Miss Lalie youth care center celebrates first anniversary

POSTED: 12/18/15 11:04 AM


miss lalie center buildingWWWThe Miss Lalie Center in Cay Bay. Photo contributed

St. Maarten – The Miss Lalie Youth Care and Rehabilitation Center in Cay Bay celebrated its first anniversary on Thursday. The center officially opened its doors last year in the presence of the former Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, family and friends of the late Mrs. Eulalie Meyers and stakeholders.

The facility provides a structured living and learning environment to boys aged 12 to 18 who have been placed at the facility by judicial authorities under a civil or a penal title. The center caters to a maximum of 18 residents. The main goal is to provide tailored care and rehabilitation to the youth of St. Maarten and surrounding Dutch Caribbean islands.

The residents receive counseling, guidance and treatment within the facility. For each resident an individual treatment plan is formulated depending on the different challenges confronting the person in question. The center has chosen a systematic approach to the care and rehabilitation provided for the youth based on the social competence model.

This method focuses on teaching the youth social skills which they can use throughout their life; it helps them reflect on their behavior and focuses on making the right choices now and in the future. This method teaches them to not only focus on what is going wrong, but to put the emphasis on what they are doing right. This approach is aimed at improving the physical, social, mental, economical, spiritual and psychological well-being of each resident.

The residents follow a structured day program consisting of education, extracurricular activities and social time all geared towards equipping them with competencies to improve social interaction. After completing the required time for treatment or detention given by the judge the young males return to their communities with better chances at being resilient and responsible citizens.

Over the past year alongside local partners like the Court of Guardianship, the police force, the Justice Academy and the Prosecutor’s Office, the center has worked together with Horizon, youth care and education, an institution for open and closed residential care in the Netherlands.

The vision of the Miss Lalie Center remains to provide a safe, secure and structured living and learning environment with tailored care and rehabilitation. “We aim to assist the youth to develop individually to their full potential, persistently encouraging and inspiring them to accomplish their goals in life,” the center said in a press release.

Parents, guardians and the whole support system play a vital role in the treatment and development process, from intervention to aftercare. In the coming year the center plans to focus more on the counseling and guidance of the parents so that our main goal of helping the youth is accomplished by means of encouraging a healthier parent-child relationship.

“We also plan to continue to create brighter future prospects for the youth by working together with the community and local businesses,” the center said. “In addition we would like the youth to have opportunity to give back to the community in a positive way by being involved in community service. The Miss Lalie Center does not believe that we are dealing with a lost generation. We believe that there is still hope if each child is given the opportunity to develop in a healthy way.”

“The youth is the future of Sint Maarten and it is up to each of us as a community to help safeguard their future and our society. For that reason the center’s proudly celebrates its 1-year existence and pledges its continued commitment as we enter into the New Year.”

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