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Government places emphasis on youth amidst calls for parents to serve as role models

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis


Wednesday, January 19, 2011 – Institutions  responsible for  delivering state intervention in the lives of young people who are at risk are voicing the need for society to collectively be exemplars to the youth.


Director of the  Boys Training Center Leonard Terrance, says the institution offers a very comprehensive rehabilitation and education program for  the youth within its care.


"Basically in any typical residential facility for boys or for girls, there are certain programmes that are put in place to ensure that the children participate and fulfill some of their obligations. This includes an  education program that some of these institutuions must have. You must have the counselling aspect as well; likewise the child's medical and psychological needs must be attended to."


He says, however the best means of keeping young people   on a disciplined and productive path  is by  providing the right examples to them.


'There's always hope for children who are at risk and there are also a number of things that can be done to accommodate or to help those children who are at risk—first of all the family.We have been talking about the dysfunctional family alot in Saint Lucia and in any event, everything begins with the family."

" If families can take more responsibility for their children, I believe half of our problems will be solved; however there are some families without the capacity so to do."

The government  of Saint Lucia in a concerted  response to curbing  social deviance among the youth has been concentrating on providing enhanced services for young people who are school drop outs, or are in conflict with the law.


The Ministry of Health, Human Services, Gender Relations and Wellness  officially opened the Transit Home for Children on Tuesday and the   Ministry of National Security and  Home Affairs will launch the Court Diversion Program on Monday 1st of  February 2011.


The Court Diversion Program will provide a unique social service to juvenile offenders and other youth at risk, through programs aimed at effecting  behavioural changes, changes in attitude, and inculcating respect for the law, for youth 12 to 19 years of age.


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