Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Minister of Social Development and Gender Affairs, the Hon. Eugene Hamilton, during day three (3) of debate on the 2022 Budget, spoke to the work done by the Ministry of Social Development, primarily the Counselling Department, while also placing his stamp of approval on the 2022 Budget.
“The National Counselling Centre has operated with a complement of four (4) clinical counsellors for the majority of the year. Four Family Matters counsellors operated for 2021, and the work of the clinical staff is to address matters of mental health, distress and disorder and to formulate appropriate treatment, plans and interventions strategies to address the presenting matters. The Family Matters counselling works directly with families that are experiencing disruption in their hierarchical structures which then leads to chaos and disharmony in the household is one of the matters being addressed. Family Matters intervention in 2021, the department engaged one hundred and twenty-eight (128) families especially those affected by COVID-19 disruptions. The Family Matters counselling department continues to support the reintegration of children in families where they have been separated, and they also do advocacy for children and family in schools and communities,” said Minister Hamilton.
The Minister of Social Development also spoke to a number of other critical mandates executed by his ministry in support of improving the standard of citizens and residents of the Federation. The Senior Empowerment Programme, training for persons with disabilities and disaster management, all fall under the responsibility of the Minister of Social Development.
“In 2022, the Ministry will continue work on our Ageing Policy and will begin to source funding for the development of an Elderly Abuse Policy as we consider this an area of grave concern. Discussions will be held in 2022 on the further development of standards of care for older persons, registry of caregivers and the introduction of home help for older clients on weekends and holidays… The Ministry received approval from the UPR Trust Fund for a project aimed at mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities through a number of activities including, sensitization training for government officials on rights of persons with disabilities and state obligations, the completion of comprehensive analysis/review of national legislation and policies affecting persons with disabilities, the creation of the ‘road map’ on necessary reforms and the development of a database on People with Disabilities in SKN to guide and inform policies and programmes,” said Minister Hamilton.
Minister Hamilton described the Team Unity Administration as “compassionate” with the recent announcement of another double salary for all government and STEP working across the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Minister Hamilton had high praise for the 2020 Budget and reiterated his support for the Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon Timothy Harris, on an excellent Budget.