end, he took issue with the undesirable treatment meted out to members of the disabled community, by some Government departments, intimating that this would not be tolerated.

"The necessity of having a very clear set of protocols about how persons with disabilities are treated and are dealt with within the system [is paramount]. And it is a matter that the Ministry will be looking at very closely, starting, of course, with our own departments and then moving outward," he assured.

The Social Care head also underscored the need for, what he deemed "a "recalibration of the relationship" between the National Disabilities Unit (NDU) and the various affiliated councils, organisations and associations.

"We feel that after a number of years, the time has come to see how we can strengthen that relationship to look at a greater, higher and more dedicated commitment, on both sides, to advocating on issues for people with disabilities," Minister Sinckler maintained.

He stressed that this charge had been given to the NDU and the Ministry at large.


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