Support for Saba health and social care

Additional funds for health care and the transfer of the respon­sibility for the after-school activities of Child Focus to the public entity Saba were two of the pledges that Dutch State Secretary of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports Paul Blokhuis made during his visit to Saba late June.

In a meeting with Saba’s Executive Council on June 25, it was agreed that a se­rious effort would be made to further strengthen Saba’s society and the local gov­ernment through invest­ments in health care and the social domain, Blokhuis stated in a recent letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.

He was happy to note that Saba had clearly indicated where it needed additional funds to carry out its tasks in the area of public health. “This means that Saba gets an additional US $76,000 this year and next year, so $152,000 in total, for public health. These means can be used for, among other things, activities in the area of prevention,” he stated. There will also be more support to prevent teenage pregnancies and to assist young mothers.

Blokhuis commended Saba for making substantial investments in the social domain, which included the establishing of the new So­cial Development Unit. “I consider this a positive de­velopment to which I gladly contribute.”

It was agreed with the Ex­ecutive Council that Saba will increase its efforts in the coming two years to pre­vent children and vulner­able families from getting into trouble because help is reaching them too late.

According to Blokhuis, early detection and look­ing for a solution together is the motto in this. Saba will receive $125,000 an­nually for the coming two years to hire two additional employees for preventive youth care. “It is my inten­tion to continue this pilot after two years if things are going well.”

He announced his plans to transfer the responsibility for after-school activities of Child Focus and the as­sociated funds to the public entity Saba. He said the lo­cal government and Child Focus are engaged in talks to arrive at an agreement. It was further agreed with the Executive Council that the island government and the Centre for Youth Care and Guardianship Carib­bean Netherlands JGCN, which takes care of the more specialised youth tasks in Saba, will keep working together to ensure that every child in Saba gets the care he or she deserves and that nobody is lost in the system.

The Daily Herald.

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