Start assisted living for young people in the Caribbean Netherlands

Start assisted living for young people in the Caribbean Netherlands
Photo caption:
The new assisted living facility in Bonaire will open its doors at Kaya Sabana on the 15th of March. From left to right: coordinator Solange Martilia and supervisors Mildred Allee, Indianara Jansen, and Roëlta Faneyt-Clara at the new location

Kralendijk, The Bottom, Saba, Oranjestad, St. Eustatius -In a recent study into the problems of young adults in 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 programme who are ready for a next step towards more independence. These young people cannot return to their home, because the situation at home has remained unchanged despite the efforts of long-term assistance.

Intensive guidance

At the assisted living facility, the young people enter into an intensive training programme in phases to learn how to live independently. This programme 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 programme 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 whether it can make rental homes available for young people who have completed the assisted living programme successfully, so that a smooth flow of participants can be safeguarded.

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