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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Coudray: Four centres coming for at-risk kids
Government is to spend $191 million to construct ten facilities, including three safe houses and an “institute of healing,” for victims of domestic violence, including children. Former Gender, Youth and Child Development Minister Marlene Coudray announced that at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.
She made the announcement for the absent minister, Clifton De Coteau. She said the projects were part of Government’s agenda for solving the social problems affecting families, especially children. Two assessment centres are to be built at Princes Town and Chaguanas to assess at-risk, neglected or abused children and determine the level of care required. She said two more centres also were being planned for construction but not yet approved.
Coudray said Cabinet’s approval also was granted yesterday for three safe houses for victims of domestic and other violence. One safe house for men will be built at Ste Madeleine and two for women at Princes Town and Guayaguayare. They will provide “secure accommodation, psychological support and access to social services for the victims, which will facilitate their healing and preparation for a resumption of independent living.”
Transition homes to house 12 boys or girls were being planned at locations to be identified, she said. In September, she said, Cabinet approved a proposal for the ministry to enter into a contract with the Salvation Army, Port-of-Spain, to provide transition services for young women leaving community residences. The institute of healing, which was suggested by former minister Verna St Rose-Greaves, is earmarked for construction in Chatham, Point Fortin.
She said two remand centres were to be constructed at Orange Grove, Trincity, one will be for boys and the other for girls in custody of the State for breaches of law. She said a multi-purpose youth facility was to be constructed in Ste Madeleine. She said more than $156 million would be for construction, while there would be a preliminary budget of more than $7 million for furniture and other fixtures and $27 million for consultancy fees and project management provided by Nipdec.
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