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Parents called on to do their part in rehabilitating children
By Kathryn Campbell
Nov 7, 2017 - 7:14:09 PM

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The Hon. Lanisha Rolle, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, speaks at Living Waters Kingdom Ministries.

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Hon. Lanisha Rolle, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, has sounded an appeal to parents and the wider community to “share the load” in the journey of rehabilitation.

“Social workers cannot do it alone; psychiatrists cannot conduct therapy in isolation.  Family support is crucial; when the children return home from therapy they cannot return to the same dysfunctional situation. Parents must choose to make the sacrifice for the children and bring the family up together,” said Minister Rolle.

She addressed a Church Service at Living Waters Kingdom Ministries, Warren Street, Monday, November 6th, 2017, one of the activities organized by the Department of Rehabilitative & Welfare Services to observe Rehabilitation Week – November 6th – 13th. The theme for the week is “Redefining Life through Rehabilitation.”

Minister Rolle remarked that the divisions within the Department of Rehabilitative & Welfare Services assist persons in the journey of rehabilitation.

Vaughn Miller, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development is pictured at left along with Cora Bain-Colebrooke, Acting Permanent Secretary and Lillian Quant-Forbes, Director.

“Our probation team monitors and counsels offenders to prevent further offence and possible incarceration; our counseling services facilitate grief and victim counseling; our parenting classes provide a workshop-style guide to sound parenting; our juvenile centres, the Simpson School for Boys and Willimae Pratt Centre for Girls, facilitate programmes removed from the child’s ordinary environment in an attempt to curb deviant behavior and influence positive decision making and acceptable conduct.”

She said if restoration is indeed the goal of rehabilitation then it is vital that the programs and service offerings are built on a spectrum of programs with rehabilitation on one end and restoration on the other.  The Department must ensure that clients are fully equipped to “press on.”

She acknowledged and thanked the church for counseling services, and to professional entities and other non-governmental organizations for their support in the quest to rehabilitate and to restore individuals to a healthy, physical, social and mental state.

As an Attorney and a former Police Officer, Minister Rolle is of the view that the system must consider multiple remedies for varying levels of criminal activity.

A cross-section of the congregation at Living Waters Kingdom Ministries to mark Rehabilitation Week.

“Placing the uncontrollable child or recently aged adult with hardened criminals and repeat offenders is counter-productive to rehabilitation efforts; our system needs substantive upgrades and as a people, we must press on for a better system together.

“Our communities should not be left alone to groups of idle males that terrorize street corners and keep residents in fear. Truth is, street tyrants threaten students from attending school and abuse those who attend. It is our duty to rid our communities of gangs or the appearance of gang activity. We must restore our communities to a state of peace and safety, and it is incumbent upon each of us to restore this nation together.”

Minister Rolle reminded offenders, ex-offenders, re-offenders and others who are suffering from traumatic experiences to “press on.”

“Every day is another opportunity to take another breath, to live a new life, to make a better decision, to press on and live your best life,” she said.

Other activities for Rehabilitation Week are: Juvenile Forum, Wednesday, November 8th; Parenting Workshop, Saturday, November 11th; and Staff Motivational Seminar, Monday, November 13th.

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