iLocal News Archives

$2.4 million per year for juvenile rehab centers

CEO of the CAYS Foundation, Angela Sealey

A ministerial youth consultant claims the approach now being used at the juvenile rehabilitation centres on the Island are costly and ineffective.

Michael Myles, Programme Coordinator and Liaison Officer for At-Risk Youth claims that the budget distribution for the homes is top heavy with more spent on administrative and managerial provisions than on therapeutic and hands-on rehabilitation.

“The $2 to 2.4 million per year budget to operate the Bonaventure and Frances Bodden juvenile rehabilitation facilities should include more therapeutic services for the residents.”

According to Mr. Myles, who has brought the training of the Behaviour Education Support Team (BEST) to Cayman through the Education Ministry, the country is paying over the odds for the running of the two centres.

“There are 13 members of staff at the Bonaventure Boys Home, which at present has eight resident boys and Frances Bodden Girls Home has 14 members of staff for it’s 12 residents.

“The current price tag”, the Youth Services consultant claims, “should embrace more comprehensive care for the homes.”

“The kids at Bonaventure have extreme emotional challenges which require expert attention. They also need to have their education properly addressed. We hired quality people in the CAYS Foundation but they have administrative roles and therefore do not work with the kids’ full time.”

Mr. Myles is disappointed not to have seen the provision of psychologists and therapists in paid full-time roles, under the $2 million plus budget.

However, Miss Angela Sealey, CEO for the Children and Family Services Commission, CAYS, dismissed the At-Risk Youth Coordinator claims.

While admitting that there are some services being provided by staff members, rather than specialised professionals, she explained that the home’s employees have a wealth of experience, which contributes to the vocational rehabilitation of the residents.

“When we can, we use our staff’s skills to their full potential. It’s a hands-on programme and we have staff with backgrounds in hairdressing, farming and gardening for example. We embrace those who come to us with additional skills but if I had to outsource some of the services it would be much more expensive,” said Miss Sealey.

But according to Mr. Myles, the food, clothing, and insurance needs of the children being housed are already addressed by the relevant Government departments and do not form part of the expenses to be covered under the budget.

“The Department of Children and Family Services provides food through the school system. School lunches and insurance are provided and some therapeutic services are also made available,” said Mr Myles.

Despite Miss Sealey’s analysis of the professional care, Mr Myles claims that the qualified professionals employed by the foundation are seldom in contact with the residents of the homes.

“We hired quality people in the CAYS Foundation in administrative roles but they do not work directly with the kids full-time. A lot of the workers do not have the qualifications in the specific areas that the children need,” explained Mr Myles.

CEO of the CAYS Foundation, Angela Sealey, in her comments on the two million dollar plus budget claim by Mr. Myles, she said: “The figure is plausible, I am not refuting the figure.

She explained that there could easily be fluctuation in the facilities operational costs, as there are many factors, which could influence the total expenditure.

In summary, the CEO, of the CAYS Foundation said, “We are not fighting with Michael, we are just trying to work towards the same goal. I agree with Michael totally that if we put the mechanisms up front to address intervention early it will surely decrease kids coming into the care. By the time we get them [the kids] it usually harder to change their behaviour.”



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *