In a recent study into the problems of young adults in the Caribbean Netherlands, the importance of care services for vulnerable young people becomes apparent. Especially the combination of housing and extra guidance is essential for being able to take the step to adulthood. This is why Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands (Zorg en Jeugd Caribisch Nederland, ZJCN) will start a two-year pilot on Assisted Living on the 15th of March, 2021.
The Assisted Living pilot is intended for young people from 16 to and including 23 years old in Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius in a long-term Youth Care assistance program who are ready for a next step towards more independence. These young people cannot return to their homes, because the situation at home has remained unchanged despite the efforts of long-term assistance.
At the assisted living facility, the young people enter into an intensive training program in phases to learn how to live independently. This program is in line with the current assistance provided by Youth Care. At the assisted living facility, the young people go through three stages of a personal growth plan. The personal learning objective of each phase fits in with the respective degree of their independence. As the three phases progress, the young people’s independence increases and the assistance will be less intensive. The guidance is focused on improving their independence, on their ability to manage for themselves and look after themselves, and on learning social, relational, and practical skills. The aim of the assisted living program is to ensure young people are able to live independently in about two years.
Regiline Sambo, team leader Youth Care at Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands: “The new assisted living facility will be increasing the future opportunities for quite a few young people in Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius.”
Housing and flow
The two-year pilot will start on the 15th of March, 2021. The assisted living facility is housed in an apartment building at Kaya Sabana in Bonaire. Together with the housing cooperative, Fundashon Cas Bonairiano (FCB) it is currently being investigated whether a new building can be realized where the assisted living project can be continued on a structural basis. Additionally, FCB is looking into the possibility of whether it can make rental homes available for young people who have completed the assisted living program successfully so that a smooth flow of participants can be safeguarded.
A very good initiative. Give these youth a future by helping them, not killing their plans or ideas by prison or mental health institutions. But one advice: learn from the mistakes of others: in the Netherlands the (lack of) communication between all institutions that have contact with such a person in need is the most mayor problem.