Monday 1 June, 2020

Ministry refutes claims of no support for children with cerebral palsy

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services denied claims that the Special Child and Food Grants were terminated, saying it continues to provide support for children with cerebral palsy (CP).

The statement was issued after a mother's account earlier this week relating her struggles in caring for her son, who was diagnosed with CP.

The Ministry said several grants and initiatives have been and continue to be available to these families.

"The Special Child and Food Support Grants were not terminated as reported.  Parents of children with special needs are provided with a special child grant of $800.00 per month, per child, to assist in meeting the cost of caring for the child."

"In accordance with existing Regulation 3A (d) and ( c)1 of the Public Assistance Act, Chapter 32:03, parents of children with disabilities may access grants to assist in the care of these children."

The Ministry said the National Enrichment Centre (NEC) for persons with disabilities was commissioned in July 2015 but was delayed due to "number of deficiencies, including the fact that the facility was not built to specifications and did not receive the required statutory approvals".   

The Ministry said the required approvals were only recently obtained, and the Ministry anticipates that remedial works will commence shortly, to operationalize the facility by the end of the fiscal year.

"As result of this, the area is considered a construction site and therefore, members of the public are prohibited from using it, for health and safety reasons."

"It should be noted, however, that as an interim measure, the Ministry will be partnering with the Ministry of Health to implement Community Therapeutic Services through public health facilities, as well as private organizations across the country.  Additionally, through the Ministry’s NGO Unit, financial support is provided to organizations that provide support to persons with disabilities," the Ministry said. 

The Ministry said it remains committed to the provision of an enabling social and physical environment, which promotes inclusion, accessibility, integration and full participation of persons with disabilities.

For further information, persons may call the Ministry’s Help Desk at toll-free 800 – 1 MSD where queries, complaints and issues related to families and persons with disabilities will be addressed.

The Ministry encourages all individuals, civil society organizations and groups to lodge their concerns or suggestions via its Help Desk or through any of its District Offices and social media platforms.

Persons may also call the Disability Affairs Unit at 623 – 2608; Ext. 1155.


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